Next Generation Communications Blog

What is MANO and why do you need it?

MANO is a confusing topic.  What is it, why is it needed, and how do I get one?  First, let’s talk about...

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iPad Pro Keyboard is Really Poor

The iPad Pro is yet another extension of the iOS family. While some consider its release to be a sign of failure,...

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ISIS Brings Flip-Phone to Crowd-Sourced Cyber-Hacking Fight.

Its an interesting world we live in where a group like Anonymous which likely wasn't thought very highly has become a savior...

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What Would an IoT Service Provider Even Do?

Service providers are eager to jump on the IoT train because of the vast opportunities. But what kind of service would they even provide?

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The Business Case for IP Transformation: Is Your Business Ready?

By: Steve Blackshaw, IP Transformation Product Line Management, Alcatel-Lucent

Delivering successful change programs is a significant challenge. Undertaking a Readiness Assessment speeds the launch of new IP services, reduces risks and aligns corporate objectives with your program.

The Challenge of Change…a true story

So your company is planning an all IP network. The CTO is delivering technology roadmaps, the COO is assessing the service portals, and network designers have been architecting for eight months. The program is well underway and people are now starting to plan the migration.

So, you start to scope out the effort required to deliver migration and calculate that it requires hundreds of resources to manage a switchover. You approach engineering to secure the resources, and are informed HR is managing a release program, remunerating engineers to leave the company. The same engineers that you need to deliver your program!

Sound familiar?

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Stanislovaitis Kickstarter Campaign Proves VoIP is Not Dead

VoIP is dead? We think not because it plays an integral part in effective unified communications, Internet of things and more. Plus,...

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Mitel Analyst Event 2015 Live Blog #MitelNext

Mitel put on a nice event in Manhattan today. Wes Durow, CMO made a great presentation on where the company was and...

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Bell Labs Helps Mobile Service Providers to Understand and Meet Video Calling Quality of Experience (QoE) Challenges

By Michelle Amodio

The explosive growth of smart mobile devices capable of making video calls is placing intense pressures on service providers to configure their networks to assure users have experiences that meet or exceed their expectations. However, providing a superior quality of experience (QoE) is a complex challenge.

As part of its support of mobile service providers around the world, Alcatel Lucent’s Bell Labs recently looked at the factors that influence QoE) to help service providers full understand all of the issues and what needs to be done to resolve them.

The questions the Bell Labs researchers explored were:

  • What are the key factors that influence QoE for mobile video calls?
  • Are residential broadband networks ready for them?

There was good news on both fronts. The challenges could be identified and categorized in terms of importance, and viable solutions can help operators meet consumer expectations in a timely and cost effective manner, as well as lay the foundation for new profitable services.

The main finding of the researchers was that service providers require not bigger (more bandwidth) networks but faster ones (in terms of response time). They validated that speed, combined with the proper provision of a consistent quality of service (QoS), are the critical determinants in mobile video calling QoE.

HP and Alcatel-Lucent Creating the Cloud-Ready Data Center

By Erin Harrison

Cloud computing has already transformed the way we live and do business. Consumers like the idea that they can access low-cost applications anywhere, anytime, on any device – and enterprises are moving applications to the cloud to reduce costs and streamline operations.

The movement toward to the cloud gives service providers an opportunity to deliver cloud services from their data centers as a natural extension of the network and hosting services they already offer. According to Alcatel-Lucent’s whitepaper, “Creating the Cloud-Ready Data Center,” with the right infrastructure, service providers can leverage their greatest assets: 

Small Cells Technology Fuels New Consumer Market Opportunities

By Erin Harrison

By now, you have probably heard about and read the hype about small cells technology – tiny indoor cellular base stations installed in a household that connect the fixed broadband network to mobile devices within the residence. By increasing service quality and connection speeds indoors, small cells can improve voice calls and provide faster, more reliable data connections and coverage.

Small cells are low-powered radio access points that improve indoor and outdoor coverage to increase capacity and offload traffic – as much as 80 percent during peak times. Alcatel-Lucent, one of the leading femtocell companies, offers the 9360 portfolio of small cells.

According to Alcatel-Lucent research findings from five countries across North America, Europe and Asia, the small cells marketplace in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan will be worth €6.1 billion in total by 2014, with over 34 million subscribers predominantly using unlimited voice, video calling and SMS services.  The findings are highlighted in Alcatel-Lucent’s whitepaper titled, “Small Cells Technology Fuels New Consumer Market Opportunities.”

Alcatel-Lucent's 'Digital Life' Delivers on the Promise of a Truly Connected Home

By Beecher Tuttle

Recent technological innovations – like Web-enabled TVs, file sharing solutions and unified communication applications – have given consumers a feel for what integrated connectivity can bring, and they have developed a taste for it.

With this in mind, Alcatel-Lucent's research wing, Bell Labs, developed a concept called Digital Life Service, a home networking service that enables consumers to connect, share and control a home's appliances and infrastructure. Digital Life allows users to integrate heating, lighting, home monitoring and entertainment – and control these services remotely.

Alcatel-Lucent recently conducted a market research study in China to assess consumer appeal for the service. The survey included residents of eight Chinese cities and focused on identifying projected demand, key target segments as well as drivers and barriers to service adoption.

How Workforce Optimization Strategies Can Improve Quality Management, Scheduling and Employee Performance

By Beecher Tuttle

To succeed in the current economic climate, enterprises need to make customer service a top priority. This task is complicated by the myriad of new channels that today's customers use to contact companies, including social media, email, phone and corporate websites.

In addition, organizations today often maintain a dispersed workforce, making it even more difficult to track and assess communications between employees and customers. In this complicated environment, enterprises need to find ways to evaluate the performance of customer-facing employees, influence their engagement levels with clients and develop routing rules for accurate employee scheduling.

Maximizing employee potential can be aided by a workforce optimization (WFO) strategy that brings training, quality management, customer survey tools, job scheduling, job forecasting, quality assurance, career development and analytics all under one roof.

A WFO strategy, also known as an Employee Effectiveness Model, helps companies identify workforce needs before they become serious while also providing insight into employee gaps and profiles. WFO solutions can also recognize passively engaged employees, giving management the knowledge necessary to filter out lower-tier employees while motivating top-tier workers.

The Customer Experience Disconnect

By Jeremy Melville, Senior Analytics Manager, Market and Consumer Insight, Alcatel-Lucent

There is a big gap in customer experience perception between Service Provider Employees and Business Customers. “So rarely does a customer have to wait more than a minute or so”, said one Service Provider Employee. “My impression of them [the Service Providers] is of a long time sitting on hold”, said a business customer. One theme came up in our research time and again – we were getting almost polar-opposite messages.

Alcatel-Lucent Market and Consumer Insight conducted focus groups and telephone interviews in major cities in India and the United States with Service Provider Employees and Small/Medium Enterprise (SME) Customers in June 2011. Our objective was to better understand the key drivers that lead to delivering a great customer experience on both sides of the coin; from a front-line Service Provider Employee’s perspective and an SME Decision-Maker’s perspective. What we found is astonishing.

A few points of difference include…

Employees feel they deliver a good experience, and SME Customers feel Service Providers need great improvement. Employees believe they take ownership of problems and resolve issues, while SME Customers believe that Service Providers don’t take responsibility for problems and aren’t forthcoming about what’s really going on. Employees feel they answer calls quickly, while SME Customers find they sometimes have to wait a long time in calling queues. Employees believe they transfer customer calls efficiently, and SME Customers are frequently frustrated by having to repeat who they are and why they’re calling.

Alcatel-Lucent: Enabling the Customer Experience Transformation

By Susan J. Campbell 

As a customer service provider (CSP), you are in a considerably advantageous position to capture, mine and analyze data about your network and your subscribers. You have multiple touch points that provide valuable information and as you gather insights regarding your customers’ preferences, experiences and predicted behaviors, you’ll be in a much better position to transform the customer experience.

An Alcatel-Lucent white paper, Customer Experience Transformation via Analytics, explores this concept in depth, focusing on the fierce competitive environment that exists for CSPs in a dynamic market. Service providers today have to work harder than ever to keep customers happy.

Dynamic Communications Essential for Railway Transportation

By Susan J. Campbell 

The concept of innovative next generation communications does not always address the potential in railway telecoms infrastructure; but by ignoring the potential in this space, opportunities for unexploited synergies between the railway telecoms infrastructure and passenger communications are lost.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent white paper, Dynamic Communications for Innovative Railway Transport, explores the business case for adopting new systems as it changes by the maturing of enabling technologies. The migration to an LTE-supported wireless backbone offering multiple services leverages key technologies that are already being tested and validated. Initially, this offering was used for innovative applications; soon it will be capable of acting as the data bearer for signaling systems in the future.

Building Effective Business Ecosystems Through Open Innovation

By Mae Kowalke

Many visions exist for what the next generation of business communications technology will look like. The potential for resources like 4G LTE networks get a lot of talk time these days. But what will it take to actually turn all these visions into reality?

Alcatel-Lucent’s stance is that there are four vital elements to driving the development and adoption of faster, better communications technologies:

4G Technology: Benefits for First Responders

By Mae Kowalke

Quick: in an emergency, what’s helps the most to save lives?

No, it’s not food, water, or shelter. According to George Ed Ryan, Director of Communications for the State of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, the most vital element related to public safety is: information.

This is especially true when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks.

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