Next Generation Communications Blog

Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source...

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The Contact Center's Seemingly Oxymoronic Play: How to Decrease Costs Yet Improve Customer Service

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It...

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The New Facet of Customer Experience Management - Field Service 2.0

By: Rhodo Odysseos, Product/Solution Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, and Jess Verbruggen, Motive Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

Traditionally, communications service providers (CSPs) have treated the field service aspect of their organization as a cost center. Field technicians engaged in maintenance activities were simply a part of the cost of doing business.  More recently, the communications industry in general and the field service arena in particular, has been disrupted by immense changes in the customer profile, service expectations, and behaviors.

Field service is often the only face of the company that a customer will ever see, so it’s not a surprise that CSPs are striving to make a positive impact on customers in this realm. Achieving full potential in field service saves CSPs a lot of time and money. Productivity and efficiency reviews targeted at field service operations, done correctly, can reinforce other areas of the business by increasing customer satisfaction and improving safety and quality. 

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Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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Alcatel-Lucent: Market 'More than Ready' for Multi-screen Services

By Susan Campbell

Consumers today are carrying multiple devices and service providers need to develop solutions that enable rich content delivery and applications across all of those devices if they hope to be able to effectively compete in this market. This is especially true as the line between traditional broadcast TV and online multimedia content is quickly blurring.

Today’s consumer wants to be able to watch TV and video content without having to be tied to a fixed program schedule or the home television. Consumers are rapidly adopting more flexible viewing experiences that include connected and mobile devices, such as tablets, smartphones, PCs, netbooks and more.

Knowing the Value of Your Network Capabilities


By Tracey Schelmetic

Apps. We're crazy for them, much to the gratification of those who build them and those who sell them.

As a growing number of network providers are investing to speed the delivery of new services to an increasingly more demanding consumer and enterprise market, many of these companies are finding value in supporting the delivery of third-party applications. With the success of Apple's App Store, consumers are demanding more and better apps, and the network companies are very happy to provide them. Mobile network providers serve over two billion subscribers collectively — nearly half of the global mobile subscriber base, and that number is expected to go nowhere but up. Network companies are eager to increase their time-to-market, and spur innovation, but competition is fierce and the terrain is new: companies need to truly understand what the best approach to take in application development is.



There are a lot of options, and most network providers differ from one another greatly in their approaches to developing and marketing apps: some providers are investing heavily in recruitment and training of developers; some are tapping into existing developer communities; some appear to be courting the media’s attention, whereas others are holding closed beta tests of their application enablement platforms.


How Smart Metering Technology Can Help Enterprises Lower Energy Consumption

By Beecher Tuttle

In today's volatile economic times, enterprises and SMBs of every size and stature are looking to lower operating costs to improve their bottom line. To achieve this goal, a growing number of companies have made the decision to embrace green energy solutions, which can help eliminate the incredible amount of power that is wasted each year in the course of delivering electricity through a traditional grid. These cost-saving initiatives are also being adopted by companies that are looking to become more eco-friendly.

According to a recent CIO Magazine survey, more than 54 percent of IT executives indicated that their company has already implemented environmental sustainability initiatives, with both business and social reasons in mind.

Many of these enterprises that are working to implement green energy solutions on a holistic level have turned to intelligent networks and smart metering technologies.



The High Cost of Failing to Meet Customer Expectations

By Mae Kowalke

Providers of next gen communications services often find it a challenge to meet customer expectations. Because life is so busy and fast-paced for consumers, the key to winning, serving and retaining clients often boils down to quickly and effectively responding to customer calls—especially calls originating from mobile phones. 

A recent Opus Research report authored by Senior Analyst Dan Miller explores the topic of meeting customer service level expectations, and introduces the concept of intelligent Customer Front Door (iCFD).

Miller describes iCFD as “a set of applications and technological resources that enable businesses to identify callers and quickly aggregate information about them to assist in successfully resolving their needs.”

Implementing iCFD is typically an incremental process, involving the integration of intelligent routing and self service into contact center applications.



The Eternal Challenge for Wireless Providers: Ensuring Quality with Wildly Fluctuating Bandwidth

By Ed Silverstein

With advances in mobile networks, many changes are ahead. Service providers will need to plan for fluctuations in bandwidth consumption. They also want to be able to maintain the quality of the user experience.

These changes are the result of mobile service providers moving to 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, explains Alcatel-Lucent. But for service providers to take advantage of the benefits that IP and LTE offer, they will need to change to a business model that takes advantage of users’ needs for enhanced services and applications, says the company.

It is clear that the need is there, and it is rising exponentially.



How Can Service Providers Benefit from the Healthcare Revolution?

By Ed Silverstein

There has never been a more important time in the relationship between healthcare and communications. Alcatel-Lucent works with healthcare providers to develop a communications infrastructure that improves patient care. The company realizes healthcare operators need access to knowledge instantly and the right people connected at the right time. They have to improve responses and increase the time caregivers can spend with patients.

Healthcare providers face the multiple challenges of enhancing patient care while improving operational efficiency and ensuring clinician satisfaction.



Mobile Payments Opening Up Huge Opportunities for Service Providers

By Ed Silverstein

An increasing number of network providers are adopting new business models and embracing open development. Such activities represent new strategies to accelerate application enablement and address the growing demand for applications across consumers and enterprises.

By efficiently enabling applications and collaborating with third parties in a more open manner, network providers can establish their place as value-added participants in the emerging application ecosystem. There is no “one-size fits all” approach for network providers to accomplish these objectives. Instead, network providers will need to consider, and possibly adopt, multiple business models to reap the full benefits of the application opportunity.


Operators Must Seize Key Vertical Market Opportunities

By Susan Campbell

As a service provider, you have endured a number of changes in the recent past. You no longer can survive by simply offering voice and messaging services and consumers want so much more. You have likely had to change your business model and align yourself with key partners in order to identify opportunities and leverage your assets in order to change directions in your strategy.

Within that new strategy is the need to align yourself with proven players so you can better address the opportunities within key vertical markets. One provider who is helping service providers across the globe to re-define their strategies and position themselves for sustainable revenue generation is Alcatel-Lucent.



Bridging 2G, 3G and 4G Network Capabilities via LTE

By Susan Campbell

Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks have gained much attention as of late, especially as network operators are scrambling to keep up with the data demands on their legacy networks. The bandwidth demands aren’t likely to reverse and those operators unable to keep up will soon learn how quickly customer churn can proliferate through all channels.

While the change to LTE can seem daunting and even scary, the good news is that such a transformation can solve a number of problems that the increase in demand has caused. At the same time, LTE can help to reduce the cost per megabit and build a service-aware infrastructure that will appeal to mobile broadband services.

This is much easier said than done, however.



Six Core Business Models for Application and Content Provider Collaboration

By Beecher Tuttle

For network providers competing in the current economic conditions, creating a business case for the enablement of third party applications can being a very trying task. With the fast-paced nature of today's application and content ecosystem, developing a strategic and financially-sound ACP program business case involves meticulous planning and research as well as a thorough knowledge of the variety of modeling options that are available.

In an attempt to offer network providers a better understanding of the number of potential business case options at their disposal, Alcatel Lucent recently performed wide-ranging economic analysis that goes through the pros and cons of each solution. While officials with the global telecommunications giant admit that each business model will need to be tailored to a network provider's specific situation, the article should give NPs a framework to make the best decision for them.

Alcatel-Lucent identified six core business models that represent the most common approaches for ACP collaboration.



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