Next Generation Communications Blog

BT leverages the power of Rapport™ APIs to drive service innovation in a 3 days hackathon

By: Sue White, Head of Communications and Collaboration Marketing, IP Platforms, Alcatel-Lucent

I crossed the English Channel to spend a few days in Ipswich. Not to explore its beautiful port but to participate in the hackathon organized by BT, hosted by its Innovation Hub in Adastral Park (7th to 9th July).

ALU.8.4.15.a.jpgHackathons are flourishing these days. These are fast, dynamic, creative
events in which software developers collaborate intensively around ideation and prototyping with specific Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and on dedicated themes such as mobile apps, internet of things, home automation, connected car, etc.

BT leveraged our Rapport APIs and Rapport Sandbox to run their first hackahon. Rapport is our communications software platform, used by service providers and large enterprises to deliver voice, video and messaging.

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IPX Can Enable Revenue Innovation for Voice Wholesalers--Part II

In Part 1 of this series, I wrote about a couple of revenue generating ideas for IPX providers. So how can...

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YipTV Offers Free Trials for International TV

The news of OTT video growth hasn’t abated – Netflix continues to impress with earnings, Verizon reportedly has a new millennial-aimed OTT...

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IPX Can Enable Revenue Innovation for Voice Wholesalers--Part I

When I attended International Telecoms Week (ITW) back in May, I wrote about how voice wholesalers are looking to expand their...

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Expect Cloud UC Player BroadVoice to Acquire and More Inside Scoop

BroadVoice begins to construct new headquartersBroadVoice has been having a great deal of success lately – they’re moving to a new HQ,...

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How The Marketing Behind U.S. Presidential Campaigns Works

While social media has become a big factor in political donations in the last decade or so, its worth pointing out a...

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Why Broadband May Not Be The Answer

This is a look at a typical Internet Minute: And that is the consumer stuff filled with social and real time...

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Content is King: Choosing the Right Partner Ecosystem to Create High Value Multimedia Services

By Susan J. Campbell For those network operators hoping to drive revenue and profits in this new market, the primary focus must be on rich, quality content delivered whenever and wherever the customer demands it. An inability to do so is putting the customer on the fast track to find another provider, leaving the network operator struggling to find new customers in an intensively competitive industry.

When content is the primary focus, service providers may find themselves struggling with making the change in a way that is successful, profitable and sustainable. One of the best ways to make this change is to leverage a partner ecosystem to create high-value multimedia services.

Think about the direction of the market: Internet content is steadily moving to broadcast TV and online content remarkably resembles TV output. As platforms rapidly converge, the surviving media is searching for a home.



Monetizing the Multimedia Value Chain

By Susan J. Campbell

In the realm of media communications, there is a state of unrest. Multi-channel TV and Internet content distribution has enjoyed strong growth, but something had to be taken down in order for this growth to succeed: incumbent terrestrial public and commercial broadcasters. As a result, these companies are struggling with significant revenue stream and business model issues.

As these companies must change the way they do business to monetize the multimedia value chain, what elements should they consider to get the job done? One option is the pay platform. Free-to-air (FTA) broadcasters can take advantage of the opportunities in this space as the market has long favored the pay-TV business.



Why Brands Will Pay More for Interactive Advertising

By David Sims

The number of IPTV subscribers is accelerating. Which means the need to keep the user experience for IPTV entertainment services at the leading edge is far more acute. If you want to use your IP infrastructure to expand your revenues through personalized and interactive advertising, Alcatel-Lucent offers some tips and helpful advice. You many want to check some of their offerings as well. Since you're positioned between advertisers and the subscriber, you can use your relationships with subscribers and network assets "to create audiences -- helping advertisers reach the right consumer with the right ad at the right time," they advise. "Service providers have begun to tap into the potential revenue of interactive advertising or are planning to," Alcatel-Lucent finds in a comprehensive white paper on the subject. "Nearly half of the service providers surveyed by Heavy Reading are already selling advertising and most of the remaining service providers are either evaluating their strategy or making plans to use some form of advertising soon." And bear in mind that not only does IP technology help you to deliver the ads more efficiently, "you are able to more precisely measure ad performance and IPTV usage, providing your media partners with insight into the consumer to better tailor their advertising and content offerings." That sure sounds like a win-win-win situation, as Alcatel-Lucent says: "The consumer sees ads that are more relevant, the advertisers know they are reaching the right consumer, and you unlock new revenues." In fact, the white paper concludes, "Service providers agree that advertising will become an important revenue stream over the next five years. Over two-thirds of the service providers surveyed expect advertising to generate up to 10 percent of their revenue in the next five years.

How Can You Reduce OSS/BSS by Choosing the Right Network Integration Partner

By Susan J. Campbell

The rules of the game are changing for the network operator, demanding the selection of an integration partner. This is not only a challenging task, but also an important one as making the right choice can help to reduce OSS/BSS.

In fact, without the help of an experienced managed service partner, the network operator cannot begin to enjoy the benefits in today's business models. With the right partner in place, the network operator can be assured success in new projects and that their strategic initiatives will remain a priority.

To reduce OSS/BSS, the network operator must first select the right partner. The first step is to ensure the potential partner has global references that support claims of industry-leading experience.





Best Practices for Network Operators to Strengthen Relationships with ACPs

By Susan J. Campbell

The environment for the network operator is changing as consumer demands are changing. Relationships with application content providers (ACPs) are morphing from distant functionality to arm's-length collaboration to drive value in the market. It is essential for network operators to strengthen these relationships, although it can be a challenge.

To overcome challenges to building relationships, Alcatel-Lucent has some keen advice for developing best practices in strengthening these relationships and maximizing market opportunities. Such practices will demand change, but the change is very doable and will deliver measurable results.



Maximize Outsourced Partner Value: Minimize Risk and Transformation Downtime

By David Sims

"The ideal partner," says a recent white paper from Alcatel-Lucent, "will focus on creating business value for the enterprise and will have a broad range of network, services and the multi-vendor equipment experience needed to create a complete management solution." How to choose the right partner, though? Alcatel-Lucent gives some help. It makes good business sense to consider an outsourcing partner that can address all the aspects of enterprise network management and transformation, they advise: "The ideal partner will run and evolve the network better than the enterprise itself and do it at lower cost to the enterprise." In other words, an outsourcing team should become part of the enterprise team. They should report to the enterprise CIO and keep a focused management team on premises with direct access to the other IT functional teams. The right partner works directly with the CIO, manages external IT partners and suppliers and understands enterprise network technology. The right partner will understand enterprise communications, understand voice and data carriers, both fixed and mobile and understand carrier equipment and networks of the carriers. They'll be experienced working in a multi-vendor environment and have no vested interest in the enterprise's other expense streams. They will be experienced in management and experienced in transformation. This team, Alcatel-Lucent advises, "should take over the governance of the network including managing the service, the network team, finances, and vendors supporting the network." This means regular reports to enterprise management should detail the state of the network, updates, revisions, incidents, and performance. An outsourcing partner "must have extensive background as a network integrator, including design and operations of network and IT environments," the paper says.

How Network Providers Fit in the Mobile Advertising Value Chain

By Susan J. Campbell   Mobile advertising is exploding as a whole new way to reach consumers with more personalized content and allow network providers to establish a new, sustainable business model.

As this is a whole new world, it can be difficult for network providers to figure out where they fit in this value chain. Once they establish their place, however, the possibilities can be endless.

In the past, network providers could "sell" certain information about their subscriber base to interested parties. They could also align partnerships with advertising providers based on the cumulative activity of the subscriber base.



Best Practices for Creating an Effective Advertising Ecosystem

By Susan J. Campbell

Network providers are facing a whole new set of obstacles as consumers are demanding more from the network, but want to pay less for what they receive. Much of this demand includes rich content - much of it video - that strains the network infrastructure and presents new challenges for survival.

On the flip side, those network providers who can meet this growing demand will find much loyalty from their customers. They will also find that they can easily drive new revenue streams, generate demand for new services and even charge a premium when they achieve differentiation. The question for many of these network providers is how to achieve this level without working themselves out of the game in the process. The answer is in personalization that is privacy protected.



Selecting the Right Business Model to Enable the Delivery of New Applications and Services

By David Sims According to a recent Alcatel-Lucent-published study, supporting the business case for enablement of third-party applications is still "a significant challenge for network providers," one that requires "analysis, planning and understanding of implicit tradeoffs." For the majority of network providers, the difficulty in building a business case is the single largest obstacle to launching new "application developer friendly" initiatives, Alcatel-Lucent finds: "Many network providers are overwhelmed by the seemingly daunting task of developing an application and content provider program business case that simultaneously addresses strategic, financial and competitive imperatives." This challenge is further amplified by the rapid pace of change in the application and content ecosystem as well, company officials say. There is a way for network providers to overcome this challenge. Alcatel-Lucent has performed economic modeling with the goal of providing a solid understanding of the basic business case options, including key revenue and cost components, drivers and tradeoffs between models and scenarios. Naturally tailoring to each individual network provider's implementation and context is required. Analysis, based on multiple business models and NPs key decision components, leads to "a practical economic and technical situation for ACP collaboration implementation," Alcatel-Lucent officials say. The insights, which are spelled out in greater detail in the paper itself, are based on Alcatel-Lucent primary research using a broad representation of network providers worldwide. However, one significant challenge with building the business case for ACP collaboration is the myriad of potential approaches for engagement. Network providers are challenged with selecting an appropriate approach and building a business case that is aligned with their strategic goals and tailored to
their individual situation. To that end, Alcatel-Lucent has identified core business models, representing the major approaches employed by network providers for ACP collaboration. The top three business models are summarized briefly here: Operator Led. This is the model where a network provider takes full responsibility for the program and establishes direct, standardized relationships with many ACPs. Aggregator.

How IP Transformation and My IC Phone Benefits the Hospitality Market

By Susan J. Campbell   If you think about the hospitality market, the key focus is to create the most optimal experience for the customer. It doesn't matter if the experience has to do with a room, food, service, communications or scheduling an event, the customer must feel like they are the most important person ever to walk into the establishment.

Now that more and more companies - including those operating in the hospitality market - are moving to an "all-IP" environment, the opportunity to enhance the customer experience has expanded to connectivity. With the "My IC Phone" from Alcatel-Lucent, customers gain access to reliable, fast and convenient access to multimedia communications capabilities. 
  This new solution is designed to revolutionize the desk phone in order to create and deliver personalized mashups or industry-tailored applications. The business traveler can take advantage of an open platform and a new interface that utilizes multi-touch display, Bluetooth and USB support.


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