Next Generation Communications Blog

October 2010

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Expose Network Capabilities to Facilitate Innovation on a Smart Network

By Ed Silverstein

In a Web 2.0 world, explosive growth in demand "has created an environment dominated by third-party application and content providers," according to an analysis from Alcatel-Lucent. These ACPs, company officials say, "are not only delivering the applications and content generating the huge increase in traffic, but are also benefiting from the associated revenue." Mobile network providers want to take advantage of the money being generated. TMCnet's David Sims says that to meet end user expectations and get a piece of the new application and service revenue pie, a recent Alcatel-Lucent study found, "mobile network providers must find new ways to use their network assets to work with third-party partners." The Alcatel-Lucent Open API Service, company officials say, might be a way to accomplish this. The service provides a hosted, cross-carrier application mediation environment network providers can use to "expose valued network assets to multiple third-party partners to improve time-to-market with new applications and multimedia content for targeted end users." In other words, as a network provider, you'll stand out for the value you add, instead of being replaceable. Most any network providers can effectively manage relationships with one or two key third-party development partners.

Creating New Revenue Ecosystems by Leveraging M2M Generated Data

By Susan Campbell

In this new consumer-driven, technology-based environment, it is no longer enough to offer a single source service and expect it to satisfy your customers. Even if you still have the best customer service in the industry, you have to able to extend out your offerings to meet current demand or you will find customers will quickly tire of what you have to offer and move on to the next best thing. The key focus for you is to always be the next best thing so you can protect your base.

New revenue ecosystems can be created by leveraging M2M generated data. You already know that the demands on your bandwidth and network have exceeded your original intentions and current, flat-rate pricing and operator gross margins for data services are already becoming unsustainable.

Content is King - For Multi-Screen Advertisers, Too

By David Sims
"Content wants to be free from platform restrictions; free to move around and follow the consumer." So says industry observer Jon Gibs, adding for good measure that "it's a fallacy to compartmentalize consumers into mobile, TV or Internet users." Gibs points to Nielsen studies, which, he says, show that "high-consuming individuals remain high-consuming individuals, regardless of the device or platform they're using." Makes sense, some people just have to have it, and they'll take it any way they can get it. Plus you have to figure that heavy users of content will have diversified their addic- sorry, their consumption means. Therefore, Gibs concludes, content and service providers "need to look at content and delivery from the consumer's perspective rather than categorizing consumers by platform... Customizing content for as many screens as possible will allow content and service providers to enhance the multi-screen experience and retain the attention and loyalty of consumers." Alcatel Lucent has published a recent post by Connie Torres, arguing that in tandem with this trend, "advertising helps drive multi-screen innovation and new business models." Multi-screen, Torres says,"can expand the reach, impact and effectiveness of digital advertising. Service providers can profit from understanding what multi-screen services users want." Young people today, those prized by advertisers, "no longer simply want to be connected," Torres finds: "They want rich, Web 2.0, interactive multimedia experiences that can be enjoyed according to their needs, and on whatever device they are using - PC, TV or mobile. The Alcatel-Lucent Market Advantage Youth Lab was created "to understand the wants and needs of this important consumer segment," Torres reports. "The Youth Lab provides unfiltered access to the perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of 13 to 26-year-olds from around the world. In one recent study, Alcatel Lucent officials say, "answers were sought to key topics relating to the three devices (PC, TV and mobile) used as multi-screen services endpoints."

Alcatel-Lucent's New Ethernet Switch Outperforms Enterprise Core Market

By Ed Silverstein

There is now global availability of a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GigE) enterprise switch from Alcatel-Lucent that the company says sets a powerful standard in non-blocking switch capacity, port density, low-power consumption and price-per-port. The OmniSwitch 10K Modular LAN Chassis is the first of a generation of network infrastructure offerings that exemplify Alcatel-Lucent's approach to enabling Application Fluent Networks, the company says. By leveraging the intelligence in the OmniSwitch 10K, enterprises benefit from a network based on user, application, device and location - resulting in better services as well as streamlined operations, and lower management costs for IT. Businesses also save on capital expenditures because the average price per non-blocking port of the OmniSwitch 10K is one-quarter of its nearest competitor, the company said. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled its Application Fluent Network approach for its next-generation network infrastructure products.  

Real-Time Visibility of Performance and Productivity Empowers Employees

By Susan J. Campbell 
A balance between performance and cost is a true challenge for contact centers to find. When that contact center is mission critical to the business, it must be able to achieve differentiation from competitors in the market, while also meeting increasing service demands set forth by customers. To complicate matters, the combination of the two must be integrated with a strategy to drive efficiency in operations.  
Technology has always played an important role for these companies. The right technological solutions can help the organization to achieve goals and leverage contact centers as a strategic asset.

Leverage Communication APIs to Create High Value Enterprise Service and Web 2.0 Application Mash-ups

By Ed Silverstein

The growth of broadband has helped to shift user focus from voice and personal communication to multi-media and content communication, and that's just the beginning for a smart network that makes application enablement a reality.

The increase in data traffic has network providers racing to keep up with the demand for bandwidth -- a continuous demand for bigger "pipes."  The challenge is to do so at a profit and in a way that leverages the intelligence of the network. This race isn't just for more bandwidth or greater coverage -- it's about creating sustainable business models that allow for the combination of high value network capabilities with the speed and innovation of the Web to provide consumers and enterprises a richer and more trusted Web experience -- what Alcatel-Lucent calls application enablement. With Web 2.0 enablement, Instant Messaging (IM) and Social Networking have led to wide-spread yet close-knit communities while viral spread of content and news happens at such a pace that people face 'information overload'. Consumers are now bringing their new tools to the office expecting them to work seamlessly as they do at home. In the consumer market, a driving force behind much of the growth is youth and young adults. They are still asking "why" "what if" and "why not" questions. Alcatel-Lucent's Market Advantage research shows an overall interest in higher quality of service and centralization. • Users believe the technology will make their lives better • Users want to do more with TV, phone and PC • Storing and sharing information are more important • Mobile shopping provides value; • and Market trends align with research. A recent report on App Store's top grossing applications shows the top pick by consumers is a new social networking app, the second most popular is entertainment, third and fifth are mapping/GPS apps, and fourth is -- yes -- a shopping tool.  At CTIA Spring 2009, three new apps stores were launched by major vendors.

Top 5 Aspects of Customer Engagement: How They Create Brand Loyalty

By Beecher Tuttle

To experience success in today's economy, companies need to provide their current and prospective customers with an unmatched level of service and support. For growing enterprises, this can be a very trying task.   Due to the size and complexity of some companies, a customer may be forced to interact with an automated system, an at-home agent and a sales support worker during a single engagement. Enterprises that fail to put forth the time and resources to refine their customer service solutions are bound to suffer from poor retention rates.   On the other hand, companies that properly engage their customer base are much more likely to improve their revenue streams. Engaged customers are more prone to purchase additional products and services, make brand recommendations to their friends and remain loyal to the company. This type of customer is also the least expensive to service.   When putting together an integrated customer service strategy, enterprises should take into account five key customer engagement ingredients that can help them create brand loyalty: interaction, resources, infrastructure, processes and performance.   The majority of enterprises today still have legacy infrastructure and disparate hardware and application systems that make it difficult to create a synergistic customer engagement experience.

Alcatel-Lucent TechZine, Web 2.0-Style Magazine Launched

By Beecher Tuttle

The global communications industry is a rather complex space. It seems that almost every day a new product or service is introduced that is capable of revolutionizing the market on either the consumer or enterprise level. To stay in the loop and on the cutting-edge, communication technology professionals need to be regularly updated on the most recent trends, innovations and industry standards. In an effort to provide a one-stop shop for business leaders and consumers who have a professional or personal interest in the global communications industry, Alcatel-Lucent recently launched its third online publication, Alcatel-Lucent TechZine. The interactive Web 2.0-style e-magazine will provide readers with a variety of communications-related content, including a wide range of articles, videos and blogs authored by industry insiders. "Alcatel-LucentTechZine will provide current, informative coverage of pertinent, technical hot topics in the communications industry that are important to our customers," Patty Wong, global managing editor for the publication, told TMCnet in an exclusive interview. The new e-magazine will foster a very collaborative online environment where readers can post comments, share ideas and answer poll questions about the hot topics in the field today. The publication also features and "Ask an Expert" page where readers can participate in a back-and-forth discussion with one of Alcatel-Lucent's high-ranking technology professionals. What truly sets Alcatel-Lucent TechZine apart from other company-sponsored publications though is that it is being co-managed by Bell Labs researchers, giving it a truly unbiased feel. "There are topics and technical challenges within our industry that are important to discuss regardless of who a customer is purchasing from," added Wong. "Those are the issues that we seek to respond to with Alcatel-Lucent TechZine."

Best Practices for Improving Network Monitoring and Management

By Susan J. Campbell Network operators are more successful when their networks operate at peak performance levels. To ensure they can achieve such levels, proper network monitoring and management solutions must be in place. While such solutions can deliver value to the network operator, true optimization can be achieved through self organizing networks.

Alcatel-Lucent helps to drive self organizing networks (SON) through inter-cell interference coordination or ICIC. SON is standardized by the 3GPP and the Alcatel-Lucent implementation of the ICIC feature helps operators to maintain outstanding quality on their LTE network, without additional OPEX.

According to Bell Labs studies, ICIC offers the service provider specific benefits, including hand over failure that is reduced by 5 fold; increased throughput by up to 30 percent; and a performance increase in call setup.

As the entire licensed frequency band is available to all LTE cells of an operator, interference can be caused at the cell edge.

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