GTB Innovation Awards 2010: results 4/5

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Winners of the business service innovations category in the 2010 Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards

Business service innovations

Satellite IT innovation
Winners: Q-Kon and ND SatCom
IT applications over satellite

Xwarp is the first satellite-based IT solution which offers multi-location companies or their IT service providers real-time, latency-free software performance — especially for business critical applications such as SAP, Oracle, and MS Office.
Overcoming latency and maintaining reasonable costs have been a real challenge when transmitting information over satellite. Satellite communication networks have usually not been the first choice for backup networks and/or enterprise connectivity for time sensitive applications.
With Xwarp, companies are able to provide virtualized IT applications over satellite from headquarters to users anywhere and anytime — at the same time offering latency-free user experience.
Xwarp consists of an advanced satellite router, a zero latency engine and security enhancements to ensure efficient secure private satellite network connections.
It is possible to save up to 80% satellite capacity for online applications in multi-user environments. As an example, within three years total costs for a 90-user network are reduced more than 50% compared to other satellite solutions.

Satellite service innovation
Winners: SeaMobile Europe and Expand Networks
Resilient satellite communications for Tearfund

Tearfund is a relief agency that works in 60 countries in the developing world and supports over 1,000 front-line staff responding to natural and man-made disasters, including the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti. It needed resilient communications across its network of aid teams.
Experiencing latency and packet loss over its satellite networks, its employees had limited access to applications and bandwidth capacity was becoming an increasing concern. With this in mind, they looked to optimisation technologies to improve the performance of the satellite links, in order to provide reliable connectivity for its overseas workforce.
It wanted to address several challenges, including very poor internet access, which meant that employees were unable to efficiently read and edit centrally stored documents. In addition, the organization had difficulty running its finance application, which was hosted in London and delivered across the WAN using Microsoft Terminal Services.
Expand’s solution is integrated with space communication protocol standard technology, which is ideal for satellite environments.

Satellite billing innovation
Winners: Thuraya and LHS
Centralised billing and customer support

Charging and billing of the complex value chain in Thuraya’s business in 110 countries required 64 instances of their legacy billing and customer care system. All Thuraya’s billing operations were migrated to a single instance of LHS’s BSCS iX release 2 based in a single database.
A single consolidated database replaced the previous multiple software installation billing environment. The project introduced charging capability for GPRS and data services and the ability to cover all services in a single consolidated bill.
The platform can be used forThuraya’s ultimate goal of prepaid/postpaid convergent charging and billing.
The system improved ease of operation of customer care system for customer service representatives and enabled centralised customer care for all markets. It provided several invoice formats that suit each country’s needs.

Supply chain innovation
Winners: Vodafone and cVidya
Dealer risk management 

Dealers’ commissions can reach over $1 billion a year in large mobile operator. The economic slowdown increases the risks and raises the need for automated tools that will guarantee transparency to dealers’ activities, detect commissioning errors, alert on dealers’ misbehaviour and identify which dealers to reward and which to consider their dismissal.
Vodafone Germany selected cVidya’s DealerMap suite to manage dealers’ commission plans and rates, to avoid overpayment to dealers, and to prevent various incentive abuse scenarios.
The solution’s benefits include transparency of payments, full reconciliation and validation of paid commissions, incentives and bonuses, scoring of dealers according to profitability, risk, and bad-debt. These benefits sums to several million euro in annual savings.
After the full implementation of this project, Vodafone is able to extend reliable financial assurance to verify dealer commission payments, based on tangible information and data analysis.

Business delivery innovation
Winners: Aircel and Oracle
Offer design and delivery service 

Aircel grew in 2009 from 15 million customers in 10 different states in India to 31 million across 18 states. It was required to process more than 800,000 orders per day, with peak-loads in excess of 100,000 an hour, and each order represented one or multiple handset or service requests.
The company’s existing infrastructure was too rigid and complex. Multiple customer product catalogues meant providing a single view of orders on one dashboard was not possible, which made reconciliation with data across sales, billing and provisioning systems difficult to manage. As a result, Aircel was struggling to deliver products and services to customers on time, and was also suffering from lost revenue as a result of failed customer billing.
Aircel now has more than 33 million subscribers, across 18 different states, with continued plans to expand its customer base to 50 million by the end of 2010. Teaming up with Oracle Communications, the company implemented Oracle Communications Order and Service Management 7.0 to ensure rapid offer design and order delivery of services to customers with rich business logic, scalable design, centralised decomposition and orchestration, and multi-service support.

Subscriber service innovation
Winners: Telefónica and Nokia Siemens Networks
Identity management for subscriber-centric networks 

Argentina is one of the most dynamic telecommunications markets in Latin America. Operators are competing for market share while penetration continues to increase. Data traffic per subscriber is the highest in the region and even leaders like Telefónica’s Movistar are required to innovate in order to attract new customers.
Since service delivery management is critical for long-term success, Movistar was also aware of the fact that an effective approach would entail the consolidation of essential user related data distributed all over the network.
Nokia Siemens Networks’ identity management solution is the key to realize this and to gain the trust of Movistar customers and third party service providers by assuring the identity of each individual and partners accessing Movistar’s network and services.
Movistar’s first offerings include single-sign-on and service federation, but will also enable the transformation of its business and generate new revenues from Web 2.0 partners.

Open access network innovation
Winners: NYnet and Occam Networks
Business park open access fibre network 

Access equipment from Occam Networks is at the heart of one of the most advanced open access networks, handling traffic to and from a business park, where businesses enjoy broadband levels at or above 100 megabits a second.
The blown fibre network to and around the site can provide full line-rate bandwidth on every GPON port. With its ability to offer a full array of advanced services, including business ethernet and IPTV, it is also ideally suited to future requirements.
Inside the product is the Occam Packet Engine, a system designed specifically to support the massive ethernet and IP processing demands of business users.
The Scarborough Business Park is a £9.6 million plan designed to create 1,000 new jobs during the next ten years — a significant development in such a remote location.

Business application innovation
Winners: Exponential-e and Alcatel-Lucent
Corporate WANs with application management and control

Application-assurance delivered from the network is an industry first. Business customers are empowered to manage and control the applications on their wide-area network without any need for dedicated customer premise equipment.
The application-assurance capability is embedded by Alcatel-Lucent into all of Exponential-e’s VPLS-based WAN solutions and allows users to view, report on and control their own applications via their own self-service portal.
Incorporating the capability into the network rather than from a device keeps things really simple for the customer and avoids the cost of multiple CPE devices, which often have an impact on network design. As a hosted service the customer begins seeing the benefits of the solution immediately. There is no need for upfront investment and no hardware management.
As a result ICT staff can concentrate on ensuring that their business applications are running as smoothly as possible.

IT service innovation
Winners: BT and Riverbed
WAN optimisation service 

A new managed service from BT, available internationally, removes latency and bandwidth problems and enables multinational customers to transform their IT with confidence.
The benefits are substantial, improving application performance by typically two to 50 times, often up to 100 times or more, while containing or reducing total costs. Innovative technology eliminates the impact of network latency, where applications can behave as though on the LAN even when working across continents.
The strain on access links is relieved by improving bandwidth utilisation by 30%-60%, even up to 90%, saving money by preventing network upgrade or enabling cheaper network alternatives. In the most expensive regions the cost of the solution with a smaller network link compared with the cost of the next largest link can be up to 70% cheaper.
The managed service incorporates the latest developments from Riverbed, which can be applied to both existing and new generation IP networks.

Small and medium business service innovation
Winners: Mobilkom Austria and Kapsch CarrierCom
Fixed/mobile convergent centrex 

A1 Network Professional is an evolutionary step in terms of unified communication and offers a hosted PBX service with fixed and mobile telephony including fax and optional internet services.
It is a scalable fixed-mobile-convergence solution provided over GSM, UMTS and broadband using only common standard protocols. This service has been jointly realized in close cooperation with Kapsch CarrierCom.
Each subscriber is reachable via predefined, unique short extension number without the necessity of dialling any prefix for fixed or mobile telephony. Additionally one voicemail for each subscriber and a shared company address book ensure enhanced reachability for each employee.
Call management features are available for all network users independent of the device. This service works without any special client on the cellular phone. The network administrator can easily activate additional user devices or order options for the whole company via a central system administration platform.

Business migration innovation
Winners: BT and Ontology Systems
Optimising and accelerating product and system migration

The innovation improves speed of migrations by 50%, cost savings by 30% and minimises risks involved. Migration planning is a costly and labour-intensive process.
The system uses semantics technology to discover dependencies, measure cross-correlations of products, processes, systems, networks and customers, understand the knock-on effect of a migration and allow stakeholders to conduct “what-if” scenario analysis to determine optimal order of transformation steps.
Information is pulled into our toolset from various data inventories, gets semantically tagged and is gradually organised into a uniform ontology with complete descriptions of dependencies. This is advantageous over existing technology’s inability to capture sufficiently the meaning of information and reduces the number of iterative expensive consultations with the data owners/experts. The ontology can very flexibly evolve by changing existing or introducing new dependencies with minimal impact on the integrated data.
The toolset was developed in 2009 and was trialled in a multi-million-pound transformation programme in BT Global Services.

Other sections:
1: fixed infrastructure innovation
2: wireless infrastructure innovation
3: wholesale service innovation
5: consumer service innovatio and editor's award