This is the daily news service produced by Global Telecoms Business at TeleManagement World in Nice, France, on May 17-20 2004.
This news is being edited from our stand, number 112, at the event and is being printed for delegates as well as posted to our website.
For more details about the event go to the TeleManagement World website.
You can contact the editor, Alan Burkitt-Gray, by email to email@example.com or by phone during the event on +33 4 93 92 84 01. After the event call +44 20 7779 8518.
News from TeleManagement World: May 18-20
Global Telecoms Business is the official publication at this year's TeleManagement World in Nice. The conference takes place on Monday-Thursday May 17-20 2004; the exhibition starts on Tuesday May 18.
Issue 3: May 20 2004
TM Forum plans Asia-Pacific events
The TeleManagement Forum is increasing its presence in the Asia-Pacific market with a series of events in the region over the next few months, starting in Bangkok in August.
The centrepiece of the programme is an expanded TeleManagement World Asia-Pacific, a conference and exhibition which is booked for September 1 and 2 in Tokyo. The TM Forum has been running lower key events in Tokyo for a number of years.
"It won't be as large as this event in Nice, but we're expecting 40-plus exhibitors and 400-500 delegates," TM Forum president Jim Warner told Global Telecoms Business yesterday. The Tokyo event will be in its third year, he added.
Meanwhile he noted that the Nice conference is the second biggest in the TM Forum's history, with the 1,979th delegate registering on Wednesday morning. "We expect to get up to 2,000," added Warner. The largest Nice event was at height of the dotcom and telecoms boom, when 2,200 delegates registered. The TM Forum's US events are traditionally smaller.
But the TM Forum's Asia-Pacific round begins before the Tokyo booking, when the organization sponsors Thailand's National Telecom Day in early August. The event, run in collaboration with TOT, the incumbent, runs on August 5-6, said Warner. The event will include a CEO forum, as well as a technology stream. "We're filling that with speakers now."
On the Monday after the Tokyo conference in early September delegates will be running a one-day version of the event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, said Warner. "This is hosted by Telecom Malaysia and the prime minister of Malaysia will make the opening remarks."
The TM Forum has already hired an executive in Kuala Lumpur to help with the event, said Warner — part of a gradual expansion of the organization's staffing levels. "We have 35 people now," he said.
The TM Forum will take a breather after Kuala Lumpur — while preparing for the US TeleManagement World in Long Beach, California, on October 11-14 — but is looking at organizing events in Bangalore and Beijing in December. "We have no firm plans yet," conceded Warner, "but we've also had interest from Dubai and from eastern Europe."
Meanwhile the TM Forum is seeking to increase its activities in areas related to OSS and BSS, including billing, security, business process management and metrics, he added.
About 33% of the delegates to Nice were from service providers, said Warner — but the percentage reaches around 40% if exhibitor officials are excluded. "About 30% of our delegates are senior executives, compared with about 10% a few years ago," he added.
Telecom Italia signs Nokia for technology innovation
Nokia and Telecom Italia have signed a deal to collaboration in technological innovation.
At the same time the Finnish supplier and the Italian incumbent operator have signed a commercial framework agreement for the supply of network solutions to Telecom Italia's affiliates in both Europe and Latin America. This part of the deal covers network solutions, including core and radio access networks for GSM/EDGE and WCDMA 3G, as well as broadband networks.
Kari Sundbäck, director of networks sales and marketing at Nokia, said: "This deal is proof of our long-term relationship and the trust that Telecom Italia places in our technical solutions, our wide implementation experience, and our robust support."
Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding covering technological collaboration, "the two companies will exchange their visions and strategies for innovations in communications technologies, as well as jointly test, validate and trial new technologies", said a joint statement. Joint development projects may also be undertaken under the scope of the MoU, the companies added.
Nokia's vice president of networks, Roberto Loiola, said: "We are extremely pleased that Telecom Italia, one of the premiere operators around the world, values Nokia as a strategic partner in the future success of its telecommunications business."
Nokia used TeleManagement World in Nice this week to launch a range of new OSS tools for mobile operators as part of its NetAct portfolio.
The products include a tool that offers visibility to traffic over circuit and packet switched networks, and tools that increase to efficient network operations through maximum re-use of existing resources targeting lower operating costs and speeding up the service launch.
"Operators are seeking ways to run their networks more efficiently, managing many technologies at once," said Jyrki Holmala, vice president and general manager at Nokia Operations Solutions.
Sonic powers TeliaSonera payment project
The Finnish operation of TeliaSonera has deployed a corporate payment processing service integrating RosettaNet and Swift. The service, using Sonic Software's systems, is the first European deployment in a groundbreaking corporate-to-bank XML integration project.
TeliaSonera Finland and an unnamed partner electronically exchange billing and payment remittance advice using the telco's electronic messaging services.
Antti Partanen, product development manager at TeliaSonera Finland, explained: "It can take three to seven days to transfer critical financial information from a bank in Singapore to a Finnish bank. With this system, we can transfer the information globally in just a few seconds."
Sonic "provided strategic guidance as well as expertise around the RosettaNet and Swift standards", he added.
The project was organized by Mobile-Zoom. Co-founder Ismo Rantala commented: "Together with Sonic, TeliaSonera Finland has made the model for this automated payment process."
Meanwhile Sonic is playing the key integration infrastructure role in a TeleManagement Forum catalyst project at TM World in Nice to test the applicability of web services for integrating disparate operational systems in the telecoms industry.
The catalyst project, codenamed Cobwebs — crossing operational boundaries with web services — is sponsored by BT and Colt Telecom.
Alun Baker, Sonic's managing director for the EMEA region, said: "This project is the beginning of the end for silos of business applications in the telco industry where the high cost of integration holds back business creativity and future development."
Telcordia deal with AePONA
Telcordia is working with open network services specialist AePONA to jointly offer a pre-integrated wireless service delivery platform.
The system, announced at TeleManagement World, is designed to enable carriers to rapidly deploy advanced new services, such as converged prepaid, one number, location-based and fixed and mobile virtual private networks across 2G, 2.5G and 3G networks.
Roberta Cohen, Telcordia's head of wireless, cable and emerging markets, commented: "Time-to-market is critical for carriers who want to keep pace with consumer demands for data-rich services. Our offering with AePONA will help to enable wireless service providers to decrease costs and improve profitability by going to market faster with highly reliable services that are interoperable across networks."
The joint offering is part of the Telcordia Elementive strategy, and uses AePONA's Causeway OSA/Parlay Gateway to access new mobile network capabilities.
"Many carriers are still unable to deploy new technologies quickly because they are locked into platform-specific applications," said Michael Curran, AePONA's senior vice president for sales.
Sweden's B2 tells how to make VoIP pay
Swedish broadband operator B2 will be talking about its success in marketing voice over IP services across the country today (Thursday) at TeleManagement World.
"We are a replacement for the first line phone," video and voice manager Thomas Vasen told Global Telecoms Business yesterday. The company is offering self-install VoIP services to customers with or without PCs.
"We ship a Cisco adaptor, for which we don't charge," said Vasen. The company's monthly charges and call rates are about 20% lower than the rates set by the incumbent.
Customers connect their adaptors into ethernet jacks, which it has installed in 300,000 homes across Sweden — mainly through agreements with apartment block owners.
"About 40-45% of our jacks are now paying customers," said Vasen. Some use the connections for fast internet access and for video services, but a number just take the VoIP telephone service.
"This has the same look and fell that the incumbent has to offer," said Vasen. "We offer call forwarding, local number portability and emergency services." Unlike some VoIP operators, B2 — an abbreviation for Bredbandsbolaget — does not allow customers to move their connection to any ethernet port or wifi hotspot.
"We want it to work for 85-year-olds and for students," said Vasen.
B2 announced at TeleManagement World yesterday that it has extended the use of its Micromuse Netcool technology to manage business-critical applications and systems.
The installation monitors its entire voice and data infrastructure in real time, said B2. The software also consolidates application performance data with network event information into a single view for operators in the company's Karlskoga-based network operations centre.
"The system correlates all alarms and B2 can quickly work out what customers are affected and for what services," said Victoria Starr, vice president of strategic business solutions at Micromuse.
HP supplies fault management to Canadian and Swiss mobile operators
Canadian carrier Telus Mobility has gone to Hewlett-Packard for a national fault management platform for both its IT and telecommunications networks.
The operator will be uses HP OpenView information technology management solutions in its IT environment and has now completed an implementation of HP OpenView TeMIP to manage its mobile infrastructure as well, HP announced at TeleManagement World in Nice.
Hilbert Chan, vice president of corporate engineering at Telus Mobility, said that the company had "engaged in an RFP process to determine the best vendor for our national fault management platform", before choosing HP for "the functionality of the solutions, the capabilities of HP Services, and the ability of HP to deliver comprehensive management solutions for both our IT and our telecommunications environments".
At the same time HP announced a contract with Switzerland's incumbent, Swisscom, to deploy OpenView TeMIP for fault, performance and service impact analysis in its mobile core network.
Patrice Haldemann, head of network operations at Swisscom, commented: "We wanted a single company with both OSS applications and consulting and integration skills — so we could reduce project risk and control costs. HP met this requirement and offered a broad and flexible application set, which was valuable because we are rebuilding our OSS from the ground up across a diverse network technology set."
Ananda Subbiah, HP's worldwide director for OSS and BSS, told Global Telecoms Business that operators are now recognizing that OSS has a positive revenue generation capability.
"In the past a lot of operators wanted cost containment," he said: they wanted to track faults, operate alarms, "and do more with less". But now operators are saying that they have the capability but not the scalability: "They are asking: 'How do I exploit more of what I've got today?' and 'How do I stop my customers from churning?'" said Subbiah.
OSS is "now a revenue generating capability", he added. HP "has one of the most advanced NGOSS implementations" and "we continue to enhance that with next generation network services, IP services, mobility services and — potentially — rich media content".
HP and Cramer announce first joint product
Cramer has announced the release of a product jointly developed with HP's Netman operation.
The first product is an adaptor for Marconi's ServiceOn Optical, which optimizes inventory alignment processes.
The new adapter is the first of a series, said Cramer and HP at TeleManagement World yesterday, following the launch of the Cramer-HP Netman Adapter program in late 2003.
Peter Simpson, Cramer's director of partner programmes, said: "The joint adapter programme strikes at the core of operators' most essential back office requirement — low cost, effective, failsafe integration of mission-critical back office applications."
The first product "gives a preview of what Cramer and Netman will do together, and sends a strong signal to operators — they now have an alternative to high cost, one-off integrations".
Christian Poulsen, CEO of HP Netman, added: "Cramer and Netman built the synchronization adapter in record time, proving the strength of what will become a long term relationship."
Sheer confirms new investment
Sheer Networks has announced the closing of a fourth round of financing lead by Star Ventures. Participants in this round include most of Sheer's current investors, which include JVP, JK&B, Rein Capital, Morton L Topfer, Ray Lane, Nokia and 3Com.
Sharon Barkai, co-founder and EVP, said: "We have experienced keen interest from multiple entities while leading this round of financing, in addition to the active participation of existing investors. But we were most impressed by Star Ventures' industry standing, business professionalism, and personal integrity."
Sheer supplies Bezeq, Singtel, KT, as well as in several operators in the US, Mexico and South America. The company will use this new funding to expand sales, marketing, executive management and field operations.
Service Alliance links mobile OSS suppliers
The new Service Management Alliance is using this year's TeleManagement World in Nice to introduce its collaboration to customers.
The SMA has been started by four suppliers — Argogroup, Casabyte, NetTest and WatchMark-Comnitel — to ensure their products are interoperable.
Lowell Anderson, interim chairman of SMA, commented: "The SMA member companies are committed to making its products work seamlessly together so that operators can provide the best data and voice services to their customers and do it as cost effectively as possible."
Allan Vestergaard, president and CEO of NetTest, added: "By co-operating with other SMA members we are creating added value for our customers. No other single company in our industry can deliver that today." David Frodsham, CEO of Argogroup, said: "Our products are working together seamlessly."
The SMA provides a forum for systems vendors which are interested in developing and delivering service-management solutions to wireless service providers, the new alliance explained. The forum serves as a focal point for discussion and for the advancement of service management solutions and encourages cooperation between member companies for the development of solutions and knowledge within the service management sector.
"Europe is a tremendously exciting market for the SMA," said Anderson. "All our customers are looking to source best-of-breed OSS solutions, but to do it without paying the integration overhead that normally comes with this strategy. The SMA's main aim is to ensure interoperability between products from all its members."
John Hansen, CEO of WatchMark-Comnitel, added that the SMA "will be an important resource to promote advancement, awareness, and industry collaboration of service management solutions for the benefit of wireless service providers".
John Read, president of Casabyte, warned that "the wireless industry is still at an early stage of development" and noted: ".Operators want to buy best-of-breed infrastructure solutions that allow them to differentiate on service quality, but without the support and integration overhead normally associated with buying products from a range of different vendors."
Issue 2: May 19 2004
MetaSolv helps BT provision VoIP in minutes
BT can provision voice over IP services in minutes thanks to its OSS implementation, MetaSolv CEO Curtis Holmes told yesterday's opening session of the TeleManagement World conference.
Voice over IP "is not about reducing cost, but about generating new forms of revenue", Holmes said in his keynote speech to OSS leaders from across the world.
As he was speaking, MetaSolv made the formal announcement that BT has chosen it to supply the service fulfilment solutions for its hosted VoIP offering.
"BT claims it's the larges hosted VoIP site in the world," Holmes told the conference. With the OSS installed, "provisioning time has been reduced from hours to minutes".
The first phase of the system MetaSolv has supplied to BT includes a domain manager solution which automates the provisioning and activation of VoIP services to business customers in the UK and across Europe. The complete package includes network and service inventory, provisioning order management, inventory reconciliation and discovery, and service activation.
Glenn Presland, BT's hosted IP telephony product manager, said that the system "gives us the ability to automate the provisioning of our hosted and managed VoIP products". He confirmed that provisioning time per site has been reduced "from several hours to several minutes".
He added: "These results considerably enhance our customer experience, and provide us with a competitive edge in the marketplace."
Earlier in his keynote speech to the conference, Holmes said that the industry has emerged into "a period of stablization" after the deep recession. "We've never seen anything like what happened in 2001-03," he said.
He said that operators have to focus on new revenue generating opportunities, "and OSS has a role in that", but he warned operators against looking for "killer applications". He commented: "We will never really know the killer applications. It's a futile search," and asked who could have predicted a $1 billion market in ringtones. "That was never put up on a whiteboard," he joked.
He praised a series of partnerships between operators and suppliers — mentioning Lucent's with Verizon as well as his own MetaSolv's with BT — as allowing the vendors to understand service providers' needs.
"We have to start looking at how we work together, and that includes the systems integrator community too," said Holmes.
OSS needs to move focus to end customer, says Lucent leader
OSS suppliers should move their focus from the network to the customer experience to reflect the new needs of operators, Lucent executive Janet Davidson said in her keynote speech to TeleManagement World.
Speaking in the opening session of the Nice conference on Tuesday, Davidson, who is Lucent's president for integrated network solutions, told the OSS community that this is one of the major challenges they face.
"OSSs are poised to take centre stage," she added. "They're no longer a back office function."
Davidson explained that demands from customers had increased, and this was reflected in the customer premises equipment they were buying. Their requirements had gone from single services to "a personalised world — blended and personalised".
She spoke of her own wish "to get to pick the CPE based on my lifestyle and preferences". Apart from her MP3 player, she also wanted to be able to log onto her Lucent local area network "wherever I am" and have the same user experience. "I want services to follow me rather than the other way round."
At the same time service providers are offering bundles of services that used to be delivered separately, she said, and this is increasing the demands on the system.
"But there's not a lot more opportunity for the network to add value," she added, listing services such as authentication, storage, transport and billing. "There's a much richer transaction environment."
Davidson highlighted the particular challenge of integration, though. "We spend 50% of our time and money on integration," she said. "Customers have to spend a fortune," every time they install a new service.
The OSS community should develop "a common framework for doing that", she said. "We need to solve this problem and free up that spending."
And she said that service assurance was a key job for OSS, though she implied that sometimes checks were left too late. "I'm a runner. By the time you're thirsty, you're dead," she said.
Orange to personalise the mass market
There is no mass market, one of Orange's senior marketing people told TeleManagement World in Nice yesterday. "It's a contradiction in terms."
Martin Keogh, vice president of brand, marketing and products at the Orange group, told the conference that the company is developing a range of phones for customers with individual needs and requirements.
And the company is even trying to identify a customer's needs the moment they walk into an Orange shop, he told Global Telecoms Business later.
"We want our people to ask a few questions to identify the category they're in," Keogh said in an interview with GTB's TeleManagement World Daily News. "This is a top-level characterisation."
The idea is to help staff identify the right device, tariff, care package and even set of programs for a customer as smoothly as possible, to implement them before they're out of the store, and let them leave with a fully configured phone.
The company has already launched exclusive phones, including the Orange SPV, specifically designed for individual sectors of the market, he told the conference in his keynote address. But now it has issued a set of specifications — including "one-touch access to key services" — for new phones. "We have written 100 mandatory specifications and 100 nice-to-have but non-mandatory specifications," said Keogh.
But the next stage, he told GTB, is what he calls "implicit personalisation", where the network recognises from a customer's subsequent behaviour what sort of services they might be interested in.
This starts with a text message timed for the moment you walk out of the cinema — having bought the tickets using the phone, of course — to tell you about a special offer at a restaurant round the corner.
"We want to make customers say: 'Wow, that's good!'" said Keogh.
Location-based services will be important to that, he added. "If you want a taxi, we would ask whether it's for where you are now or for your home address, for example," he suggested.
BT announces mobile pact with Vodafone
At a press conference in London yesterday BT announced a ground-breaking deal with Vodafone — once its main rival for UK mobile services — to offer converged fixed/mobile services.
The deal covers BT Mobile, the virtual network that has currently been operating on T-Mobile's infrastructure for consumers and O2's for BT's business customers. Future connections — put by BT at 20,000 a month — will run on Vodafone's UK network.
"The current contracts with those companies [T-Mobile and O2] will be honoured," a spokeswoman for BT Mobile told Global Telecoms Business. However it is not clear if existing users will eventually be migrated to services provided on the Vodafone network.
BT says that its customers will benefit from true fixed-mobile convergence by being able to communicate and access the same information and services however and wherever they want.
"No longer will they have to carry multiple devices, look up mobile address lists on different phones, or use more than one voicebank or phone number," said the company. BT says its goal is to generate around £1 billion of annual mobility and convergence revenues in five years.
Pierre Danon, CEO of BT Retail, said: "It is a development that will play a key role in helping us build on our success to date in offering mobile services to the business and consumer markets. It is a first relationship of its kind, going way beyond any normal service provision deal, as we will work closely on a number of fronts, with Vodafone UK providing the network services for BT's internal and external requirements."
BT also confirmed it is to launch Project Bluephone as a first step to handset convergence before the end of the year.
The company, which is working with Alcatel, Ericsson and Motorola, plans a "soft launch" involving more than 1,000 customers this summer.
Steve Andrews, BT Group's chief of mobility and convergence, said: "We have moved from future vision to reality."
Teleca wins Vodafone inventory deal for Middle East
Swedish group Teleca has announced a new contract to supply an inventory management system to MTC-Vodafone in Kuwait as part of a larger agreement with prime contractor Harris Corporation. Teleca will deploy the inventory management solution based on software from Cramer.
At the same time Teleca said that it had been commissioned by Norway's Telenor to supply a business process management system to the company that will be used to support and automate the workflow Telenor uses to build network infrastructure.
MTC-Vodafone in Kuwait will use the Teleca and Cramer solution to manage inventory in its GSM/GPRS network.
It will work with the Harris fault management and ADC Metrica performance management systems to provide highly automated service assurance.
"We're pleased to note that our continuing success in delivering OSS solutions for wireless and wireline operators is bringing results," said Johan Strid, managing director of Teleca OSS. He hopes that successful deployment in Kuwait could lead to additional commissions for operators connected with MTC in the region.
"We've been awarded this contract because we were able to present a well-integrated solution," added Strid.
The MTC Group operates in Kuwait and Bahrain as MTC-Vodafone; as Fastlink in Jordan; and as Atheer in Iraq. "Together with Teleca's proven ability to deliver successful OSS projects with short times to market this will bring significant business value to MTC-Vodafone in Kuwait," said Strid.
MTC-Vodafone last year celebrated 20 years in service in Kuwait and recently announcing its one million customer milestone against fierce local competition; while the operation in Bahrain was the first to launch a commercial EDGE and 3G service in the Middle East.
The MTC Group has also been awarded the contract to take over the management of LibanCell in Lebanon.
BPM for Norway
Meanwhile Telenor will install the business process management system in its network build unit, which is responsible for developing networks to support the services for customers, including fixed network, mobile and cable TV services.
Teleca has been awarded this new project partly because of the success of the Flow platform, which coordinates the delivery of over 2,500 product types supplied by the company.
A survey carried out by Meta Group shows that Telenor saved close to $8 million during the first year the Flow system was in use. The new system will reuse the same platform.
"We're very pleased that Telenor has once more chosen Teleca to develop a business-critical support system," said Strid. The solution is based on a concept aimed at companies that manage the ordering and delivery of products and services. "One big advantage of the concept is that it is can be introduced quickly. It raises quality by shortening delivery times and improving delivery precision, follow-up and control."
Tertio's Siemens link brings Mobilkom eastern deals
Tertio's deal last year to supply its service activation platform via Siemens has led to contracts with two of Mobilkom Austria's operations in eastern Europe.
VIPnet in Croatia and Si.mobil in Slovenia will use Tertio's Provident service activation solution to support services for their 1.5 million subscribers, Tertio announced at TeleManagement World yesterday.
And Nigel Clifford, CEO of Tertio, hopes there will be more. "Our contracts with VIPnet and Si.mobil reinforce Tertio's leading position in service activation and demonstrate our commitment to working with the mobilkom austria group in this fast-developing region," he said.
Provident was chosen as the preferred service provisioning platform within the Siemens Mobile OSS programme in 2003, and Siemens's ICM division — Information and Communication Mobile —is equipment vendor to VIPnet and Si.mobil.
Tertio's Provident solution — chosen through a competitive tender — streamlines the service activation process to ensure fast introduction and modification of any services on any network. It will support VIPnet and Si.mobil's growing service portfolios, particularly for data services.
Nenad Štancl, head of IT at VIPnet, commented: "Our goal in implementing the provisioning tool was to get as much as possible flexibility and decrease of time to market for provisioning of the services to the network elements."
It is important to lower the operational costs and decrease the amount of necessary investments, he added. "Now we have the potential for easy in-house configuration of new protocols, agents and commands for the interfaces between business support systems and network elements."
Tertio already works with the Hutchison 3G, T-Mobile and Vodafone groups.
Eircom picks Evolved to plan broadband access
Irish incumbent Eircom has chosen Evolved Networks to plan its fixed-line broadband access network, the OSS supplier announced at TeleManagement World yesterday.
The contract covers the axcessfirst Planning & Design system from Evolved, a BT spin-off now backed by NVP Brightstar, Coller Capital and New Venture Partners.
Tony Wray, director of network management at Eircom, said that "the vast majority" of his budget would be spent on the access network in 2004-05.
"My core network OSS already gives me the automation I require, but it is the access network that accounts for the greater management cost," he added. He was looking for a system to plan the access network "without the usual costs and arduous effort required".
The system will help produce new network build plans by automating design and including a full bill of materials. Eircom hopes to use it to decrease capital and operational expenditure and to increase productivity.
Chris Sharpe, chief operations officer at Evolved Networks, said: "We are delighted to be working with Eircom." No price was put on the contract.
Datamat seals deal to bring ConceptWave to Europe
Italian IT company Datamat has signed an agreement with ConceptWave Software to supply the Canadian OSS company's products to the European telecoms market. The deal between the two companies was announced on the first day of the TeleManagement World exhibition in Nice.
Stefano Orlandini, general manager of Datamat's telco division, said the deal covers ConceptWave's Order Care range. This "is based upon an innovative metadata-driven technology and complemented by the leadership and experience of our mutual partner, Telcordia Technologies", he added.
Datamat centres its OSS universe on an inventory system, with processes such as fulfillment, assurance and mediation around that. "ConceptWave's Order Care product enters this universe in the service fulfillment area, contributing key order management functionality."
He said that the agreement is in line with Datamat's strategy to develop its OSS competence centre in Italy, based on a knowledge of multi-service network environments, OSS best practices and enabling technologies. Datamat implements OSS solutions for major Italian tier one operators.
Zarar Rana, ConceptWave's president and CEO, commented: "ConceptWave chose Datamat as a technology partner because Datamat has a precise understanding of OSS and how to assemble creative, valuable solutions for their customers."
Orlandini added: "This successful combination will enable Datamat to utilize the resources of both ConceptWave Software and Telcordia Technologies to address unique customer requirements in the area of order management, in a highly cost-efficient manner."
Datamat supplies IT to various sectors in Italy, including banking, finance, insurance, defence, space, telecommunications, media, utilities, public administration and healthcare.
Make change a way of life, Willetts tells conference
Telecoms operators have to accept the challenge of providing better services at the same or less money. It's not a one-off but will become a way of life.
That was how TeleManagement Forum founder and chairman Keith Willetts opened the conference in the Acropolis Centre, Nice, yesterday.
He told the industry's leading software and systems experts that they had to take a lesson from other industries where "we've got used to the quality of things increasing while the cost stays the same or falls".
In the PC industry Moore's law means that suppliers have "to continue to pack in new features", added Willetts. But in telecommunications "apart from handset makers" he asked whether companies "try to pack in new services".
Users will demand more, he said, and this will be a continuous requirement. "Very few understand that this is going to be a permanent way of life", he said.
He told the industry to look at the examples of Dell, Toyota, Easyjet and Tesco, and said that telecoms operators had a long way to go before they really became lean.
"The telecoms industry is overweight and it's on a crash diet," he said, "but it hasn't changed its lifestyle".
However, Willetts happily told the conference that, compared with the past few years, "the industry has bounced back" and noted "smiles on people's faces" at the Nice convention centre.
But he warned delegates: "Some of your companies are in a dangerous cost-cutting spiral." He said that operators needed "a big expansion of investment" in back-office systems.
"They have got the low-hanging fruit," he said, but the industry needs to learn "to make good profits from razor-thin margins". This will require "a tight link with the systems that run them" and needs "leadership from the top" to implement the changes.
He said operators should consider appointing change management leaders from other industries that have been through similar processes.
Welcome — and sorry to J R Lowry
Welcome to the second daily newspaper published by Global Telecoms Business at this year's TeleManagement World.
The conference resumes today at 09.00 with five simultaneous sessions on topics from wifi to Java. The last session, starting at 17.45, offers a vendors' perspective of NGOSS.
Apologies for accidentally omitting J R Lowry of McKinsey and Company from the list of keynote speakers in yesterday's issue.
Lowry told the conference that incumbent carriers around the world face a major challenge. Though they have gained a respite from the industry downturn, a new round of upheaval looms ahead.
Most incumbents will need to reduce their cost structures by upwards of 30%, while simultaneously increasing speed to market and operating flexibility. Traditional cost cutting and staff reductions have reached their limit in many cases, and IP migration will occur in too evolutionary a fashion to deliver sufficient near-term improvements.
Issue 1: May 18 2004
Welcome to TeleManagement World 2004
Welcome to the first day of TeleManagement World in Nice. The conference kicks off this morning with four keynote speakers — see below.
Tomorrow's TeleManagement World Daily from Global Telecoms Business will report the keynotes. Remember to collect you copy from the distribution points around the conference and exhibition — or come to see us on stand 112 on the lower floor of the exhibition.
Keith Willetts, chairman of the TM Forum, speaks at 09.00 on the past 12 months in the telecom industry and looks forward to the next 12 months.
Martin Keogh, Orange's vice president of its global brand, marketing and products, is standing in for Sanjiv Ahuja, originally scheduled to speak at 09.30 before Ahuja was promoted to group CEO. He speaks on complexity versus simplicity.
Janet Davidson, Lucent's president for integrated network solutions, will speak at 10.30 about convergence promoting personal empowerment at work, at home, and on the move.
Curtis Holmes, president and CEO of MetaSolv, will speak at 11.00 about recovery in the industry: as excitement builds around the promise of IP-based services, both mobile and fixed operators will need to focus on OSS, he will say.
Engagement in Nice as TM Forum embraces OSS Through Java
Jim Warner, president of the TeleManagement Forum, has kicked off this year's conference in Nice by announcing a formal relationship with the OSS Through Java initiative.
The agreement is aimed at developers which are aligning to the TM Forum's Next Generation Operations Systems and Software framework and which work in Java and Web Services technology.
"Today's announcement is a major step forward," said Warner at the opening of the TM Forum conference in Nice.
"This is a unique and very real industry partnership we are announcing today."
Philippe Lalande of Sun Microsystems, who heads the OSS/J initiative, described the moves as "a concrete foundation that has already been proven in the real world". The move will deliver "what we believe is the most valuable asset ever made available to the OSS/BSS industry". It is "not about intentions or promises", he added.
The TM Forum explained that its NGOSS programme provides a technology neutral business and systems solution framework for next generation OSS/BSS solutions, with the OSS/J initiative focusing on a real implementation of the NGOSS framework in Java and Web Services technology.
The agreement would create "the first comprehensive technology-specific realization of NGOSS".
Warner added: "Through OSS/J, the TM Forum is providing a concrete realization of NGOSS's Technology Neutral Architecture. At a time when economic and technical pressures are bearing down on the inefficiencies of service provider's poorly integrated processes and systems, operators are realizing that off-the-shelf, component-based integration software can transform their businesses. We're making this happen.
ITU recognizes Forum's operations map
The TeleManagement Forum has won a major boost in its campaign for recognition for its role in setting international standards for telecoms operations software.
The International Telecommunication Union has formally approved eTOM, the Enhanced Telecom Operations Map, the TM Forum's framework for describing and analyzing the activities of service providers.
This is the first time a TM Forum standard has been recognized as an ITU-T recommendation by the ITU, which is the United Nations body that co-ordinates the world's telecommunications.
The announcement — made on the first day of the TM Forum's conference in Nice — follows a partnership deal cemented last year between the ITU and the TM Forum. The partnership makes use of both organisations' resources and expertise in order to enhance international standards in operational support systems.
Now the TM Forum is expecting this first agreement to be followed by another, covering the human-machine interface.
According to Tom Winlow of Nortel Networks, leader of the TM Forum's HMI team, "more than 60% of an application's code deals directly with the HMI, and we know that there are only a few of these key task patterns".
The TM Forum is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the interaction between management systems and the people who operate them. HMIs from different vendors — or even from the same vendor — can be incompatible.
"The HMI team has proposed a solution to standardise these common task models and patterns," said Winlow. "Once standards are produced, vendors will have a powerful tool to help minimise their HMI design costs.
These patterns can be incorporated into the HMI design tools and consistently better user interfaces will result, benefiting both the service provider and vendor communities."
The eTOM structure, now recognised by the ITU, establishes the business language and foundation for the development and integration of business and operations support systems.
The eTOM provides a neutral reference point for service providers and common language for their internal process reengineering needs, partnerships, alliances and general working agreements with other providers.
For suppliers, the framework outlines potential boundaries of software components, and the required functions, inputs and outputs that must be supported by products using the common language of the service providers.
NetCracker wins Telstra OSS deal
NetCracker Technology used the first day of TeleManagement World to announced contact to supply Australian incumbent Telstra.
Delivery on the contract will commence immediately, said Andrew Feinberg, president and CEO of NetCracker. No value on the contract was given.
Andrew Johnson, managing director of Telstra's data and online division, said that the software would provide "one single view and understanding of the client's whole end-to-end network design, detailing client business requirements and business critical elements"
Telstra plans a phased implementation which will kick off with NetCracker's BAM! — business analysis and mapping — process, a joint exercise between the operator and the supplier which is designed to map business requirements and processes and identify any areas which require further discussion.
The operator has purchased NetCracker's Network Inventory, Auto Design & Assign and Order Management applications, said Johnson.
The selection process "focused on product depth and scalability", said Feinberg.
World's largest mobile operator joins TM Forum
China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, is one of 60 new members of the TeleManagement Forum, pushing the membership to 350. The 60 new members have all joined in the past six months, said Jim Warner, president of the TM Forum.
China Mobile lays claim to the world's largest all-digital mobile network and claims a 67% share of the world's largest mobile telecommunications market. It operates through 21 wholly owned subsidiaries, with a domestic network that covers 99% of the cities and towns within its service areas.
"We feel privileged to welcome such an impressive line-up of fixed and mobile operators, system integrators, and solution providers to our organisation," said Warner.
"Their involvement will provide real-world insight into the everyday challenges such companies face and help to progress the Forum's NGOSS initiative to drive efficiency in, and cost out, of the operation of telecom networks."
Other members include Connexion by Boeing, which provides broadband connections onboard aircraft, and SAP for Telecommunications, part of the business software group, as well as optical networking specialist Sycamore Networks, billing company Convergys and systems integrator Atos Origin.
New TM Forum members since December 2003
- Aprisma Management Technologies
- Aran Technologies
- Atos Origin Telco Services
- Cable & Wireless
- Centre For Software Engineering
- China Mobile
- China Netcom Group Labs
- Connexion By Boeing
- Covad Communications
- Econet Wireless Nigeria
- European Technical Support
- Evans Griffiths & Hart
- Expertedge Software & Systems
- Grupo Auna
- Hammerhead Systems
- Iceland Telecom
- Institut National des Télécommunications
- Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
- Integral Access
- Jordan Telecom
- Kingston Communications (Hull)
- Micro Research
- Networking Technology Laboratory
- Nexus Telecom
- Persistent Solutions
- Powerise Software Research
- Practical Enterprise Architecture
- Primal Solutions
- QT Training
- Ramax International
- Sycamore Networks
- TNO Telecom
- University of Southampton
- Zvolve Systems
Azure launches version 8 of Interconnect
Azure has launched the latest version of its interconnect accounting product at its booth at TeleManagement World.
Version 8.0 is the latest version of the Azure INCA — inter-network call accounting — interconnect system and IXBS bureau, which allows operators to analyse call data, bill more accurately and to verify interconnect traffic between themselves and other network partners.
CEO John Cronin said: "Millions of network events pass between operators daily and need accounting for. The latest version will ensure that operators can quickly adapt to new products, contract agreements and regulatory changes, so therefore ensure they receive all the money they are entitled to."
The system incorporates the rules-based rating capability Azure acquired recently from pricing and rating solutions provider, RateIntegration.
Service creation? Do it Thus, says Axiom
Axiom Systems will be marking the launch of its service creation environment this afternoon in a joint presentation with one of its UK customers, telecoms operator Thus.
Gareth Senior, CEO of Axiom, will be conducting a joint presentation with Adrian Rogers, the head of business support systems at Thus, on the operator's use of Axiom's new product range.
"Service creation environments are a way for service providers to generate higher revenues, control costs and increase customer retention in a volatile market environment by simplifying the OSS design process and speeding up implementation," said Senior, previewing today's launch.
The approach is designed for "any service provider looking to launch new bundled services within days, without overloading the internal technical resource", said Rogers, who will be sharing the platform at 14.00 on Tuesday with Senior.
"Customers can now control provisioning costs and streamline service configuration to deliver new services faster than ever before," added Senior.
Axiom's SCE is a version of its AXiOSS suite, which incorporates order management, inventory management and service activation. The main feature is a service creator client, which enables product marketing and product management within the service provider to build services consisting of published components with default service values such as quality of service parameters.
"To use this client, no technical knowledge is required," said Axiom. "The user simply selects, from a list, the components required for the service and 'packages' them up. The components have enough 'intelligence' to interact with each other in order to effectively deliver the service."
MBT in global link with Cramer
Mahindra BT, the IT services company jointly owned by BT, has signed a deal to provide services to Cramer's customers worldwide.
The deal, to be announced today at TeleManagement World, will allow MBT's new planning and inventory business unit to deliver key services including product configuration, installation and systems integration to Cramer's worldwide customer base.
Neil Walker, head of the unit at MBT, commented: "The agreement with Cramer significantly expands the potential reach of our services portfolio. It also demonstrates our commitment to further developing our role as a solution innovator within the planning and inventory management sector."
MBT, with development centres in the UK and India, is a joint venture between BT and Indian industrial giant Mahindra & Mahindra.
Andrew Newton, alliances director for Cramer, commented: "We were attracted by MBT's expertise and experience in telecoms and operational support systems in general, and network planning and inventory management in particular. In addition, as we look to expand our market presence in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, MBT's regional presence will be of significant value."
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