Amdocs APAC In Touch Business Forum : Innovative new ways to stay connected

The Amdocs APAC In Touch Business Forum 2011, held from June 22-23 in Singapore, kicked off with a new technological innovation, in the
form of an In Touch event app – accessible through web and mobile, providing
all details about the In Touch event, as well as allowing participants to meet
and interact with each other on the online platform – before and during the

Talking about ‘Playing to win in the connected world’, Eli Gelman, president and CEO, Amdocs opened proceedings giving an introduction
about Amdocs pure OSS/BSS telecom focus, which allows it to conduct over 1
billion transactions daily, and how APAC is the most important and largest
market for Amdocs.

Four main challenges faced by service providers includethe explosion of data driving a new mindset, customer facing challenges, in terms of wanting to be constantly connected remotely – be it from work, at home, or elsewhere, the carrier ecosystem, and the network facing challenge, which entails keeping up with the volume of data and monetizing it at the same time, according to Gelman.
Tips for managing the sheer volume of data, according to Gelman, include offering new infrastructure, maximizing existing infrastructure, offloading, and network optimization. For monetizing data, some suggestions include dynamic pricing, QoS and bandwidth on demand, M2M, real-time, rules, logic and policy management, and converting the network experience to a customer experience.
Another key problem faced by service providers today is that for the provision of digital services like mobile payments, digital (advertising), and content apps, vendors today bypass carriers and go straight to consumers. Thus, the challenge is to create apps that create the need for each segment to use each other’s services – that is the ecosystem of service providers, developer-aggregators, and consumers.

To win one must transform. Transformation is what
bridges the gap between each player in the ecosystem, and therefore one must
have a transformation plan, implementation plan, re-engineer top business process
or allow the side-by-side working of certain components, while the rest of the
day-to-day functions go on seamlessly. However, this poses some amount of risk.
Thus, the best thing to do is take the help of managed services to fund all
functions, as well as OSS/BSS software, allowing for the redesigning process and transformation,” he said.

This is where Amdocs comes in. The Amdocs DNA comprises three goals that include addressing complexity, industry-first, and always deliver attitude. Rate of change and ability to change is far more than what people think. To ensure data security and privacy elements, Amdocs tests all new services on artificial data, and has security solutions in place for when the situation arises.
Addressing the Indian market, Gelman said that this market is currently evolving, and will witness more scale and complexity in the next five years, when Amdocs will be ready to provide its latest OSS/BSS solutions to this market also.
The Indian market will mature and customer experience will grow. Over time, postpaid will grow and prepaid will become just a technology – so postpaid will be monetized in India. India will also see further consolidation of companies, increased data consumption and the coming in of LTE, which will make operators approach data needs differently. These two factors will lead the change in India, and Amdocs will play a major role in the same,” he said.  
Speaking next about Amdocs’ vision, roadmap and innovation strategy, Rebecca Prudhomme, VP, Product and Solutions Marketing, Amdocs spoke about how Amdocs is investing in innovation to drive business today, while also building a product roadmap to future-proof one’s business. Some of the new innovative solutions from Amdocs that she spoke about included bandwidth on demand – for instance by upgrading one’s data plan/service plan to boost bandwidth temporarily on a per minute pricing, whichis a revenue opportunity for SPs.
Providing the option of a digital locker where

individuals can store content on the cloud in a personal digital locker is yet
another opportunity for SPs – which allows for two networks to work
simultaneously. She also spoke about real-time solutions like multi-play,
real-time charging for on the spot data consumption, and a personalized talking
video bill which through the voice medium, breaks down all the components of
one’s bill, and also offers special offers/discounts in most used components of

Guy Hilton, Product Marketing director, Revenue

Management Division, Amdocs spoke about monetizing the network and monetizing
the cloud. Taking off from where Prudhomme left, Hilton said the data challenge
was thanks to the increase in connected devices, more mobile data,
personalization, and more content/apps.

According to Hilton, solutions for the same include

deploying new networks like LTE/4G, tiered pricing plans, data plans based on
volume – pay-per-use, data volume based on speed (pay accordingly), data volume
based on volume and speed (pay accordingly) across devices, shared family plans
for data/enterprise – providing higher bandwidth for certain top employers, and
applying these solutions to prepaid as well.

The shared family plan for example, would allow each
member to have a certain amount of data, with the ability for members to share
data at a fixed price or pay on-the-spot in real-time for a short-time data
boost. Some of the challenges for SPs include data monetization,
which shows untapped revenue potential, long time to market for new offerings,
and an impaired customer experience, which entails linking monetary aspects
with technical provisions. He said that the evolution of charging and policy –
for instance an independent PCRF, gives rise to integrated solutions – telling
customers exactly what they can do for a limited amount of investment. Some of
these monetisation models thus include controlled package, subscriber control
dashboard – where a subscriber can view, manage and control services, tiered
pricing – customized to various factors personal to individual consumption,
real-time data monetization, and a simple and clear package for individual
customer needs. Some of these plans would include pay-as-you-go – and if the
credit limit is exceeded, get lower bandwidth, break-up of data for different
services  – e.g. video – 5MB, P2P – 3 MB, with complimentary add-ons,
and value-based pricing.

Graeme Codrington, futurist, TomorrowToday spoke next

about understanding the needs of staff, customers, family and friends from
different generations, and catering to those individual needs to let your
company stay ahead.

The panel discussion that followed on ‘The value and
importance of innovation in the Asian communication industry’ saw panelists
that included Brain Shepherd, president, Amdocs Marketing and Broadband Cable
and Satellite Division, Loo Cheng Chuan, acting CEO, Sing Tel Digital Media,
Graeme Codrington, futurist, TomorrowToday, and Mike Losier, SVP, China
Development, Liberty Global speak about the role of innovation in eight of the
ten largest mobile markets in APAC, which are emerging nations, finding new
ways to monetize these markets, as well as the key to establishing successful
partnerships between service providers, integrators and innovative start-up

In the next session, Mike Losier, SVP, China Development,

Liberty Global spoke about connected homes versus wireless clouds, stating that
in the cloud-based world, the home will still be your hub.

This was followed by two customer case studies by Vaughan
Baker, CEO, NZ Regional Fibre Group, who spoke on the future of high speed
broadband in New Zealand, with an overview of the ServCo model, and a case
study from Vodafone D2 on the strategic role of OSS in LTE deployments by
Cassandra Millhouse, VP Marketing, Amdocs OSS Division and Peter Lanfermann,
VF-DE Project Lead, Mobile Network Inventory OSS Replacement, Vodafone Germany.
The two speakers highlighted how the Amdocs OSS solution provides Germany with
automated LTE network planning and rollout processes to speed network
deployment at reduced operating costs, as well as providing the operator with complete
and accurate visibility of its network assets.

In the next dedicated media session that followed, Abhay
Kumar, VP, Amdocs Global Strategic Sourcing Division spoke about different
business models in the APAC region and managed services
trends in APAC. His presentation included notes about how managed services from
an operator perspective can help in time to market competition with other
operators – allowing the operators themselves to focus only on time to market,
while their managed services was being taken care of by a strong outside
entity. This would make the customer experience stronger, and allow for a seamless
experience across devices.

Concluding the event with a presentation on ‘Empowering
enterprise quality management A key milestone in customer experience
evolution’, Alfred Binford, president, Amdocs Consulting Division and Michael
Cooper, senior director, Enterprise IT Quality Assurance, T-Mobile US, spoke
about Amdocs’ Consulting division’s Strategic Services IT delivery approach,
and how Amdocs SI Testing services helps in enhancing the quality assurance of
one’s business, evolving from a traditional outsourcing model to one of
partnership, respectively.

 The event this year also included ‘Experience Zones’ with demos of new technology that Amdocs is working on, including augmented reality
with touch interface, and new social media gateways.

By Beryl M
[email protected]

(The author was hosted in Singapore by Amdocs)