X

Innovative Industry Insights to Help Accelerate Digital Transformation in a Communications-driven World

FEATURED POST

CSP Investment in AI and ML Set the Stage for 5G

Inspired by real-world deployments of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (Ml), Oracle recently released GraphPipe into open source—the main...

Recent Posts

UC and Contact Center

Reducing TCO for UC and Contact Center Networks

Voice is transforming through digital and cloud transformation, with webRTC, video collaboration and unified communications woven into customer journeys inside and outside the contact center. The emergence of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) will further influence requirements IT must evaluate for on prem and cloud environments. As these transformations take place, contact centers should integrate or complement unified communications, but in many cases, contact center networks are fractured—made up of many IP communications platforms, endpoints and services that become difficult to administer. This fosters a reactive rather than proactive approach to managing the network, and IT organizations are forced to put out fires as they erupt as opposed to proactively identifying issues, correlating data and resolving problems. When managing many vendor-specific management applications or general-purpose packet capture and analysis tools, it helps to have comprehensive network monitoring and troubleshooting tools. The can become essential to ensuring service quality and user experiences, especially in complex enterprise UC networks. In fact, third-party management tools can help businesses reduce implementation costs by as much as 76 percent and reduce annual operations expenses by 25 percent. But choosing the right tools can be daunting, as architectures and features vary greatly vendor to vendor. To help streamline the process, Oracle Communications has rolled out a “UC Monitoring and Troubleshootiong Buyer’s Guide,” intended to help organizations choose the right management tools by zeroing in on the foundational capabilities and criteria to seek out in network monitoring and troubleshooting tools. The buyer’s guide reviews the key features and functions of an advanced UC monitoring and troubleshooting solution, providing advice on how to determine if a solution is designed for real-time IP communications sessions, or whether it will provide an end-to-end view of sessions. To assess the functionality, scalability, extensibility and costs of each solution, download the UC buyer’s guide. For more information: White paper: Maximizing Profitability with Cloud Collaboration Enterprise Connect Video: Customer Engagement in the Contact Center

Voice is transforming through digital and cloud transformation, with webRTC, video collaboration and unified communications woven into customer journeys inside and outside the contact center....

Security

TIM Brasil Implements Oracle Session Border Controller as VNF For Increased Agility

TIM Brasil, the Brazilian subsidiary of Telecom Italia, has positioned itself as a leader in 4G and fixed ultra-broadband network markets, with more than 56 million customers and double-digit ARPU growth for this year. With a new brand signature of “Evolution never stops,” TIM is making infrastructure a strategic priority through investments in advanced IP networking technologies and IP services. A large part of its investments have focused on increasing SIP interconnect and peering capabilities with other Brazilian operators to help TIM expand its footprint for Internet, video, voice and cloud services throughout Brazil. As it extends its reach, TIM needs to accommodate an ever-changing array of services and service deployment models, and needed the flexibility and agility to quickly expand and scale as needed. The operator sought a solution that would give it the flexibility to pick and choose different interconnect approaches in different markets while also ensuring security at its borders. In that vein, TIM worked with long-time partner Oracle Communications on virtualizing the Oracle Communications Session Border Controller (OC-SBC), which it had for many years used for SIP trunking and peering. Through its NFV-based data center, TIM implemented the OC-SBC as a virtualized network function (VNF) running on an Oracle-supported bare metal hypervisor from VMWare® (ESXi). Multiple instances of the OC-SBC can now be clustered along with TIM’s existing purpose-built platforms, providing a way to gradually introduce “hybrid clusters,” which offer more deployment flexibility and network agility— and all without compromising the security, interoperability, and reliability of TIM’s purpose-built SBCs. As a service provider in a market as large and dynamic as Brazil, the virtual SBC’s support of all commonly used IP communications enables TIM to peer with a wide range of service providers and to resolve multivendor interoperability and multiprotocol interworking issues. As a result, TIM has shortened innovation cycles and accelerated the introduction of services in competitive markets. Because of the success of this virtualization effort —the SBC being the first virtualized element in TIM’s NFV-based data center—TIM plans to extend this software-based approach to other network functions. To find out more about how Oracle Communications Session Border Controller can enable innovation, reduce capital equipment expenditures and contain ongoing operations expenses, download the following related assets: TIM Brasil Case Study: Oracle Session Border Controllers Accelerate SIP Interconnect Initiative White Paper: Choosing a Future Generation Session Border Controller Platform Trusted Communications Across IP Network Borders

TIM Brasil, the Brazilian subsidiary of Telecom Italia, has positioned itself as a leader in 4G and fixed ultra-broadband network markets, with more than 56 million customers and double-digit ARPU...

Customer Experience

Survey Links Modern-Engagement Technologies to Greater CX and Loyalty

Businesses can expect a 25-30-percent increase in loyalty when using modern-engagement channels, such as HD Voice, HD video, screen sharing, and chatbots, according to a recent Oracle Communications survey, Modern Experiences for Connected Consumers: Creating Digital Customer Engagement." In the survey of 5,028 consumers, 70 percent said they would buy more from a brand that provided contextual, personalized customer service, with 79 percent of respondents citing one-click connectivity with a well-informed associate or knowledge worker (i.e., technician, claims agent, loan officer, nurse, etc.) as key to enhanced customer experience. Another key factor cited by respondents for enhanced CX was prompt, first-time resolution to problems, with 77 percent admitting traditional engagement channels “detracted from their lives,” namely through the friction of navigating menus, having to talk to multiple people, and repeating information. For brands looking to eliminate those frustrations and seeking new ways to nurture existing relationships or forge new ones, 76 percent of respondents in the survey agreed they would use a company that promptly gets them to the appropriate individual with a minimal number of menu selections or inconveniences (i.e., waiting for truck rolls, having to drive to offices, stores or branches). Younger consumers and those highly engaged through mobile apps in particular viewed traditional engagement channels and activities as “tedious and inefficient,” with them voicing an eagerness to experience interactions that are more direct and efficient over their mobile devices at times that in-person human contact are not possible. Satisfaction with engagement was highest in-person, with technologies like mobile apps, video chat and web chat topping the list as well. To find out more about what consumers value in terms of modern-engagement channels, see a summary of key findings in our infographic, and in two sister reports: Regions in Focus, which looks at the main reports’ trends across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand Industry Segments in Focus, which looks at five modern-engagement use cases spanning health care, cable, insurance, and banking (loan and fraud detection) In reading these reports, you will see which technologies can help your brand emotionally connect with customers, improving their perceptions around engagement, value, connectedness, and caring. For more information: New eBook: New Ways to Engage the Connected Consumer Learn more about Oracle Communications modern-engagement technologies Ovum Report: Oracle Live Experience Cloud inserts context across the customer journey Live Experience eBook: Modernize Customer Engagement for the Mobile Generation

Businesses can expect a 25-30-percent increase in loyalty when using modern-engagement channels, such as HD Voice, HD video, screen sharing, and chatbots, according to a recent Oracle Communications...

Monetization

Oracle Emphasizes Focus on Monetization in Subscription Economy

As companies shift from physical products to digital services, they will need to rapidly design and monetize of offerings across cloud, IoT, and future 5G services. They will have to differentiate their services and convert customers with attractive price points and compelling discounts and offers. That will require sophisticated billing, revenue management, customer lifecycle management, pricing, sales, and support. Oracle Communications has continued to invest in each of those areas, even winning recognition recently for being “uniquely positioned” in a post-Oracle Industry Connect report by IDC that evaluated Oracle Communications’ strategy around monetization of new business models. In particular, IDC noted our triumvirate of solutions: Oracle Monetization Cloud, Billing and Revenue Management and Network Charging and Control —a monetization suite that complements greater Oracle’s ERP applications and pre-integrated, easily provisioned SaaS options. Soon after the report, Oracle Communications announced major new enhancements to its Billing and Revenue Management, including new operational user experience features, enhanced security capabilities and updated technology platform support. Of particular importance to digital communications services would be the complete revenue management capabilities that are built to accommodate high-volume, low-latency, and convergent-usage processing. The Elastic Charging Engine will support advanced charging models for mobile, fixed and cable digital services as well as lay a foundation for IoT and future 5G services. For more information: Download the IDC monetization report. Also check out our recent study on creating digital engagement in the age of the connected consumer. And learn more about our major new enhancements to its Billing and Revenue Management, including new operational user experience features, enhanced security capabilities and updated technology platform support.

As companies shift from physical products to digital services, they will need to rapidly design and monetize of offerings across cloud, IoT, and future 5G services. They will have to...

Digital Transformation

Everything-as-a-Service to develop predictable revenue streams, deeper customer relationships

Everything-as-a-service (XaaS) means business capabilities, products, and processes move from being standalone, vertically focused one-time offerings to API-driven horizontal services models that can be leveraged, and hence monetized, across departments, organizations and boundaries. The majority of monetization decision-makers see launching a subscription-based service as a priority, recognizing that to compete in the digital economy they must move away from product-centric, transactional relationships. The focus has to become customer value and consumption-based business models and pricing that allow people to pick and choose what they want, when they want it and where or over what device or through what app. Every step in the customer's journey matters, from social engagement to personalized offers to billing to self-care and assisted-care. Monetization will have to tightly integrate with front-office and back-office applications. For that reason, executives pursuing subscription commerce are increasingly seeking out single-vendor suites across ERP, CRM and monetization. They recognize that current transaction-based tools will fail to work in digital subscription-based models. In fact, IDC says only about 20% of companies have the pricing, billing, monitoring, revenue management, and other “monetization” systems necessary to complete this “make-or-break” shift from selling physical products to digital services. As companies move to XaaS, they will want to personalize services with advanced discounting, and charging based on flexible and dynamic measurements such as events or downloads. Read this Forbes article to learn more about why the XaaS requires a software-driven strategic approach to monetization.

Everything-as-a-service (XaaS) means business capabilities, products, and processes move from being standalone, vertically focused one-time offerings to API-driven horizontal services models that can...

5G

Communications-Enabled AI Will Drive Automation, Personalization

With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), businesses will become more adaptive, real-time, predictive and cognitive—moving away from manual, process-centric approaches to completely automated, data-driven ones that will set the stage for prescriptive and predictive analytics, and a future of autonomous capabilities that will add value to services, interactions, collaborations and relationships. Whether in personal, work or B2C and B2B environments, the predictive capabilities triggered by advances in AI and ML will mean more personalized and value-driven approaches to everything we do. Netflix is experimenting with AI-powered algorithms for personalized movie trailers; automotive companies are thinking about the ways in which cars can transcend transportation and become full-blown IoT devices that entertain, inform and connect people to other devices and collective intelligence; health care providers are improving not only patient outcomes but enhancing the work-life balance of healthcare professionals using AI; airlines are transforming the passenger experience and revolutionizing the detection of anomalies in aircraft. The goals are to remove friction, to automate, personalize, secure, and add value. To succeed, businesses will need to more effectively capture "context" so that a person’s real intentions and preferences are actually reflected in the digital channels and options presented to them. As that happens, businesses will have to provide better interfaces for customers to dynamically change and control their preferences about interactions, devices, channels of engagement and relationships with third parties, as well as what information that can and cannot be shared at certain times, in certain places. These will change as people evolve and become more comfortable or less comfortable with certain technologies, interactions and third-party relationships. For an enterprise to be truly AI-centric, every aspect of the business will require communications in order to enable a better customer experience; accelerate digital business; and improve networks and security.

With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), businesses will become more adaptive, real-time, predictive and cognitive—moving away from manual, process-centric approaches to completely...

Digital Transformation

Top-Five Requirements for a Successful Digital Transformation

Our world is experiencing a digital transformation that is fundamentally reinventing the customer experience, upending traditional business models and operations, and placing greater demands on network and cloud infrastructure. According to the World Economic Forum, digital transformation is a $2.3 Trillion opportunity in the telecommunications and media sectors alone. But it is more than that for communications service providers and enterprises offering digital service platforms because you have a critical role to play in enabling the digital transformation of all industries. Why? Because you provide the communications networks, Internet of Things platforms, and cloud infrastructure, applications and services that help enterprises deliver digital services. More than $10 Trillion of value from digitalization over the next decade depends on the telecom industry. As enterprises and service providers undergo digital transformation, there will be a number of challenges to conquer, including how to: Scale, manage and secure billions of transactions and zettabytes of complex data generated by digital services and content; Manage billions of devices and machines as more people and ‘things’ become connected and communicate with each other; Simplify and automate network functions and operational processes; Monetize and secure digital services and customer data using a wide array of usage and subscription models; and Create more personalized, "live" customer experiences across any digital channel. Here are my top-five requirements to meet these challenges and ensure a successful digital transformation: 1. Connect the Dots There are three key pillars to a successful digital transformation journey — Network Evolution, Digital Business and Customer Experience. By ensuring that your transformation efforts encompass all three pillars in a holistic way, you will be able to connect, monetize, and engage your customers to create new digital experiences. For example, video optimization in the network will improve the monetization of video content as well as the customer’s video experience. End-to-end security, policy, customer data management and analytics across all three pillars can bring the digital experience to a whole new level. 2. Integrate. Integrate. Integrate. Integrated cloud and communications infrastructure, platforms, and services with service-based architectures and open application programming interfaces are essential as more people, devices, and “things” connect, communicate, and transact with each other. This requires that you simplify, virtualize, automate, and integrate network functions and IT operational processes in an on-premise, public, private or hybrid cloud environment. It also requires security at every layer — from data center, silicon chip, database, network, application — to complete monitoring and self-remediation against security policies. And finally, it requires integration of Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Experience, and IoT platforms with monetization and communications applications to connect your entire business — people, processes, and things — to deliver successful digital services. 3. Provide a Complete Concept-to-Cash-to-Care Customer Experience Successful digital organizations put customer experience at the center of every process and operation in their digital transformation journey. They deliver a personalized, contextual and meaningful experience to customers across the entire customer engagement lifecycle, from concept-to-cash-to care. This requires a 360-degree view of what each customer is experiencing, which can be achieved by collecting, analyzing and acting on data at every touch point — from network nodes to mobile apps to social media to self-service to contact centers. By engaging customers on the right channel at the right time, having access to contextual customer data and insights, and quickly resolving customer issues, empowered associates can deliver meaningful and proactive engagement for a better customer experience. Cloud-based customer experience solutions with integrated monetization capabilities will ensure the smooth on-boarding of new customers, with the ability to create, rate, bill, invoice and report on new digital service offers. 4. Deliver Innovative Digital Services Innovation is critical in designing digital services. This can mean providing an all-digital service or a product-as-a-service enabled by digital channels. Either way, the flexibility to design innovative offers that provide customers with choices in how to pay for and consume services is key — whether it’s a recurring subscription, consumption-based pricing, pay-as-you-go charging, freemium pricing, cross-product discounts, bundling services together in different combinations, or charging based on creative metrics. The name of the game is having the flexibility to evolve quickly as market conditions change. Predictive analytics that take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), social listening, and Big Data can help service providers and enterprises present compelling offers based on past behaviors, respond rapidly to social sentiment, and deliver real-time views of business performance. 5. Take Advantage of the Latest Technology Innovations Innovations such as highly scalable and reliable cloud and 4G/5G mobility infrastructure and platforms, AI, ML, biometrics, and blockchain are all part of ensuring a successful digital transformation journey. Integrated Cloud and mobile network infrastructure will need to scale, store, and secure more data, more connections and more transactions. The use of AI in everything from customer service chat bots and robotics to analytics, will allow service providers and enterprises to deliver customer experiences in ways that are both personalized and automated. ML will shift the burden from the user to the applications, which must find the right answers even if the user asks the wrong questions. It will also provide meaningful insights based on data from devices and applications. Biometrics like emotion and behavior recognition will further personalize customer engagements. Knowing what people want to buy or how they want to be treated based on their emotions and behaviors will allow for more effective communications. And finally, Blockchain technology will make value transactions like payments, sharing IoT and customer data and identity, and tracking customer purchases and billing both instantaneous and secure. The future belongs to those organizations that can meet these top-five requirements and capture the trillions of dollars in digital transformation opportunities. Learn more about how Oracle Communications is helping service providers and enterprises in their Digital Transformation journey: For more information: Read the whitepaper: Accelerating Your Digital Transformation Journey: From Network Evolution to Digital Business to Customer Experience The Economist: Pricing strategies and business models for the on-demand economy Monetization as a Competitive Advantage: New Services, New Opportunities Ovum: 10 Imperatives for Digital Customer Engagement The Future of Enterprise Communications: The Cloud Redefines Customer Experience The Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Platforms, Q3 2017

Our world is experiencing a digital transformation that is fundamentally reinventing the customer experience, upending traditional business models and operations, and placing greater demands on...

Security

Evolution of SBC from Purpose Built to Virtualized

Most SBC deployments combine purpose-built processing with signaling and media controls in a single appliance or network element to stop front-line of DOS or DDOS attacks. But as organizations virtualize and move to the cloud, they want the type of scalability and flexibility not generally available with hardware. As a result, a new breed of SBCs has emerged—virtualized and fully orchestrated—to work well in software-defined environments, particularly those using white-box solutions from managed service providers that lack robust security for VoIP and SIP. The virtualized SBCs can be used on both the customer and service provider ends when firewalls do not provide enough protection, with security functions delivered via software implemented on devices, such as IP PBXs, to stop network intrusions and provide network management and transcoding. In addition to agility, elasticity, and freedom from proprietary hardware, virtualizing SBCs means faster introduction of services and shorter innovation cycles. Additionally, multitenancy is addressed by dedicating one or more instances of an SBC to a customer, which also means scalability on demand and improved user experience and SLA adherence. Oracle Communications has built out a robust set of requirements for VoLTE, video calling and conferencing, SIP trunking and hosted services, HD voice and RCS, and WebRTC, as shown in the table below. With new SBC and VoLTE technology, Oracle Communications is focused on powering networks of the future, building SBCs that enable trusted communications across IP network access borders and IP interconnect borders, including fixed line, mobile (VoLTE), and OTT services. Learn more about purpose-built and virtualized SBCs. For more information: White paper: Choosing Future-Generation Session Border Controllers (PDF) Case study: Italian Ministry of Labour

Most SBC deployments combine purpose-built processing with signaling and media controls in a single appliance or network element to stop front-line of DOS or DDOS attacks. But as organizations...

Oracle

Integrated Cloud Applications & Platform Services