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

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UC and Contact Center

Channel Proliferation Brings Complexity & Cost: Is SaaS the Answer?

The explosion of channels in the digital world has thus far brought unprecedented complexity and cost to both CSPs and enterprises in their attempts to create fluid, meaningful experiences across mobile apps, social media, self-serve channels, messaging, video and live interactions. Modern call centers operations are not the forte of most organizations, whether smaller ‘mom-and-pops,’ growing SMBs, or even larger businesses. The fact is most organizations lack the type of knowledge and resources needed to help their representatives and agents better understand critical customer information, such as that about previous support requests or any interactions involving other systems (i.e., CRM, Helpdesk, billing, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other channels). They also often lack the type of robust data analytics and remote monitoring needed to effectively streamline maintenance processes. Ostensibly, many organizations spend their time just trying to keep the businesses running, and don’t have the wherewithal to knock down silos and integrate billing, monitoring, revenue management, and other “monetization” systems with the contact center. This has to change if they are to implement advanced discounting, on-the-fly incentive programs, or flexible charging for the dynamics that will be typical for digital assets. SaaS-driven Contact Center + Monetization Capabilities Many businesses are realizing that software-as-a-service (SaaS) can help them crash through barriers of entry for differentiated services in the digital world. The SaaS model lends itself to modern contact centers and the complement of monetization. SaaS empowers companies of all sizes to enter markets at any scale, and with varied pricing models since they can flexibly define how they want to grow their core business while drastically lowering costs, simplifying maintenance and operations, and achieving higher degrees of scale and fault tolerance. But SaaS is not a silver bullet. Shielding businesses from the complexity of channel proliferation through SaaS will require more than just buying licenses from a cloud provider that claims to have everything an organization needs. It will be important for decision-makers to do their homework to ensure chosen cloud platforms either pre-integrate to the apps and services most critical to their businesses, or that they can be made to interwork with discreet pieces of software specific to the capabilities most important to them through standard interfaces. Hence, there is a need to have a platform that offers freedom to directly focus on the business rather than solve these point-specific problems. Using such digital platforms, service providers and enterprises would be able to easily onboard business partners, offer them rich support to run virtualized service support and monetize any kind of services they offer with minimum disruption. Businesses also have to work with partners that can help them answer strategic questions, such as: What are your customers’ preferred digital channels so they can be reached when they want, how they want? How can real-time communications (apps, messaging, chat, and video) help your business reach customers and how might customers’ preferred channels change during the relationship?  What type of timely information or capabilities will customers need at any given stage of their journey (i.e., when closing a sale, what can guide customers to choose appropriate products or services; what is needed for after-sales support)? For CSPs, the questions revolve around accelerating digital contact center and monetization services for enterprise customers: What will they need in terms of video assistance and in-app, context-sensitive co-browsing and guided assistance to their customers? What are the possible use cases they can enable in different verticals? Banks automating processes to shorten otherwise tedious and iterative processes; zero-touch claims processing in the insurance industry; niche markets like wineries offering guided online tours with sommeliers or telcos offering virtualized tech support rather than truck rolls; etc. To learn about Oracle’s investment in the win-win of digital interactions and monetization of delivered services, visit our Live Experience Cloud and Oracle Monetization Cloud pages. Also download our research report, “Modern Experiences for Connected Consumers: Creating Digital Customer Engagement” and related industry and regional surveys.

The explosion of channels in the digital world has thus far brought unprecedented complexity and cost to both CSPs and enterprises in their attempts to create fluid, meaningful experiences across...

Monetization

Everything-as-a-Service Model Depends on Robust Monetization Capabilities

Across industries, leading businesses are increasingly shifting their business models from selling products as a single transaction to selling everything as-a-Service (XaaS). Who wouldn’t want to trade lumpy revenues in for recurring and predicable revenue streams with the added benefit of much deeper customer relationships and the data to continue to improve offerings? In fact, 75% 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 toward more sustained and meaningful relationships with customers. But competing today requires much more than a simple subscription that lacks personalization, flexibility, incentives and a way to stand out in the marketplace. In fact, companies who are leading the pack are moving beyond product sales and simple subscriptions and now offering creative packages with bundled services, intuitive pricing measurements and flexibility in subscription account setup. Business leaders who want to move toward those capabilities need to take a fresh look at their business models and the systems and solutions they use for monetization. Yesterday’s ERP-based solutions can provide stop-gap capabilities, but savvy business leaders understand that to truly scale their XaaS business — with the flexibility to imagine any business model — they need purpose-built monetization solutions that tightly integrate with front- and back-office applications. That is not easy to achieve, as most companies that are operating in a product-centric world lack the pricing, billing, monitoring, revenue management and other monetization capabilities necessary to complete the shift from selling physical products to digital services. That means that companies moving toward XaaS must seriously evaluate whether their existing solutions can support unique services and bundles by enabling flexible pricing based on custom attributes, or advanced cross-product discounting and charging based on events, downloads or other measurements that relate to consumption. The companies that are winning in XaaS today strive for some common capabilities that help them stand out, including: Accelerated launch of creative subscriptions and usage-based offers that no longer hinder the evolution of business models; Increased subscriber control through online tools and the ability to personalize everything from threshold notifications to payment methods by account owner; Advanced capabilities like AI for product recommendations, bots for intelligent customer interaction, and analytics to monitor subscription KPIs; Opportunity to take advantage of REST APIs and best practices based on standards that foster integration among commerce, point-of-sale, engagement and ERP applications. And of course no one wants to risk security breaches, limits to business growth or stalled innovation, so the most robust monetization solutions must be delivered on high-security, high-performance cloud infrastructure with the ability to instantly scale up and down. To learn more about how Oracle is bringing the power of communications-grade billing to the cloud for all industries, read our latest major Oracle Monetization Cloud release. Additionally, check out a recent OVUM report about XaaS and requirements for software-driven strategic approaches to monetizing digital services .    

Across industries, leading businesses are increasingly shifting their business models from selling products as a single transaction to selling everything as-a-Service (XaaS). Who wouldn’t want...

5G

5G Core: One Destination, Different Journeys

Register for the first of our new webinar series—and learn how to evolve from 4G to a full, 5G next-gen core network. 5G is expected to be the platform that delivers the much-needed ubiquity, low latency and agility required by CSPs to thrive in an increasingly dynamic ecosystem. A full 5G core will bring much-needed benefits, such as: Service-based architecture Flexible slice selection, procurement and lifecycle management Native separation between control and user plane It’s important that CSPs avoid thinking of 5G as just another “G,” as it will truly be an ecosystem in which they can bring together the mobile connectivity, service/device management, and monetization expertise that is the heart of what they have to offer. The combination of their unique capabilities and resources with vertical-specific applications will yield highly customized innovations related to Smart Cities, Healthcare, Smart Homes, Industry Automation and Finance. Because 5G introduces a number of innovative and disruptive networking paradigms—many of which had not been applied to mobile networks in the past— the one-size-fits-all approach to network infrastructure will no longer work. Instead, 5G will bring a service-based architecture, IT-centric cloud services, and unprecedented ability to personalize network “slices” so that specific requirements of industry-vertical applications can better match the needs of targeted customer segments. CSPs will be more empowered to rapidly launch and evolve custom-fit network slices-as-a-service, and at lower capital and operating costs. There will be plenty of opportunity for new revenue-generating, customized digital business services. How to Get There? If the 5G Next Generation Core and the 5G New Radio is the main destination, CSPs will indeed take different migration paths to get to their desired destination. Unlike previous generations of core and radio access technologies, 5G makes it possible to integrate elements of different generations into different configurations. Because of that, several options become available for evolving to 5G. And as if the industry doesn’t have enough acronyms, here are a few more important ones to add to your list:  non-standalone and standalone deployment options 2, 3x, 4a, 7x (see Figure 1, below) Figure 1: 4G and 5G Deployment Options (Source GSMA) To learn more about these options and how to create a path of evolution to your specific needs, read our new white paper "5G Core: How to Get There" and our new slideshare "The Evolution from 4G to 5G: Smart Steps for a Successful Network Migration." --- Click here to register for our 5G webinar series. And more info below: November 6, 2018 5G Core: How to Get There Speaker: Dan Bantukul, Office of the CTO CSPs should carefully consider the practicality of different options across many variables, including: fulfilling the requirements of their intended initial use cases; the interoperability and interworking of these options with the rest of their network. Join us as we kick off the 5G series!   November 27, 2018 The Potential of Network Slicing in 5G Speakers: Todd Spraggins, Oracle Communications Office of the CTO Dimitris Mavrakis, ABI Research, Research Director Gone is the one-size-fits-all approach to network infrastructure, as 5G brings a service-based architecture, IT-centric cloud services, and an exciting new ability to personalize network 'slices.' Join us as we discuss the new market opportunities 5G network slicing enables for CSPs.   January 22, 2018 5G and Cloud, Accelerating New Growth Opportunities for Operators Speaker: Eric McMurry, Office of the CTO The future belongs to service providers that can capture the trillions of dollars in digital service opportunities unleashed by the merging of 5G, Cloud and IT networking technologies. Join us as we discuss how Operators can deliver dynamic and intelligent vertical industry applications and play a bigger role in the 5G smart ecosystem.

Register for the first of our new webinar series—and learn how to evolve from 4G to a full, 5G next-gen core network. 5G is expected to be the platform that delivers the much-needed ubiquity, low...

Security

Security: Trust Is No Longer a Reasonable Assumption

IP networks introduce the vulnerabilities of the Internet to telecoms infrastructure, as the concept of “trusted partners” falls apart in ever-expanding digital- and IoT-driven ecosystems in which illicit actors purchase roaming network connectivity and network credentials from wireless service providers, using IP connections (i.e., via SIGTRAN in SS7). Because SS7 and Diameter are the standard for roaming interconnects, they become the vehicles for network-connections abuse. Readily accessible tools for location tracking and SMS/voice interception mean that once-effective authentication such as two-factor sign-in used by banks and credit card companies is no longer secure enough to protect subscribers’ personal information. Deploying a security appliance is not the answer. It’s important for CSPs to create a security framework and implement security at the gateways (session border controllers (SBCs), signaling transfer points (STPs) and Diameter edge agents). It also necessitates defense-in-depth, with security in the home location register (HLR)/ home subscriber server (HSS), the Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) / Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN), and other points in the network. Defense in depth means security implemented in as many places as possible. Persistent monitoring and analytics is critical. Without visibility, CSPs will not be able to identify attacks on subscribers. Visibility is critical in all networks, especially as we move towards 5G. While many have discussed encryption as the solution,  the reality is encryption (at the MAP or AVP layers) will not prevent SS7 or Diameter location tracking, SMS intercept, or call intercept. Only solid, comprehensive security frameworks implemented in the signaling gateways ensures robust signaling security. To learn more about securing the network, watch this TIA NOW panel debate about the best path forward.

IP networks introduce the vulnerabilities of the Internet to telecoms infrastructure, as the concept of “trusted partners” falls apart in ever-expanding digital- and IoT-driven ecosystems in...

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation: Standards Matter

In a previous blog post, Doug Suriano, senior vice president and general manager for Oracle Communications outlined five key requirements for digital transformation, which ties to TM Forum’s Digital Maturity Model for gauging digital-transformation readiness and priorities. What may surprise our CSP customers is the tremendous role that global industry standards play in guiding digital transformations, increasingly providing roadmaps and best practices in transitions to the cloud and new business models. With the expansion and diversification of ecosystems, the complexity of interconnecting and sharing required among stakeholders, and the growing degree of security necessary to protect data and customers, it’s a fact that standards matter more than ever. Using different approaches, standards foster industry benefits, including to: Minimize customizations for CSP and enterprise customers Expedite ROI and time to value for investments made in products Establish best practices for CSPs’ digital-transformation journeys Encourage innovation Remove barriers to entry Leverage the experiences of other industries so as not to reinvent the wheel The process of developing standards will drive digital transformation as standards setting helps accelerate the trial-and-error processes companies would otherwise undertake individually. Standards bodies mitigate the risk any one individual company must take as it pioneers new business models and partnerships with companies spanning different industries and geographies. As CSPs Transform, So Too Are Standards for Cloud, 5G and Security In no domain is it more obvious that standards are going through a revolution in how they are developed than in Open Source. The number of Open Source projects is exploding and their prominence cannot be denied, especially in the shift to as-a-service business models. If you consider the significant collaboration and alignment that has taken place among the major standards organizations, you see something that was rarely the case a decade ago. For example, the ONAP open-source project under the Linux Foundation embraces TM Forum Open APIs. Or consider how MEF defined its data models for Lifecycle Service Orchestration using the same TM Forum Open APIs. These are encouraging collaborations that combine expertise and collaborations that lay at the heart of these organizations’ mission statements. The TM Forum, for example, had to update its charter to embrace Open Source and provide Open APIs more broadly in its attempt to bring all valuable assets together. Growing Oracle Communications Focus on Industry and IT Standards Within Oracle Communications, we participate in standards setting globally for the communications industry (i.e., 3GPP, ATIS, TM Forum, MEF, IETF, and Linux Foundation). We feel this involvement will help future proof our business model and the development of our communications and cloud offerings as we drive and support 5G, the IoT, AI and the technologies that will revolutionize what our CSP and enterprise customers can do. Most recently, Oracle Communications has increased its focus on open RESTful APIs in 3GPP, MEF, TM Forum and open source projects like ONAP. The work is ongoing and relatively new within the core network. This is significant because we want the type of development that once characterized early generations of the web to now become prevalent in the core network. As Open APIs have taken hold in networking, and in the evolution to the cloud, and as customers evaluate a shift of core networking to the cloud, open APIs will grow in importance. Additionally, the need for security and performance means open APIs are going to be increasingly critical to Cloud standards,  such as that of the Cloud Security Alliance. This is just one example of how security will be given more prominence in the cloud — a key concern for our customers as they evaluate a shift of core networking to cloud models. In order to help our CSP customers in the evolution of core networks as they shift to the cloud, security will continue to be a part of Oracle Communications DNA. That focus on security will carry over as we examine the role of Network Slicing in future 5G networks, which will be delivered in part from the cloud. We encourage our customers and partners to join us in standards creation and evolution, as it can only help to push through more openness and collaboration among all facets of the digital world. Further links of interest: Standards-Driven Solutions that Drive Digital Evolution and Set the Stage for 5G Open Source in Oracle Cloud  

In a previous blog post, Doug Suriano, senior vice president and general manager for Oracle Communications outlined five key requirements for digital transformation, which ties to TM Forum’s Digital...

Digital Transformation

What to Expect at Oracle OpenWorld Communications’ Sessions: A Quick Guide

At Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle Communications will host a series of conference sessions and panel discussions about transitioning to the digital world, the evolution to 5G, innovative monetization strategies, and addressing fraud and security concerns. Additionally, we will feature customer speakers from BT, Teleena, HSBC, Chegg and Intuit, to name a few. Below is a quick guide to the Oracle Communications sessions that will help communications and digital service providers better understand digital customers, ecosystems and networks. Evolution from 4G to 5G At OOW 2018, Oracle Communications’ subject matter experts and customers will cover every aspect of the 5G evolution — from leveraging a 4G network for “5G-like” capabilities, to the actual construction of a 5G core, to monetization of 5G, integration of 5G into cloud, and securing the ever-blurring borders between the two. The common thread in all of these 5G discussions will be the different options available for introducing 5G into operations, namely constructing a path from 4G to a full 5G core. What are the iterative steps that will take operators from where they are today to where they want to be, providing a 5G “experience” using an existing 4G network in the journey to a complete 5G core? Learn how standards like option 3 NSA (non-standalone architecture) will help operators leverage 4G networks, and how different flavors of option 3 (i.e., 3A and 3X) will make use of LTE base stations. Also on speakers’ agendas will be discussions about the role of the Evolved Packet Core (EPC), as with the 4G EPC network over which services are often deployed today. See how to avoid making the EPC network an “overstuffed” one-size-fits-all network that becomes very difficult to manage. Naturally these conversations will trigger debate about the viability of network slicing over a 4G core and whether CSPs can effectively offload their EPC through separate overlay cores and utilization of 3GPP’s network slicing Dedicated Core Network (DECOR). If you are a service provider transitioning from already-overloaded networks, discover how to incrementally grow while simultaneously protecting your current investments. Join us in Metropolitan II for discussions about how to enhance business and operational agility as you grow. Digital Evolution To kick off discussions and debates about the digital journey, Oracle Communications Senior Vice President and General Manager Doug Suriano will examine how leading communications and digital service providers are developing smart ecosystems and the impact 5G and next-generation solutions will have on the development, deployment and monetization of digital services. Attend the General Session October 22 | Park Central (Floor 2) at 9:00 am. For a high-level look at “going digital,” attend Transitioning to the Digital World: Challenges and Opportunities October 23 & 24 | Park Central (Floor 3) – City, as it talks about transcending process changes or data migrations in the pursuit of complete transformations of operational models. Hear how to better engage customers through their preferred channels and with simplified, yet personalized services whose performance and value to customers can be measured through new metrics and targets. Monetizing Digital and Subscription Services will be led by Oracle experts in the areas of subscription and digital commerce. Find out how companies can form lasting customer relationships and generate recurring revenues through new digital services. Market leaders will discuss the ways in which they are differentiating themselves using innovative pricing models, new charging metrics, non-currency resources, flexible discounting, and pooling—all powered by real-time customer engagement. Join us Tuesday, Oct 23, 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Park Central (Floor 2) - Metropolitan II Accelerate Your Digital Business will examine how digital business experience platforms can help companies pragmatically transform and launch new digital services with continued innovation—without business model limitations—and all from Oracle Cloud. Join us Monday, Oct 22, 4:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Park Central (Floor 2) - Metropolitan II Grow Your Business by Modernizing Experience with Digital Engagement will showcase Oracle Live Experience Cloud and options for companies that want to participate in the growing B2B2x segment, extending their reach into the customers’ value chain. See you there Monday, Oct 22, 5:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | Park Central (Floor 2) - Metropolitan II For a closer look at protecting against security threats opened up by real-time communications, hear Oracle Communications’ customer HSBC in Enterprise Security: Taming Managed Services, Wednesday, Oct 24, 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. | Park Central (Floor 3) –City. In this review of fraud and identity theft, learn how to mitigate vulnerabilities by putting protections in closer to the user and the edge of the network. HSBC will also look at how combining IP sessions data with AI, ML and analytics can help protect against expensive outages, loss of sensitive data, and potential network breaches. Digital Business Seminar—Hear industry experts explain why cloud and digital are key to future growth. See you Wednesday, October 24, 10:00 AM - 01:30 PM | Palace Hotel, Twin Peaks Room, 2nd Floor. To learn more about all Oracle Communications sessions, click here

At Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle Communications will host a series of conference sessions and panel discussions about transitioning to the digital world, the evolution to 5G, innovative...

Security

Evolution of SBC from Purpose Built to Virtualized

Most Session Border Controller (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 Video: Telefónica Pursues Virtualization with Oracle Communications Video: Telefónica Stops Threats with Oracle

Most Session Border Controller (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....

Digital Transformation

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 purpose of which was the simplification of the deployment and querying of machine learning models for developers, freeing them to choose from a variety of their preferred frameworks and tools. As simplification of AI and ML continues, service providers will more readily derive insight from the enormous amount of data that comes in from millions — and ultimately billions —of network elements, devices, monitors and sensors. If you look at the leaders in the triumvirate of AI, ML and predictive analytics, the most popular applications today revolve around customer-service chatbots, speech and voice services, and more and more around predictive maintenance for cell towers and power lines (i.e., equipment troubleshooting, technician updates). For example, Verizon’s investment in analytics and AI-driven technologies such as ML and chatbots have helped it proactively address hundreds of customer-impacting events related to speed and QoS of its FIOS service. AI-driven monitoring of services and predictive models are helping the company transform gigabytes of data from network elements and monitors into insight about potential issues and interruptions to customers before their customer experience is affected. AT&T is another service provider that has focused on AI-driven voice apps and speech recognition technology for improving customer experience, as well as an impending strategy to build self-healing and self-learning networks. In its most recent move, AT&T began capitalized on FAA approval of drones, using AI and ML for analysis of drone-captured video for tech support and infrastructure maintenance of cell towers—something that could not only reduce costs, but prevent fatalities related to cell-tower maintenance. As cognitive technologies continue to help CSPs automate operations, such as call center processes and outage troubleshooting, they will set the stage for a future of increasingly secure and self-healing networks — a crucial step toward 5G, where AI, ML and predictive analytics will help manage and orchestrate the rapid growth of traffic on mobile networks and IoT’s prodigious data volumes. In that evolution, the interrelationships among AI, ML and analytics will become more important to CSP strategies around customer experience, digital business models and network evolution.  To find out more about the interrelationships of AI, ML priorities, download our recent white paper, “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the Future of Communications.”    

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

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...

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...

Oracle

Integrated Cloud Applications & Platform Services