Are wearable watches a wake-up call for service providers?

Taking a bite of the Apple Watch

Will the Apple Watch, scheduled to appear early next year, provide the first big push service providers need to make wearables a vital part of their offerings? Analyst opinions are mixed. I spoke with Heavy Reading’s Sarah Wallace for insight as to how the Apple Watch could take off with consumers, thus creating an opportunity for service providers to provide bigger shared data plans. Sarah sees a few reasons for it doing well, at least initially.  More >>
video gamers

Will Amazon’s newest acquisition make Pay-TV providers a little Twitchy?

What would you prefer to watch: “The Sopranos,” “24,” “Breaking Bad,” or… how about other people playing a League of Legends video game? Amazon recently just bet $1.1 billion on the latter with its purchase of Twitch, a platform that hosts live video game events and is, according to the Wall Street Journal, the fourth-largest user of Internet bandwidth in the United States. And given that more people watched a League of Legends championship on different streaming services than the finales of all the above-mentioned TV shows combined, Amazon’s acquisition appears to have some logic behind it.   More >>
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Will Apple’s iPhone 6 revolutionize the way you shop – and the way you pay?

If the rumors circling next week’s iPhone 6 launch are correct, Apple’s newest and long-awaited device won’t just offer a substantially bigger screen, slimmer profile, faster processor and tougher glass, but for the first time, it will also include a near-field communication (NFC) chip that can transmit payment information. NFC technology allows you to use your device to pay for goods – similar to a contactless payment card – and while this technology is already available in other smartphones, the idea of using a mobile wallet hasn’t taken off in developed markets. Until now. Mobile wallets have suffered somewhat from […]  More >>
ballboy

Will smart shirts win big at this week’s US Open tennis championships?

Hats off – or should that be, shirts on? –  to Ralph Lauren. The master of preppy tailoring has succeeded in bringing wearable technology on to the fashion pages of The New York Times. At this week’s US Open tennis championship in New York, the ball boys are wearing a sleek body-hugging athletic Polo Tech shirt that also has sensors woven into the fabric that can take readings of the wearer’s heart rate, breathing and stress levels, amount of energy exerted, and movement.  Once the tournament is over, Ralph Lauren plans to release anonymized aggregated data collected by OMsignal’s wearable technology […]  More >>
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Why the sky is (literally) going to be the limit for fast Wi-Fi

Would you be being willing to pay more for a specific flight just so that you could stay connected to the Internet? Or to agree to swap your plane ticket for the chance of flying standby on another plane which could offer fast Wi-Fi speeds? If Honeywell’s new wireless connectivity survey is anything to go by, access to in-flight wireless Internet is having an increasing influence on our buying and wireless usage behavior. We’re connected pretty much everywhere except for the skies, and if you’re flying away on vacation this summer and can’t bear to be disconnected in transit, you’re […]  More >>
Remember these days, anyone?

When your 6 year old is more tech-savvy than you are

They may not know how to tie their shoelaces yet, but when it comes to digital technology,  new OfCom UK  research on nearly 2,000 adults and 800 children, has found that six year olds claim to have the same understanding of communications technology as 45 year olds do. And if that wasn’t depressing enough for anyone who can still remember using rotary dial analog phones (see image on the right for those who don’t), the study shows that we hit our peak confidence and understanding of digital communications and technology when we are in our mid-teens. (Sorry, 20 year olds, […]  More >>
(especially when my MSO understands exactly what I want)

Why I actually want to pay MORE for my content

“You’re not exactly without cable TV, but you’re with much, much less of it,” explains the Huffington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler about innovative approaches being adopted by some North American MSOs (multi-system operators) who are selling packages that can include Internet, a specific channel like HBO,and basic TV channels in order to hold on to potential cord-cutters. Personally, as a potential cord-cutter, I think they’re on to an interesting idea here. I don’t watch a huge amount of TV but like half of the US consumers polled in a recent Amdocs-commissioned survey, I’m more than willing to pay for specific channels or content, such as […]  More >>
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Hello, wearable technology. Nice to meet you. (Or was it?)

When I first heard about smartwatches, I couldn’t envisage myself ever using one. (After all, who needs a watch, when you have a phone?) But when Google I/O 2014 participants were kindly given a smartwatch based on Android Wear – the introduction of which Techcrunch describes as “giving consumers their first maybe-viable smartwatch” – I ended up becoming the owner of a new Samsung Gear Live.  More >>
You won't need to be Einstein to have a smart home. Your service provider can help you with that

Why smart homes could be a smart move

Would you pay $65 for a device just so that you could have the convenience of switching off your bedside light using the comfort of a remote rather than stretching over to turn the light off itself? Nope, thought not. And neither did GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbotham. But apart from that, Higginbotham seems to have connected almost everything else in her house: from her lighting, heating, garage doors, security, to her music speakers. In a fascinating blog post describing the past year in which she’s turned her house into a living lab, Higginbotham reports from the frontlines of the connected home…   More >>
Is Amdocs going to reinvent our online shopping experience?

Is Amazon redefining the retail experience (yet again) with “Firefly”?

Last week, Amazon finally announced its long-awaited leap into the mobile phone market with its Fire Phone (to be sold exclusively by AT&T), and the industry is buzzing (for better or for worse) about its potential. And while I don’t think the hardware itself is anything exceptional, the stand-out feature for me is absolutely its Firefly software feature, which uses the Fire Phone’s camera to make shopping incredible easy for consumers.  More >>
Standing on Giant's Vincent Boon explains the innovative giffgaff model at TMForum Live!

How giffgaff reinvented customer support, (blogged from TM Forum live!)

“You do get a few people who are insanely involved”, said an impressed Vincent Boon, Chief Community Officer of Standing on Giants, as he presented at TM Forum Live! last week. Boon, who originally helped set up giffgaff (a UK MVNO now owned by Telefónica), was referring to giffgaff’s unique peer-to-peer model (managed by Standing on Giants) where customer service is almost entirely provided by other customers, some of whom also proactively support the company with its marketing and brand reputation. The idea behind Standing on Giants is about transforming the relationship between brands and customers using online communities – […]  More >>
Anne Bouverot shares GSMA's vision for the future of Mobile

“No-one really knows what 5G is”…GSMA talks about the Future of Mobile, at TM Forum Live!

“No-one really knows what 5G is. We need to spend some time defining it”. Since the person making this declaration at TM Forum Live! this week about the next (fifth) generation of mobile broadband technology to come was Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA (and she, combined with the massive industry reach of the GSMA, would definitely be in the best position to know), I’d say the audience sat up a little straighter as she took us through the GSMA’s vision for the future of mobile.   More >>
Disney's Juan Gorricho and the world's  favorite mouse

The Wonderful World of Disney Analytics, (reporting from TM ForumLive!, Nice)

“Disney’s mission is to create memories that last forever,” explained Juan Gorricho today at TM Forum Live! “From a customer perspective, it doesn’t get better than that.” I’d have to agree: I may have been only 8 when I visited Disneyworld, but I still clearly remember all the rides I went on (and the one I devastatingly didn’t because I was still too short to ride Space Mountain), and most importantly, getting a hug from Pluto. Who needs planes? I literally floated back home to the UK.  More >>
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It’s all about the net promoter score (and batmobiles…), reporting from TM Forum Live!

If you’ve booked a visit from a Virgin Media field service technician, then it’s worth taking a quick peek out of the window to check which van he or she arrived in. If it looks like a Batmobile or something out of Thunderbirds, then you’re in for a customer service treat. According to Neil Taplin, Head of Ops for Virgin Media, these colorful “supervans” are given to outstanding field technicians as part of Virgin Media’s impressive reward and recognition program, and specially developed “to drive productivity and the quality of the customer experience”.  More >>
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We won! (Pipeline’s CEM Innovation award at Nice)

Even though it’s quite late in the evening here in Nice on the opening day of  TM Forum Live!, the annual flagship conference, it’s never too late to share some good news that I’m quite proud of: in addition to Amdocs Network Navigator picking up an award as a finalist in the support category, Amdocs Multichannel Self Service has been named the winner of Pipeline magazine’s Comet Innovation award in the Customer Experience Management (CEM) category at its gala dinner in Nice. This award is further industry recognition of a really innovative product which Yankee Group Director Sheryl Kingstone describes as “a win-win” […]  More >>
The cable CIOs: ONO Carlos Moreno (left) and Liberty Global CIO Dean Walters (right)

The potential areas for growth in cable? Just ask the CxOs… (Blogged from The Cable Summit at TMForum Live!)

In a week where Apple is expected to announce a deeper dive into Connected Health by introducing a new health-tracking app at its annual developers’ conference and Samsung announced plans for a health data-sharing platform to allow developers, medical professionals and hardware makers push forward the idea of “intelligent digital health, the operator CxOs at today’s TM Forum Cable Summit in Nice see ehealth /monitoring services as less of an opportunity. When confronted with the GSMA estimate of the mHealth segment is going to be worth $23 Billion by 2017, Liberty Mobile CIO Dean Walters put it bluntly: “It’s going to be a very big business – for other people”, and WOW CTO Cash Hagen agreed with him: “There’s money to be made. I’m just not sure it’s us [who’re going to make it]”.  More >>
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Human versus machine: Who (or what) will win?

A venture capital fund focusing on the pharmaceutical industry, Deep Knowledge Ventures, has appointed an algorithm to its board of directors. And while this might sound like the start of a Silicon Valley joke, it’s actually true. The algorithm, named VITAL, gets to vote on investment opportunities, just as the other five human board members do. VITAL make its recommendations by analyzing large amounts of data including financial information, clinical trials for particular drugs, intellectual property owned by the firm, and previous funding. According to the fund, Vital has already approved two investment decisions.  More >>