Amazon spots the IoT opportunity

This week’s news that Amazon, the giant of ecommerce, is now rolling out home visits for its own geek squad of technicians to come and install smart-home related services is a sure sign that world of the Internet of Things (IoT) is fast on its way to becoming an everyday part of our daily lives. As Recode’s Jason Del Ray points out, smart-home gadgets can be difficult to set up and integrate with each other:  More >>

Merging with the best of them: Amdocs wins top M&A award

Amdocs walked off with the prestigious M&A Advisor Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year ($250 million – $500 million) at a gala dinner at the New York Athletic Club earlier this week. The award recognized Amdocs for its impressive same-day acquisition, in three separate countries, of three privately-owned companies: Vindicia, Brite:Bill and Pontis. All three acquisitions were part of the execution of Amdocs’ strategy of expanding its digital play to help service providers transform to capture the world of on-demand services and digital immediacy. David Fergusson, president and co-CEO of The M&A Advisor, said in a statement: “The 9th Annual International […]  More >>

And the GTB Consumer-Service Innovation Awards go to… (spoiler alert! XL Axiata, Sprint, and Amdocs)

Men and women in the industry are making a huge difference to the world” explains Alan Burkitt-Gray, executive editor of Global Telecoms Business at the prestigious GTB Innovation Awards ceremony in London. And last night, GTB chose to celebrate the innovation shown by leading service providers XL-Axiata and Sprint, together with Amdocs. The operators, with Amdocs as their partner, came away with two major awards for consumer services innovation  More >>

So, is Alexa going to be your phone now too?

Those of us of a certain age can unfortunately remember the days when your parents could listen to voice messages left for you by your boy/girlfriend on your family answering machine at home. Embarrassing. But are we now moving back to the future with Amazon’s recent announcement that Alexa users who own an Echo, or who have the app installed on their iOS or Android smartphone, can now call or message one another for free?   More >>

Amdocs wins TWO Leading Lights awards (and we’re very proud about it)

A finalist this year in a whopping four categories, Amdocs walked away with two prestigious Leading Lights Awards – Outstanding Communications Technology Vision and Best Deal Maker – at the disco-themed gala dinner last night in Austin, Texas. (Unsurprisingly, no additional awards were picked up for our dancing).  More >>

More than just a fashionable move

It’s obviously far too early to tell whether Intel’s $15.3 billion proposed acquisition of Mobileye, the maker of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), will prove a smart maneuver, but at least Intel’s accelerated move into autonomous driving has a clear route forward. Which is more than can be said for Levi’s announcement that its new connected jacket, The Commuter, powered by technology from Google’s Advanced Technology and Products group, will be on sale this fall.  More >>

YouTube TV – it’s not about the streaming service

Most of the reviews about YouTube TV, the streaming service launched earlier this month in five North-American markets — Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area – totally missed the point.  More >>

Can AI rescue you from the Ninth Circle of Hell?

Back in 2013, Janie Emaus described the nightmare she went through trying to reach her gas company through their automated answering system for the Huffington Post. She wasn’t the first to compare automated customer service systems to hell. In 2011 Time Magazine reported that the ninth circle of customer-service hell began with a phone call looped through an automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system…  More >>

Read all about it! What publishing can learn from digital transformations in telecoms (and vice-versa)

Sometimes it’s useful to take a look outside the telecoms world at what’s happening in other verticals and pick up an insight (or three) about how other industries are handling similar situations, like dealing with disruption or how to develop an effective digital transformation strategy. Take publishing, for example….  More >>

Is the price of your privacy a new flashlight app?

Remember the dodo bird? No surprise there if you don’t — it disappeared a long time ago. Unfortunately, our privacy looks like it’s heading in the same direction as our now legendary feathered friend. It doesn’t seem to matter that everybody agrees how extremely important privacy is — we’re still happily giving it up in exchange for a navigation/social/search, or even a flashlight app.  More >>

Why innovation isn’t just about a really great idea

Let’s be clear: innovation isn’t a one-off Eureka moment. Archimedes had spent a lifetime as a scientist before his insight that the volume of water he displaced in his bath must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged, while Newton didn’t really discover gravity because an apple fell on his head. Instead, innovation is a process – one which takes time, focus and effort. In our industry, I would describe innovation as “the process of creation of new value in anticipation of future demand”, and this, inevitably, means change. When you look at […]  More >>

Dad, can I have a car subscription for my 16th birthday?

My youngest daughter (who is 12) is never shy when it comes to letting us know what she wants for her birthday. And I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time she hits 16, she’ll be asking – neither for a car nor driving lessons – but for a subscription to a car service.  By 2021, as car sharing and autonomous cars become common, will our kids even need to spend money on driving lessons or own a car? In recently published research, Morgan Stanley analyzes the significance of Daimler joining forces with Uber, noting that both companies are stretching their vision […]  More >>

Why mobile financial service providers can’t afford to ignore loyalty programs

Forgotten your ATM card? Don’t panic – just use your phone to withdraw cash instead. It’s all about having the choice, explains Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo’s head of A.T.M. and branch banking to the NY Times. “If you’ve lost your card or left home without your wallet, chances are you still have your smartphone in your hand.” Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America are planning to introduce cardless options to all their ATM machines by the end of the year, but steaming ahead of them is JPMorgan Chase, which has more ATMs in the United States — 18,000 — […]  More >>

Pay attention at the back-end

Although content is expected to be the main focus of next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings taking a much-anticipated Monday evening keynote spot, service providers are actually paying very close attention to their back-end systems. In the first Mobile World Live industry survey of around 1,000 key decision makers from across the mobile ecosystem, a clear majority (66 percent) believe that the emergence of network functions virtualization (NFV) and the advent of 5G technology, will require mobile operators to completely replace legacy back office BSS, OSS or IT systems. As the survey’s authors note, […]  More >>

Want to maximize the success of your digital transformation? Make the CIO your digital educator

If you’re an average Japanese farmer, chances are that you’re 66 years old and there are a lot fewer of you around than there used to be. With the number of workers in farming and forestry workers dwindling significantly in recent years, several IT players in Japan, (Fujitsu being an example), are considering storing farmers’ agricultural knowledge in the cloud so that their expertise can be passed on to the next generation, using computers as their digital educators. Whether computers can ever properly substitute for human coaching/mentoring (or robots replace a human workforce for that matter) remains an open question. […]  More >>

My daughters’ daughters won’t have to learn to drive – but will they even need to work?

Anyone seen that Mashable video at the end of last year showing how the Tesla autopilot predicted – and then avoided – a sudden crash two vehicles ahead on a Dutch highway? It’s pretty extreme footage and any driver will be left wondering how, without the help of the artificial intelligence (AI) embedded in the car, they would have known when to start breaking. So 2016 has almost ended up where Total Recall left off in 1990, when Arnold Schwarzenegger had to deal with Johnny Cab, a self-driving taxi robot (although, ironically Arnie ends up taking over the driving himself). […]  More >>
FM Radio is opening door for service providers

Digital killed the radio star

For over 80 years, people have been tuning in to FM radio for the tunes that get them through their day. But this week marks the beginning of the end of FM. The government of Norway has announced they were beginning the shutdown of broadcast FM radio throughout the country, a process which will be complete by the end of 2017. They won’t be shutting down broadcast radio, just moving it to Digital Audio Broadcasting – or DAB – which offers more channels, better audio quality and cost savings for broadcasters which can be invested in more content development. The […]  More >>