M O V E R S S H A KE R S ASTELLIA. May We Accelerate Growth

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1 M O V E R S S H A KE R S ASTELLIA May 2014 We Accelerate Growth

2 MOVERS & SHAKERS Movers & Shakers Interview with Julien Lecoeuvre, Chief Technology Officer, Astellia Interviewed by Olga Shapiro, Frost & Sullivan Mr. LECOEUVRE is an Engineer, who graduated from ENSERG - Grenoble INP (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d Electronique et de Radioélectricite de Grenoble) in and specialized in telecommunications at McGill University in Canada. Mr. LECOEUVRE co-founded Astellia were he is Chief Technology Officer in charge of Astellia s innovation and strategic analysis and planning. Olga Shapiro (OS): Astellia is a key player in the mobile network optimization and subscriber intelligence areas. How would you describe the current dynamics in the industry? Julien Lecoeuvre (JL): Today, 4G deployments and mobile data growth are the key drivers of the telco market. We also note that small cells deployments (to cope with capacity challenges) and Voice over LTE are getting more traction. In the network optimization area we can say that SON now is a reality, coming in different forms, either external ISV or vendor-dependent systems. However, since it is a rather new technology, many features, such as inter-radio Access Technology (RAT) handovers, Mobility Load balancing (MLB), Mobility Robustness Optimization (MRO), etc., still need to mature. In the subscriber intelligence area, we can consider that the subscriber is at the heart of every department. Customer care, marketing, and operations & engineering teams are all geared toward delivering the best customer experience, increasing customer satisfaction and lowering churn. Subscriber intelligence is mainly driven by customer experience management (CEM) and we see that Big Data analytics is making it possible now to get deep insight in subscriber behavior and usage in order to maximize customer experience and customer value by proposing the right offer at the right time to the right subscriber. As a consequence, we see the surge of new business models like B2B reselling of network data. OS: In your opinion, what are some of the key technology trends in the industry? How do you think they will shape tomorrow s mobile network optimization and SON market? JL: Operators are relying on small cells and Wi-Fi offload to manage the exploding mobile data traffic. This might lower CAPEX, but operators will still need to ensure adaptive QoE according to the value of services. However, operators are at the moment unable to deliver a differentiated quality of service and QoE at the edge of the network, i.e., on the radio part. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) integrated in radio scheduler and intelligent offloading according to applications QoS can be the answer. 2

3 JULIEN LECOEUVRE, ASTELLIA A few major operators have opted for a single RAN vendor deployment strategy to simplify RAN management complexity, to lower OPEX, and more efficiently support 2G, 3G and 4G services. It also facilitates the introduction of SON for Heterogeneous Networks. Other, quite disruptive technologies that will be introduced in the network are Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Network (SDN). These technologies will put more pressure on equipment vendors and will allow operators to reduce OPEX/CAPEX. NFV/SDN are requiring new skills such as virtualization, automation, provisioning, API, etc. OS: How do you describe Big Data, and how do Astellia s solutions help mobile operators overcome this challenge? JL: Big Data today is being pushed by IT players like IBM and Cisco that are willing to bring Big Data services to all operators departments. However, since the economical model and goals of Big Data are not very clear yet, operators are quite reluctant to adopt a turnkey Big Data solution and put all their eggs in the same basket. There are different ways to understand Big Data: Big data focusing on CEM by correlating data from network, customer services and marketing. However, Big Data that focuses on CEM does not bring operators all the tools. They still need customer experience monitoring and troubleshooting and optimization capabilities after Big Data CEM implementation. Big Data to resell network data to third parties; for instance, road traffic information, roaming behavior for tourist offices. Big Data is also seen by operators to replace IT in silos. Big Data to improve network efficiency and automation. What does Astellia bring in the area of Big Data? Astellia offers an immediate operational solution to manage customer satisfaction. Thanks to Astellia s subscribercentric Big Data analytics platform, operators can manage the QoS for all of their subscribers. Astellia also provides segmentation gap analysis and can monitor customer satisfaction of each customer segment, for instance VIP customers, B2B customers or the M2M segment. Furthermore, Astellia can provide multi-dimensional analytics and reporting (network, services, handsets, geography and user), fitting different teams needs. Our open architecture allows even to fuel third-party applications such as Customer Experience Management, Location-Based Services (LBS), Dynamic Discount System (DDS), Roaming, SMS welcome, revenue assurance, and device management solutions with rich and subscriberfocused information. OS: Self-organizing networks (SON) technology has many benefits to offer; however, it has been identified as a disruptive technology. How does Astellia meet its customers SON-related needs? JL: Astellia is involved in different SON trials and roll-outs, and has already implemented its solution to help operators qualify their SON solution. Thanks to Astellia s 3G and 4G troubleshooting solution, Astellia is able to monitor and analyze advanced KPIs that are able to measure SON efficiency. Most of the existing SON solutions come in so-called black-box solutions that plug easily into the network but do not provide insight into the real impact of SON on the network. Astellia s solution allows operators to troubleshoot and qualify a solution before selecting a SON vendor. Astellia s solution validates and then correlates all the SON actions, and measures the impact of SON on QoS and subscribers QoE. Another important point is that Astellia considers SON as an active network component that must be monitored as any other active network element. By monitoring SON actions, Astellia provides operators with the tools to optimize SON configurations. OS: Recent research indicates that mobile operators do not always have access to necessary data to make an informed decision related to 3

4 MOVERS & SHAKERS customer experience. What does Astellia do to help operators overcome this challenge? JL: Indeed, recent research involving marketers at operators around the world (conducted by Mobilesquared and commissioned by Astellia) revealed that almost 60% of respondents do not have access to the right data and associated tools, and are not in a position to make a truly informed business decision. In total, an average of 51% of respondents said not being able to access important information related to their customers QoE was an issue. So, Astellia has to educate and explain to operators the real value a monitoring solution can bring and to show the concrete benefits of subscriber intelligence and usage analytics throughout an operator s organization. Because they are often operating in silos, Astellia sometimes acts as a bridge between different teams and different departments. We help value the information that is coming from the CTO department and convey this information to other departments like marketing and customer services. OS: How has the company changed to reflect the evolving marketplace? JL: Thanks to its new Nova solution, Astellia is broadening its reach within the mobile operators organization and addresses the needs of operators full value chain, including operations & engineering, customer services, marketing and commercial teams. With Nova, mobile operators are fully equipped to manage their increasingly complex networks, leverage network Big Data and provide crucial intelligence throughout their organization to improve customer experience and increase satisfaction. Technical teams rely on Nova for subscriber-centric optimization activities, customer service for efficient complaint handling, and marketing & commercial teams to get a better understanding of customer usage and service perception. To further strengthen its position as a RAN champion in the market, Astellia recently acquired the Spanish company Ingenia Telecom, provider of network analysis and radio optimization solutions for mobile operators. Astellia hereby reinforces its E2E offering with a probeless solution, adding new capabilities of RAN and SON analysis. OS: Overall, how would you rate your company s performance in 2013 and what influenced this performance? What do you expect for 2014? JL: The growing interest of operators for our solutions is becoming increasingly apparent year upon year. Astellia s revenues went up 12% in 2013, reaching 47,3 M. This good performance validates our strategic and technological choices, including the development of a new solution architecture (Nova) and the enrichment of CEM applications. Hereby, Astellia is responding to operators requirements of reducing OPEX/CAPEX, as well as addressing customer retention challenges by getting a better understanding of their usage and quality experience. Beyond research & development activity, this growth has been accompanied by significant communication efforts, reflected, for example, in the new brand image that we have recently adopted. Our solutions and our organization have been enhanced to meet the new challenges of operators, in particular by focusing on the needs of new teams. These good performances show that we have made the right choices and show our capability to continue to expand. Astellia s roadmap will focus on the following: SON: This technology is particularly suitable for 4G/ LTE networks and will be integrated in Nova, while relying on Ingenia Telecom s technology. Big Data: Insight delivered by Astellia s monitoring solution creates value for marketing and sales departments, which receive real-time information to better monetize the services offered to subscribers through, for example, geo-marketing. HetNet: Management of heterogeneous networks represents a crucial technological evolution to be able to cope with network congestion. 4

5 JULIEN LECOEUVRE, ASTELLIA NFV/SDN: The tendency toward virtualization is also affecting mobile operators and requires an adjustment of monitoring solutions. VoLTE: VoLTE has become the next logical move for handling E2E voice calls over IP. Astellia provides a troubleshooting solution with dashboards to efficiently benchmark vendors, detect malfunctioning handsets and assess interoperability issues between vendors. OS: What have you identified as some of the prime factors for success in the mobile network optimization and subscriber intelligence space? JL: Astellia is present at more than 200 operators globally. This market diversity brings us a different vision to manage the network according to different business requirements. We have developed our solution to respond to this diversity, which brings us a competitive advantage over companies that are focused on specific operator segments. Astellia has been a major player in the mobile industry for almost 15 years and continues to be a pure player. Thanks to our clear focus we have proven to be successful and are appreciated by our customers. We provide them with a solid expertise to detect, analyze, correlate, troubleshoot and report issues related to network efficiency, handset performance, mobile services performance and subscriber usage. Astellia s solution brings real-time network and customer insight to improve operators business performance, optimize E2E service quality and enhance subscriber satisfaction (Net Promoter Score). With one common platform, Astellia addresses and meets network operations & engineering, customer service, marketing & commercial teams requirements. Furthermore, Astellia offers a wide range of associated services such as audits (CEM, performance, revenue assurance, fraud detection, etc.), product customization and training. OS: As the chief technology officer, what would you like to accomplish in the next couple of years? How would you define success for yourself and for Astellia? JL: At Astellia, we are driven by continuous improvement and innovation to achieve excellence. The choice Astellia has made around Big Data analytics with Nova, our new monitoring solution, has paid off and will continue to help us gain more market share. These technological choices are determining my success and that of Astellia as a team. My next steps will be getting ready for the challenges related to HetNets and NFV/SDN by taking Big Data analytics to a whole new level in an effective and highly innovative solution to meet and exceed our customers needs. 5

6 SILICON VALLEY 331 E. Evelyn Ave. Suite 100 Mountain View, CA Tel Fax SAN ANTONIO 7550 West Interstate 10, Suite 400, San Antonio, Texas Tel Fax LONDON 4 Grosvenor Gardens London SW1W 0DH Tel +44 (0) Fax +44 (0) ABOUT FROST & SULLIVAN Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today s market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the Global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies? Contact Us: Start the Discussion For information regarding permission, write: Frost & Sullivan 331 E. Evelyn Ave. Suite 100 Mountain View, CA 94041

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