Nokia provides solutions that help service providers move productivity into the fast lane and monetise operations. Henrique Vale, Head of Nokia Software for MEA at Nokia, tells Intelligent CIO how Nokia software solutions are designed to enrich and monetise digital experiences through the power of connected intelligence in Digital Time.
What’s Digital Time?
In the digital world, everything must be immediate, intelligent and intuitive. But advances in technology don’t necessarily mean faster, smarter and better. Today, time is still in short supply and productivity growth is stuck in the slow lane.
Henrique Vale, Head of Nokia Software for MEA at Nokia, said: “Nokia’s concept of ‘Digital Time’ is dynamic. It evolves with each new idea, innovation or service that uses technology more intelligently to meet customers’ needs. Today’s digital leaders – companies and entrepreneurs – know the critical importance and value of Digital Time.
“By intelligently connecting humans, machines and data, you can boost productivity. You can bring new services to market faster. You can act at the moment, to enrich and monetise customer experience. You can operate ultra-efficiently. And you can achieve more with the right architecture, automated network operations and analytics, and by integrating services into the network in a completely different way.
“If you want to move productivity into the fast lane, you need to work more intelligently with technology. Enabling machines and humans to do what they each do best creates time for what matters the most. Because life happens in Digital Time.”
Nokia Software solutions are designed to enrich and monetise digital experiences through the power of connected intelligence.
“Everything we do is with this goal in mind because we believe that operations and networks are integral to a customer’s experience and a service provider’s ability to monetise it,” said Vale.
“Our solutions help service providers work in Digital Time, connecting everything with insights and increasingly automated actions that constantly feed each other.”
Enabling Digital Time in Middle East and Africa
In order to enable Digital Time, many service providers across the MEA region are in the process of some sort of Digital Transformation. According to a study made by Forbes, enterprises are expected to spend about $1.3 trillion in Digital Transformation on a global basis.
“But the sad truth of it is that 70% of their projects fail. We need to collectively take a step back and look at what we are doing and find a way to increase our success rate,” said Vale.
“For that we should look at the 30% of the projects that succeed. What do they have in common?
They move in Digital Time, with a corporate wide approach to digitalisation and they aren’t afraid to disrupt. They are bold. They also have a thoughtful approach to digitisation. For that reason, we should not talk about Digital Transformation but Digital Reinvention.”
This involves getting rid of the notion of transformation entirely. Digital leaders don’t transform slowly. They reinvent quickly. They do it by:
- Getting clear on their digital ambition
- Having a clear end-to-end design point
- Launching smart pilot projects that do more than providing new technology
- Then they scale those projects that are successful with all the learning you created in your pilot
- Then you de-risk by making the proper investments in change, resources, models and technology
Vale added: “At Nokia, we have developed a significant experience over the last three years at implementing such digital reinvention programmes with many telecom service providers and enterprises around the world, starting with ourselves, with the complete redesign of our portfolio of software assets and solutions, totally centered at the capture of the Digital Times.”
How Nokia helps telcos to ensure a great customer experience
If the network is poor, the customer will have a bad experience. If the operations are slow, the customer will have to wait a long time to get services set up and problems resolved. If the care or billing is off, a customer may decide to find another supplier.
So, all systems within a service provider must come together to create a great experience. The operations engineer needs tools that allow delivering services in Digital Time. The networks need to feed relevant information to the customer experience layer.
The silos created in departments prevent service providers from getting a holistic view of what’s happening with their customers and what’s the next best action to take. They can’t wait until analysis is pieced together and the Digital Time window has closed. Nor should they have to.
“At Nokia, we can connect the experience, operations and network and take a broader look at what’s happening,” said Vale. “This is something not every company can do. Our position is – the network matters, telecom domain knowledge matters, advanced intelligence matters and extreme automation is necessary. And the real value is connecting them to drive better outcomes.”
5G’s impact on Digital Time
There’s an ongoing, digitalisation-driven value alignment for industry verticals from hyper speed consumer services, to hyper-segmented business services, and to IoT and industrial applications with unique connectivity, security, computing and data management requirements.
As a technology, 5G represents the pinnacle of current telecommunications infrastructure thinking, and provides a set of concepts, technologies and network or application functions that could offer unrivalled levels of on-demand service personalisation needed in this new reality.
By properly harnessing 5G technologies and applications, future telcos as digital service providers would be able to meet the demand for new services and unlock new revenue streams. However, the 5G era requires a shift in business and operations models.
“Consequently, the 5G era should mean transforming – both technically and commercially – into offering 5G as a digital value platform for an innovation ecosystem, which will define services and the respective needs by itself and not necessarily dictated by the telco,” said Vale.
“It seems then that we should look into the transformation to the 5G era as an opportunity to fundamentally rethink the business and operations platform needed to expose and monetise network and services.
“Accordingly, 5G won’t simply be the fifth generation or continuation of an existing technology and business model, but rather the first generation of a new communications and digital services paradigm.”
Security and Digital Time
With the Digital Times, come also a new era of endpoint attacks, especially for weakly secured IoT devices. Cybercriminals are quickly learning to leverage botnets, orchestrate them and run very focused and destructive attacks. And it’s not just vulnerable IoT devices that are ingress points, but also highly secured smartphones that are now being targeted at scale.
Nokia’s recent Threat Intelligence Report 2019 has warned on the fast-growing and evolving threat of malicious software targeting Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The report reveals that IoT botnet activity represented 78% of malware detection events in communication service provider networks in 2018 — more than double the rate seen in 2016, when IoT bot activity was first seen in meaningful numbers.
IoT bots now make up 16% of infected devices in CSP networks, up significantly from 3.5% a year ago. Malware threats against IoT devices could get worse as consumer adoption of such devices accelerate in the years ahead as 5G capabilities – including extreme broadband, ultra-low latency connectivity, and massive networking – advance.
“In the last three years, our Nokia Threat Intelligence Center has recognised a scary growth in smartphone attacks that malware writers and scammers love to employ,” said Vale. “In addition to the traditional SMS Trojans, spy phone apps, banking Trojans, information theft and ransomware, we are now seeing bitcoin mining added to the smartphone attack repertoire.”
To address this, service providers and enterprises must implement modern security operations solutions capable to aggregate, correlate and analyse data from disparate point tools into cohesive and enriched security intelligence with business-specific context. An integrated security workflow automation and orchestration are at the heart of the transition from static defence to agile and adaptive response.
To address these challenges, Nokia proposes its NetGuard, an award-winning suite of integrated software modules providing end-to-end Security, Orchestration, Analytics and Response (SOAR). This industry-leading software is powered by Machine Learning, analytics and automation that provides extensive visibility and insight into the nature of security threats, and drives intelligent, automated responses.
Thus, while it is important for operators to adopt Digital Transformation in Digital Time, it is also equally important for them to proactively address the security challenges.