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Telemanagement World Dublin: It's all about Clouds

But the real story was about the clouds. Of course, we mean the dust cloud. The eruption of Grimsvotn in Iceland was the real topic of conversation on the first day, with most of the people we spoke to being concerned about how or if they would manage to get home. We investigated creative alternative overland routes to get back to England, but in the end, the dust cloud suffered from considerable over-hype and most people's travel plans were unaffected.

A close runner-up to the Icelandic dust cloud was the topic of cloud-based services in general. Whether these will suffer the same degree of hype remains to be seen, but the growth, development and segmentation of cloud services - and the business models behind them - continued to attract attention. As we have been following these closely over the last few years, we shall add some comment on these in future articles, but for us, the most interesting take-away was the growing awareness of the convergence between a number of topics.

For a while, data analytics, policy and cloud services have been addressed in some depth, but generally as separate topics. Of course, each has merits in its own right and we shall continue to comment on developments in each.

But, in reality they are intimately related. Understanding customer behaviour and activity will be a key tool in selling new services, which will likely be cloud based. Policy gives you a means to ensure that customers get what they pay for and what the operator wants them to consume in the future. As more and more services emerge, operators will need ways to capture revenue and target them towards new potential customers. An holistic view of these topics will help operators both refine their portfolios and their future business models and opportunities, so in conversations and briefings we held, it was good to see awareness of this.

We had briefings with a number of companies - including Kapsch, Amartus, Netformx, Netevidence and Arantech - and will write about relevant and interesting updates over the coming weeks. The key for us is to incorporate the insights gleaned from one-to-one meetings with the wider context of what's happening in the industry.

But for now, thanks to HP for an excellent reception behind the security cordon that surrounded President Obama on the Monday; Openet for the brilliantly simple idea of taking some analysts to the pub on Tuesday and having a few pints; and Intune for an extremely interesting and entertaining evening on Wednesday.

It's also worth awarding a prize for the best giveaway: on a final tour of the exhibition on Thursday, we spotted Sigma Systems handing out miniature bottles of Jameson's and Bailey's Irish Cream. It's been a long time since we saw such adult giveaways, so hats off to the marketing team who decided that this was more interesting than a USB stick. We had no idea what they do, but will watch out for them in the future. Genius.