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Amdocs Wants to Be Big in Carrier Big Data

Sarah Thomas
5/28/2014
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Amdocs says its new Insights Big Data Platform, announced Wednesday, is the first end-to-end big data analytics platform specifically built for communication service providers. But has the vendor bitten off more than it can chew?

At least one analyst suggests Amdocs should learn to crawl before it can really walk the walk with what it's promising -- a big data analytics system that combines information across operators' networks, OSS/BSS, and external social media feeds.

Heavy Reading analyst Ari Banerjee calls Amdocs' big data play interesting, but doubts if the initiative will really be successful. The company isn't known in analytics, he says, typically choosing to partner with SAS or IBM to target service providers. An end-to-end big data approach is good marketing-speak, but Banerjee suggests it may not be enough to convince network operators Amdocs is a serious player.

"The market will be convinced only when they can show sufficient success in this space," he says. "For the time being, we will wait and watch. I am treating this just as an Amdocs announcement with not a whole lot of meat."

That said, Amdocs is making some very meaty promises. The launch builds on a Proactive Care proof-of-concept Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) was showing off in the fall at the TM Forum show in San Jose, Calif., and -- to its credit -- Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president for product and solutions marketing at Amdocs, says the company does have one tier-one service provider using that part of its now commercial offering. (See Why Your Klout Score Really Matters.)

Today's announcement brings together the whole package from Amdocs, including TeraScale, its real-time usage tracking software, with Proactive Care to monitor social media, and BI and Data Warehousing services. And, Prudhomme says it takes advantage of its recent acquisitions of Actix and Celcite to pull data deeper from the network. (See Amdocs Shines SON Acquisitions on RAN.)

The end result, Prudhomme explains, is an end-to-end platform that ingests, cleans, and analyzes all the data an operator has about a customer. Amdocs is pitching the platform through a series of apps --some of which are still in testing -- depending on what the operator's need is: marketing, network operations, customer care, etc. She says they can mix and match the apps and access the data through a single interface.

"Our vision is launching a carrier-grade big-data analytics platform that will not only collect and manage data, but apply meaningful analytics to bring real-time service value to the service provider business," Prudhomme says. "We see the opportunity for Amdocs to inject real-time analytics across our CES [customer experience systems] platform."

To make that proposition more enticing, Amdocs is also offering what it calls data science as a service (DSaaS), leveraging the data scientists it acquired through its 2008 acquisition of ChangingWorlds, along with its own domain experts, to essentially provide consulting services to operators. So, for example, a data scientist with expertise in marketing analytics will team up with an Amdocs marketing expert to suggest to operators what they can and should do with what they find out from their data. (See Amdocs to Buy ChangingWorlds.)

Amdocs may be a new face in big data, but it is at least jumping into the right market at a time when a lot of operators are still working out their strategies. Heavy Reading forecasts that the market for big data technology and services in the communications sector will grow by more than 400% over the next seven years from $1.95 billion in 2013 to $9.83 billion in 2020. (See Telco Big Data Market to Thrive.)

Amdocs will be showing off its Insights Big Data Platform at the TM Forum Live, taking place next week in Nice, France. (See NFV Takes Center Stage for TM Forum.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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aribanerjee
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aribanerjee,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2014 | 10:22:46 AM
Re: Big data market
Key players in this space are IBM, Teradata, SAP, SAS etc vendors. There are quite a few others in this space. These are all datawarehouse/analytics vendors who have core exptertize in this space and have been doing all sorts of data (big or small) management over the last decade or so.
sarahthomas1011
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sarahthomas1011,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/28/2014 | 2:35:16 PM
Re: Big data market
Agreed. I don't think Amdocs is stretching the term. This is all big-data analytics and includes quite a lot, but it is repackaging and playing up its offerings to capitalize on the trend.
sarahthomas1011
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sarahthomas1011,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/28/2014 | 2:34:11 PM
Re: Big data market
Ari, who do you see as the leaders in this space?
aribanerjee
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aribanerjee,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/28/2014 | 12:00:29 PM
Re: Big data market
It is already hurting Amdocs and hence we see repackaging and press releases before TMF Nice. Amdocs analytics story as I mentioned has been non-existent and most of what they talk about now can be attributed to their product marketing and PR machinery at their creative best.
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
5/28/2014 | 10:59:59 AM
Re: Big data market
I feel like many companies are still figuring out their stories in regard to big data analytics. And everyone is looking at it in one way or another. I'm starting to hear from optical equipment vendors that are looking at different angles. I don;t think it's too late, but as with SDN, companies right now also might be in teh mode of playing around with the term, perhaps trying to stretch what it means to fit their own market ambitions.
sarahthomas1011
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50%
sarahthomas1011,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/28/2014 | 9:53:15 AM
Big data market
Big data analytics is a relatively new market with a lot of new entrants popping up, but some, like Guavus, are racking up wins already. Do you all think it'll hurt Amdocs that it hasn't had a strong story yet, or not because everyone is still building out their strategies? Even if today's news is mainly repackaging of what it already has, it's smart to get it all under one umbrella, I think.
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