& cplSiteName &

Big-Data's Not So Big Without CEM

Sarah Thomas

It's no surprise the big-data market is attracting new entrants, consolidation, and operator attention. It's largely because there's ample opportunity to make money, but any player would be remiss to focus only on that money-making part of the big-data equation.

Rather, big-data should be part of a larger customer experience management (CEM) program within the operator. It's hard to say whether this imperative falls to the operator, the big-data vendor, or, most likely, both. Most of the vendors I've spoken with note that their analytics tools can be used to help the operators do most any type of customer care, CEM or network-related upgrades, but it seems the operators are stuck on the how to make money from their analytics capabilities. (See: Big Data Attracts Big Dollars, New Faces.)

Heavy Reading senior analyst Ari Banerjee tells us there is a lot of opportunity for new entrants in the big-data space that have a robust technology platform and can work with operators with innovative business models. But a focus that goes beyond data monetization to a broader CEM strategy is a must. According to Heavy Reading's projections, CEM-centric activities, as well as network intelligence and analytics, will play a much greater role in the big-data market.

This will result in the use of big-data analytics to improve the customer experience at a network, billing, and services layer. It also entails breaking down silos to get a much broader, more detailed view of a subscriber. A triple-play provider is better able to help a customer if it has visibility into all the services used by that customer, especially if all those services are consolidated onto one bill. That may present upsell opportunities, but that's secondary to the basic CEM considerations.

That may seem like an obvious move, but it's not yet a common approach. The disparate operations at major carriers work within their own silos, and the view they have of their customers relates only to the services provided by that particular division. This hurts the customer service experience but also represents a big CEM opportunity.

Part of the issue could be that the operators don't yet have the help they need to ingest, understand, and act on big-data. And they are not alone: According to McKinsey & Co. , the US could face "a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions."

But there is some evidence that operators are starting to look for help. Heavy Reading senior analyst Caroline Chappell has noticed there are numerous openings for PhD students who want to study data mining as part of their post-graduate studies.

Many operators such as Verizon Wireless , Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) have created divisions to focus on utilizing big-data capabilities, but it could be that they don't have the expertise to make it part of a bigger strategy yet. (See: JDSU Urges Ops to Sell Their Location Data, AT&T Eyes Big Data Revenues, and Telefónica Battles Big Data Hype.)

Identifying new business opportunities (and potential cost savings) from big-data is a real opportunity, but it's not one that should be pursued in isolation. It's just one part of a larger CEM strategy -- and that's where the real opportunities lie.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/15/2013 | 3:28:18 PM
Re: The NSA Paradigm
Very good point, ping. All the vendors are working on that, although they have different methods. It's a lot to take in and understand, especially working within silos. I'll be looking for more concrete examples of it done well, and I'm sure the operators will look for examples of it tied to revenue generation. That's the kind of data they'll care about.
sam masud
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/15/2013 | 3:24:29 PM
The NSA Paradigm
Quite possibly nobody has more "big  data" than the National Security Agency, and in my humble opinion I don't think it's helping them all that much, relatively speaking, in going after the baddies. It seems to me that it makes little sense to suck up all the data for analysis--perhaps the challenge of big data will be in identifying data that truly is of value. I guess vendors that do that well will be the ones that succeed.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/11/2013 | 11:55:15 AM
Re: multi-vendor CEM
I like that quote, Liz! Makes sense. It's no small task when we're talking getting that granular. And, McKinsey isn't the only one predicting a shortage in big-data experts. I think that's why so many vendors are pitching products for analytics that are plug-in-play so that anyone can understand. But, I wonder if those go far enough?
User Rank: Lightning
10/11/2013 | 10:39:03 AM
Re: multi-vendor CEM
We've got a number of Catalysts at Digital Disruption on this very topic--the two go hand in hand. Customer engagement/experience can't be improved until businesses start capturing, analyzing and understanding data over a period of time rather than just one interaction. One of my favorite quotes from our CEM guru here at the Forum is: "If you run your business with averages, you will run an average business."
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/11/2013 | 10:21:55 AM
multi-vendor CEM
It's becoming clear that operators are using multiple vendors for big-data analytics alone, not to mention their wider CEM strategies. For example, Zettics works with the big four operators, and Guavus has said Sprint is a customer, maybe even AT&T. I imagine the big four use their big vendor partners a la ALU, Ericsson, NSN, etc in the back office too. It'll be interesting to see how that shakes out and all fits together to create their larger CEM strategy.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Women often struggle to advance past middle management or end up leaving the workplace at that time, so WiC's 11th panel discussion in London next week will tackle how to get unstuck and keep moving up the corporate ladder.
Intel's Lynn Comp joins WiC on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 1PM EST to talk company culture -- what it is, how to craft a positive one and how to communicate it internally and externally.
Join Women in Comms for its 10th networking breakfast and panel discussion, where we promise to tackle those uncomfy questions, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, in Denver.
WiC congratulates the winners of our inaugural Leading Lights awards: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff, Zayo Group's Sandi Mays and startup Grid4C.
Leaders from Mellanox, Arista Networks, Syniverse, ECI Telecom and Cisco round out WiC's inaugural female tech pioneers of the year.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/21/2016
Oh Snap! Qualcomm Unveils X50, Its First 5G Modem
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/17/2016
Telecom Italia Plots Digital 'Overlay,' Not Transformation
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/17/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.