Light Reading

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
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.
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: Light Sabre
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."
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.
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Talk not about technology, but about what technology can do for you if you want to get more women interested in comms, Nokia's head of partner marketing says.
Tech companies are admitting they have a gender problem that they say they want to fix, but more needs to be done – and faster. No more excuses.
The co-founder and managing director of UK ISP Hyperoptic shares her thoughts on everything from 'fibrehoods' to advice for the sisterhood of women in comms.
Carrier says it feels a 'tremendous sense of urgency to push forward on 5G' and is planning to field test the technology with partners next year.
Sprint's Chicago boss shares her thoughts on creating a culture of inclusion and both fitting in and standing out as a woman in comms.
From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Interviews
Top Tips for FTTH Operators

10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
LRTV Interviews
M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
LRTV Documentaries
The Business Case Challenge for NFV

10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
LRTV Interviews
JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Sonus Shakes Up SD-WAN

10|2|15   |   7:22   |   (0) comments

Sonus CTO Kevin Riley sat down with Light Reading to discuss the trajectory of the company, its SDN ambitions and why Sonus is taking a market-disruptive approve to SD-WAN.
LRTV Interviews
CityFibre's Gigabit Vision

10|1|15   |   03:18   |   (1) comment

Mark Collins, director of Strategy & Public Affairs at competitive UK city network operator CityFibre, talks about his company's plans to help build Gigabit Cities.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
Hot Topics
Eurobites: Dunroamin'
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 10/2/2015
M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/6/2015
Cisco's Chambers Rules Out Political Bid
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/6/2015
Infinera Fleshes Out Its Metro 100G Story
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/7/2015
AT&T Gets Green Light for VoWiFi
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/7/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
"What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here