Light Reading
The operator's business intelligence director has been bombarded with Big Data BS, but can see beyond the hype

Telefónica Battles Big Data Hype

Ray Le Maistre
1/30/2013
50%
50%

AMSTERDAM -- Daniel Rodriguez Sierra is on a mission: To ride the Big Data hype wave and come out the other side with a set of processes and technology platforms that can deliver tangible benefits to the various operating businesses and special units that comprise his parent company, Telefónica SA.

Speaking here at TeleManagement Forum (TM Forum)'s Big Data Analytics Summit, Rodriguez Sierra said that the industry hype around the term Big Data was intense, but added that "the opportunity is here too." (See The Big Data Challenge: 10 Tips for Telcos.)

And the opportunity is one for him to grab. As director for Enterprise Architecture and Information & BI Technology at Telefónica's Global Technology group, which manages the Spanish carrier's IT systems and strategy across its entire operations (found in Latin America and Europe), Rodriguez Sierra and his team is developing a new strategy to cope with the volumes and types of data that, historically, have not existed. "The best definition of Big Data I have heard so far is that it's any data we can't process rationally with the existing technology we have," he noted.

But while recognizing that something needs to be done to benefit from the mass of data Telefónica has in its systems, Rodriguez Sierra, who has been engaged in business intelligence activities for years, has been quite cautious in his approach to Big Data. "How much value will a terabyte of data give us? We need to invest according to value -- we can't just continue to expand our existing architecture we have for business intelligence."

Despite those ongoing concerns -- "the entrance cost is high, the TCO [total cost of ownership] uncertain" -- the operator is taking a number of steps towards a set of processes and approaches that can be adopted company-wide (i.e. in the traditional service provider operations and across the various units within the operator's new division, Telefónica Digital).

But that doesn't mean there's only one way to tackle Big Data within Telefónica. While Rodriguez Sierra is working towards having a uniform underlying data warehouse platform across the company and having a cloud-based set of tools that any part of the company can use, he is encouraging different approaches and "embracing change."

Across the group there's a desire to use data from networks to identify ways to enhance customers' data service experience, improve video optimization, better enable bandwidth control techniques and improve policy enforcement.

In addition, he notes there are a number of analytics experiments underway at different operating units, including Vivo in Brazil, which is pushing ahead with projects around location analysis, Web navigation analysis based on deep packet inspection (DPI) data, and call center message analysis.

Meanwhile, the team at Telefónica Digital has created a Big Data business unit called Dynamic Insights that is developing tools and services that can be utilized by the carrier and its customers. The first product, which uses mobile network data to identify the factors that influence people's location at any particular time, is already being promoted to corporate and public sector customers. (See Telefónica Creates 'Big Data' Unit.)

So there's plenty of internal analytics/business intelligence development ongoing across Telefónica, but Rodriguez Sierra is also deploying external expertise and technology to advance Telefónica's Big Data strategy -- "we are technologically promiscuous," he quipped.

As these projects mature, Rodriguez Sierra is keeping his eye on a number of key ongoing challenges, most notably those around data privacy, costs (extracting useful data from network elements, probes and software systems is tough and expensive, in his experience), organizational barriers (internal cultural change does not happen overnight, he admitted) and governance issues.

"We're aware of the risks … and we don't have all the answers to all the problems, but we're working hard not to miss the opportunities," he concluded.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
FritzNelson
50%
50%
FritzNelson,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/2/2013 | 6:35:53 PM
re: Telefónica Battles Big Data Hype
I'm curious what sort of return operators are expecting from big data analytics, especially on the location end? Is it just identifying where to roll out new services, like LTE? Or is it also to increase capacity? I'm also thinking that they'll be providing marketers with data to be used for geo-targeting.-Š
mervynk1
50%
50%
mervynk1,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/30/2013 | 6:04:05 PM
re: Telefónica Battles Big Data Hype
As the article points out G«Ű creating value from
information is easier said than done. An approach operators are starting to
consider when making sense of Big Data is geo-analytics. The concept of using
geo-economic analysis as a business intelligence tools is not new, but has not
been extensively deployed in the telecoms industry, as network operators have
traditionally lacked the know-how to access and interpret all available data in
a meaningful manner. Today the right tools exist to help interpret the
information available in the service providersG«÷ environment (including size and
telecom requirements of enterprises and competition footprint) to support a
pragmatic growth strategy plan. In the next year or so, we expect to see
geo-analytics being used both in the enterprise connectivity sector (helping
identify new customers) and in the mobile space to help plan the roll-out of
LTE deployments.Mervyn Kelly -ŠCiena Marketing-Š
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
iPad Air 2 Lets Users Switch Carriers Any Time
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/17/2014
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed