& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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.-á
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 GÇô 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 providersGÇÖ 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 -áCiena Marketing-á
Featured Video
From The Founder
The 'gleaming city on a hill,' Steve Saunders calls it. But who is going to take us from today's NFV componentry to the grand future of a self-driving network? Here's a look at the vendors hoping to make it happen.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Could 5G Have Found Its Glass Ceiling?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2017
Why Amazon May Be Cable's Biggest Threat
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/22/2017
1 Million Pirate Set-Top Boxes Sold in the UK
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 9/20/2017
Can Fixed Wireless Fix Rural Broadband?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/25/2017
Comcast Shuts Down OTT Again
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/19/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed