Light Reading

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
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
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
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?