& cplSiteName &

The Big Data Challenge: 10 Tips for Telcos

Ray Le Maistre
1/29/2013
50%
50%

AMSTERDAM – Communication Service Providers (CSPs) need a self-imposed shift in corporate culture in order to capitalize on the massive amounts of potentially useful data they have at their fingertips.

That's one of the conclusions from the first morning's debate at the Big Data Analytics Summit here in the Dutch capital.

The TeleManagement Forum (TM Forum), the event's organizer, attracted a number of CSP executives from the likes of Belgacom SA, Cricket Communications Inc. and Orange Polska (with many more to come) to talk about why and how they are approaching the so-called Big Data challenge.

The overall theory is that by extracting useful information from the information that is currently hidden and untapped in many systems and networks, CSPs can provide a better customer experience, develop more targeted and intelligent marketing programs and develop new business models that will ultimately enable them to maximize their top and bottom lines.

Here are my takeaways from the conference sessions so far:

  • The ability to derive value from the information generated by networks, devices and subscribers is reliant on a dramatic, almost counter-cultural shift (for telcos) in corporate strategy and internal processes. Telcos "need to be able to prioritize and make decisions -- neither of these happen today as [telcos] don't have the right structure to do this," said Peter Crayfourd, a former senior customer experience executive at France Télécom – Orange, who is now an independent consultant.

    "The human aspect is as important, if not more important, than the technology," stated Belgacom Business Intelligence Manager Wim Castuer at the end of his presentation. He outlined how the Belgian incumbent reorganized and brought together its IT and business/marketing teams in an effort to figure out how to get from "data spaghetti to [a] structured data model."

  • Telcos have been talking about these ideas for years (without the Big Data tag) but have done little about it: Now, with margins squeezed, profitable legacy services in decline and competitive pressures coming from Web services players, there is evidence of action. CSPs need to make sure they don't get left behind: It's time to jump on the bandwagon.

  • The CSPs need help from the industry -- there's only so much they can do themselves. "We need a lot of help from the business intelligence experts," said David Muragi, head of multiscreen operations at Portugal Telecom SGPS SA. But total reliance on Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) systems and third party suppliers isn't recommended -- there needs to be some bespoke in-house action: "We need to identify the right people internally and then build on top [of the systems implemented]," he added.

  • Big Data strategies need buy-in from the very top of a CSP and then all the way down to the customer-facing staff if they are to have any impact.

  • New metrics are required, said a number of speakers. Traditional KPIs (key performance indicators) are practically meaningless, noted Crayfourd and other speakers. "I can't think of a worse measurement of a customer's value than ARPU [average revenue per user]," noted Jim Hayden, executive director of business intelligence at Teoco Corp. (See Teoco to Buy TTI Telecom.)

  • Big Data projects can't be forced into a fixed timescale: Once started, it will never stop. "You are never done," said Cricket's director of OSS, Stefan Spaar. "It's a journey, not a one-off investment," added Belgacom's Castuer.

  • Big Data projects are not big bang projects: They need to be implemented in an incremental fashion and CSPs should experiment as they figure out how the data from their multiple systems and silos can be organized in a more structured fashion and then mined for useful data. "Experiment by using [an] analytics sandbox," suggested Teoco's Hayden.

  • In terms of the technology underpinning CSP business intelligence/data warehousing/analytics strategies, some of the key IT suppliers are Teradata, The Apache Software Foundation (Hadoop), IBM Corp., Oracle Corp., EMC Corp. and SAS Institute Inc. That Teradata's business intelligence IT systems appear to be embedded in just about every CSP's back office looks like good news for emerging telco analytics specialist Guavus Inc., which is also here in Amsterdam and which has just announced a partnership with Teradata. (See Guavus Teams With Teradata.)

  • But CSPs should try not to be too hung up on the technology, noted Teoco's Hayden, and should not get obsessed either by the return on investment (ROI) on implementing a data analytics strategy (where the costs are a mix of operating and capital expenditures). "It's very hard to quantify how valuable [in financial terms] it is to know more about your customers. If you try to quantify it [then you'll] probably be wasting your time," said Belgacom's Castuer.

  • But there are ways to develop new revenue streams from Big Data operations: Cricket's Spaar explained that his company is currently studying how the business intelligence data it generates can be used for mobile marketing applications.

    And to finish off, here's the quote of the day:

    "Big Data sounds sexy but it's actually very dirty" -- Tapan Bhatt, senior director of industry solutions, Splunk Inc.

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

    (4)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    sqiar bi
    50%
    50%
    sqiar bi,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/8/2014 | 12:33:52 PM
    Tableau Reporting
       Tableau Reporting 
    SQIAR (http://www.sqiar.com/solutions/technology/tableau) is a leading Business Intelligence company and provides Tableau Software consultancy across United Kingdom and USA.
    Darryl DeLong
    50%
    50%
    Darryl DeLong,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    5/31/2013 | 7:33:38 PM
    re: The Big Data Challenge: 10 Tips for Telcos
    I'd like to suggest another great BI/Data Analytics company called Lavastorm Analytics - http://www.lavastorm.com
    Scott Sobers
    50%
    50%
    Scott Sobers,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    2/4/2013 | 9:16:09 PM
    re: The Big Data Challenge: 10 Tips for Telcos


    Hi Ray GĒō Thanks for sharing this informative
    recap, and I couldnGĒÖt agree more. CSPs have a wealth of data available to them
    and they are in a unique position to leverage what they have.-į Nearly
    everything that happens on a phone or tablet, a set top box, and across the
    network leaves an important insight into subscriber behavior.-į CSPs donGĒÖt lack data,
    they have mountains of it!-į The challenge is leveraging the right data.
    CSPs are very good at analyzing transactional data- much of this is structured.-į
    Transactional data is a major source of value to the business, but there is
    another valuable data source that is sometimes overlooked: detailed interaction
    data, which can reveal a lot about the quality of customer engagement.



    To leverage all forms of data, CSPs require an
    integrated analytics strategy that can provide across all data types in order
    to gain insights from it and make smarter decisions. As you mentioned, Teradata
    is already working to help customers in this space, and in fact, just last week announced the first integrated
    service provider framework to provide a 360-degree view of customers GĒō using
    both conventional transaction data and granular, detailed interaction data.
    This lets CSPs learn more about customer behavior and product preferences
    through visibility in ALL data interaction. Thanks again for your coverage of
    this topic, and I look forward to seeing what is to come in this space

    Ray Le Maistre
    50%
    50%
    Ray Le Maistre,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    1/29/2013 | 4:35:53 PM
    re: The Big Data Challenge: 10 Tips for Telcos
    Worth noting that, because this is a topic that delves really depe into strategy etc the telco speakers are only going to reveal so much.... but it's clear that those that have started the journey are tackling many of the same challenges and the ones that are quite a way down the line eg Cricket are pretty excited about the richness of the information they are gleaning from their initial stab at converged analytics (with some joined-up thinking...)-į
    From The Founder
    Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
    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 Interviews
    Masergy: It's Time for SD-WAN Options

    6|28|17   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


    Paul Ruelas, director of network products for Masergy, explains how adding SD-WAN has changed the service mix for his company's customers. In some cases, the change is incremental, enabling more granular customer control. Masergy's newest version, SD-WAN Go, gives up some of those controls for a streamlined version targeting mid-sized customers with the most ...
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Intel Ushers in the Revolutionary 5G Era

    6|28|17   |   5:00   |   (1) comment


    5G will bring job opportunities for women in telco and IT, as well as a whole new era of communications for consumers and industries of all kinds, says Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel.
    LRTV Custom TV
    VeEX at ANGA COM

    6|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


    At ANGA COM 2017, Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX, updates Alan Breznick with VeEX's new products and technology. This includes VeSion cloud-based platform for network monitoring, AT2500-3G advanced spectrum analyzer and MTTplus-900 WiFi Air Expert module. He also comments on DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and Remote PHY technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The Overall Objective Is to Win the Game

    6|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


    SCTE•ISBE's Chris Bastian discusses Energy 2020's success to date and the importance of a flexible approach that allows for changes in specific strategies in order to reach significant milestones.
    LRTV Interviews
    CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

    6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


    Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

    6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


    Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
    LRTV Custom TV
    SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

    6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
    LRTV Interviews
    Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

    6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


    At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Putting Power on a Pedestal

    6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


    ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

    6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


    A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

    6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


    As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

    6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


    IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
    Upcoming Live Events
    October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
    November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
    November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
    November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
    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
    Does AT&T Deserve Time Warner?
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2017
    Hulu Is Greatest Threat to Pay-TV Providers – Study
    Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 6/27/2017
    Calix: Russo's Not-So-Overnight Success?
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 6/28/2017
    Verizon Takes 'One Fiber' to More Cities
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/22/2017
    AT&T Expects 5G in Late 2018 or Early '19
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2017
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
    One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.