& 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 G Thanks for sharing this informative
    recap, and I couldnGt agree more. CSPs have a wealth of data available to them
    and they are in a unique position to leverage what they have.- Nearly
    everything that happens on a phone or tablet, a set top box, and across the
    network leaves an important insight into subscriber behavior.- CSPs donGt lack data,
    they have mountains of it!- The challenge is leveraging the right data.
    CSPs are very good at analyzing transactional data- much of this is structured.-
    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 G 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...)-
    From The Founder
    Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
    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 Custom TV
    The Urgency of Commercial 5G Services

    4|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


    The progress of 5G has been closely monitored in the industry. At the 2017 Brooklyn 5G Summit, the sense of urgency for a commercial 5G launch had started to surface among operators.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

    4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


    Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Mobile Operators & Video

    4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Infinera Introduces Instant Network

    4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


    Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

    4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


    Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
    LRTV Custom TV
    NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

    4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


    The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    The Impact of Video

    4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


    David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

    4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


    In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

    4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


    Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei at MWC 2017

    4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


    At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
    LRTV Custom TV
    China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

    4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

    4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
    May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
    June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
    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
    Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
    Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
    First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
    Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
    Ericsson's Q1 Even Worse Than Feared
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/25/2017
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    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 ...
    TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
    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. Well 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.