BSS (inc. billing, revenue assurance)

Location Intelligence Is the New Black

In the service provider IT (SPIT) space, location analytics and intelligence companies seem to be flavor of the month, at least in terms of M&A action.

We see established BSS/OSS vendors showing tremendous interest in location-based intelligence and analytics companies. We have witnessed three significant acquisitions in this space in a matter of months: Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) acquiring Actix, JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) acquiring Arieso and InfoVista SA acquiring Aexio. (See InfoVista Acquires Aexio for Network Optimization, Amdocs Dives Into Mobile SPIT Pool and JDSU Buys Mobile OSS Vendor for $85M.)

Why are locational analytics companies so important, especially in the wireless space?

In our opinion, the competitive differentiation of mobile network operators will depend on several important dimensions -- subscriber experience management, network resource management, and proactive service assurance. Successful mobile network operators need to be operationally agile and able to deliver an optimum customer experience. Capturing detailed voice and data session-level information, combined with geo-location and subscriber-related information, can provide operators' detailed, actionable insight and visibility.

Location-centric service and subscriber data capture and monitoring provides the fundamental visibility that helps isolate and repair customer issues, optimize resources and alleviate congestion management issues. Location intelligence and analytics helps service providers to differentiate the customer experience and achieve cost efficiencies with improved automation and optimization of their existing networks, and when rolling out new network technologies, such as LTE and small cells. This will help isolate and repair customer issues, optimize resources and alleviate congestion management issues.

In the context of service assurance, an understanding of geo-location and the ability to correlate location information with mobile measurement data and KPI statistics can be the difference between proactively solving service issues before the subscriber's service experience is affected and waiting to receive an irate subscriber's complaint, which can result in customer churn. This is particularly important when it comes to highly valuable corporate customers. This approach of proactively solving customer issues instead of waiting for dissatisfied subscribers to complain can go a long way toward minimizing customer churn.

For Amdocs it is a strategic way to extend their B/OSS offering to intelligence-driven planning and capacity management. The acquisition will help Amdocs to bolster its focus on customer experience by balancing network optimization needs based on a holistic view of the subscriber's experience across all networks, BSS and OSS. Geo-located network information provided by Actix, combined with customer data and capabilities from Amdocs' policy management and charging system will allow service providers to support innovative use cases and take proactive action based on network performance to modify and improve the experience of a specific customer or group of customers.

In my opinion, InfoVista's acquisition of Aexio is a step in the right direction. With this acquisition InfoVista has successfully managed to close the loop between assurance, planning, and optimization. InfoVista has successfully demonstrated a focused strategy which ties together critical dimensions of network optimization and planning with network intelligence and network and service data. This acquisition will not only improve InfoVista technology relevance and offer new product upsell opportunities but will also increase the company's regional coverage, especially in Asia/Pacific.

— Ari Banerjee, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

Affandy 11/1/2013 | 9:30:33 AM
Location Intelligence Will Have a Big Impact on BSS/OSS, CEM Hi Ari – thanks for validating that our move is a step in the right direction. Like you said, mobile operators will be able to effectively differentiate and grow their businesses if they are to put customers at the core of their network planning and design, network performance management and network optimization efforts. They can no longer afford to just be reactive to network performance issues—there's an inherent customer churn risk that comes along with this approach. Instead, today and in the future, mobile operators must have the right tools to collect and analyze granular data, like subscribers' locations and their handsets—and transform this into intelligence for proactive, effective and timely decision-making. For those interested in learning more about InfoVista's acquisition of Aexio and our thoughts on network intelligence supported by geoanalytics, we invite you to visit our blog (http://bit.ly/1hzeFed). 
Joe @ Directions 10/28/2013 | 5:05:21 AM
LI in an expanding ecosystem Location intelligence (LI) is not a new solution in the telecom space. The telecom industry has been using this technology since the mid-90's using demographics for marketing and for field service management. What's new, of course, is the analysis of social media that is intrinsically tied to a location. Location-based services, apps, and now data from social networks has opened their eyes to new applications but with the challenge of analyzing the volumne and velocity of geospatial information. Now facing mobile operators is indoor positioning. This has the potential to revolutionize marketing as well as outage management. Predictive analytics for either service management or marketing has certainly been facilitated by mobile computing and the comfort by which users are allowing their private information to be more accessible.
TeleWRTRLiz 10/25/2013 | 8:55:01 AM
Re: Great summary of the trend Location information is really hot right for smart cities, smart grid and eHealth. The Open Geospacial Consortion and TM Forum announced a liason agreement this week to connect OGS's location processes to Frameworx and OGC will be at Digital Disruption next week as they are particpating in two Catalyst projects on the topic: eHealth – Curing the Complexity and Smart Grid – Empowering the Digital Customer. Check them out if you are at the show. Looks cool.
C Chappell 10/25/2013 | 8:36:13 AM
Re: Great summary of the trend I agree, Ari - the analytics-driven customer experience assurance market is really buzzing at the moment. And interestingly, the private equity owner of Infovista, Thoma Bravo, also acquired Empirix this month. Empirix has been expanding its functionality considerably over the past couple of years through its own acquisitions and it will be interesting to watch whether the new owner encourages Infovista to incorporate Empirix technology as well. 
[email protected] 10/25/2013 | 7:00:48 AM
Great summary of the trend Nice summation, Ari. And interetsing that InfoVista has joined in - this must have been the acquisition that was the subject of speculation at TMF earlier this year


MW13: InfoVista Preps More M&A

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