SPIT Watch: Knowing Me, Knowing You

There are plenty of back-office battlegrounds in the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) world at present -- cloud services management and customer experience management sprint to mind -- but the subscriber data management (SDM) sector looks like it's heating up nicely as the telecom software world girds its loins for the TM Forum 's Management World 2010 in Nice, France.

Knowledge is power
One of the few things everyone seems to agree on in this industry is that service providers need to know a lot more about their customers, so they can not only take their money from them, but also offer them the most appropriate services and packages and provide them with the best possible "customer experience." But to do that, the service providers need back-office tools that can provide up-to-date and accurate information about the subscribers, the services they use, and their consumption habits.

That's why SDM is an increasingly hot topic (developments will be discussed as part of the Excellent Customer Experience Summit during Management World), and why more and more companies are developing capabilities to help the carriers be smarter and, with any luck, more profitable.

Openet Telecom Ltd. , for example, has just announced it has spread its wings into this area, building on its mediation platform. (See Openet Manages Subscriber Data.)

The Irish vendor hasn't stopped there, though. It also teamed up with data warehousing specialist Netezza Corp. (NYSE: NZ) to develop its associated Business Intelligence and Analytics Practice, to help carriers better drill into their data, and enhanced its Audience and Engagement Measurement service that provides cable operators with all sorts of subscriber data information about their video services customers. (See Openet Teams With Netezza and Openet Beefs Up Data Measurement.)

But Openet faces some strong incumbents. Blueslice Networks Inc. , for example, is totally focused on this sector, and has just landed a new (though small) deal in Europe. HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) is pitching hard in this area, too. (See Blueslice Wins in Malta, Blueslice Touts SDM Success, and HP Intros Subscriber Data Management.)

Then there's the likes of Bridgewater Systems Corp. (Toronto: BWC), which has been touting its subscriber data broker with some success for a fair while, and, of course, the major mobile infrastructure equipment vendors, which all have strong propositions. (See Bell Canada Selects Bridgewater.)

Nokia Networks is particularly vocal about the capabilities of its SDM platform, which is deployed at around 200 service providers and manages about 1 billion end users. (See SPIT Week Spotlight: Nokia Siemens Networks.)

And just last week, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) announced that its subscriber data management now manages pretty much the same number of subscribers globally -- "more than 1 billion subscribers" – and is "deployed by more than 200 customers worldwide." AlcaLu's data management offering includes its 8660 Data Grid Suite, 8661 Directory Server, and its 8650 Subscriber Data Manager.

Consistent with its Applications Enablement strategy, AlcaLu has been stressing how carriers can benefit from making their back-office resources and customer data available to third-party application developers. Of course, it's only useful to those developers if it's accurate and up-to-date, increasing the pressure on service providers to make sure they have a well thought-out and executed SDM strategy.

Other recent SPIT news of note includes:

  • Metaswitch Networks , the ambitious softswitch and application server vendor that has industry veteran Kevin DeNuccio at its helm, hasn't wasted any time sitting on its recent acquisition: It's just announced enhancements to the service broker platform it picked up when it acquired AppTrigger recently. (See Metaswitch Enhances Its Service Broker, Metaswitch Squeezes AppTrigger, Metaswitch Eyes an IPO, and Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO.)

  • Chinese OSS/BSS specialist AsiaInfo Inc. (Nasdaq: ASIA) continues to land significant domestic deals, and the size of those deals is keeping its top and bottom liens healthy. (See China Mobile Upgrades With AsiaInfo, AsiaInfo Reports Q1, and Chinese Firms Create OSS Giant.)

    And see these other recent SPIT stories: — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

  • Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:37:13 PM
    re: SPIT Watch: Knowing Me, Knowing You

    The Alan Partridge Abba medley! One of my favorite British TV moments...



    But it doesn't top Basil Fawlty thrashing his car with a tree branch.

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