The big data challenge is the ability to mix formula and flexibility

Written by on October 20, 2015 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

Mathematical calculationOur recent survey of 50 global operators and their readiness to embrace data analytics has certainly sparked some debate and interest. Last week we presented some extracts from the research at the Next Gen BSS summit in London, and it’s fair to say plenty of people wanted to talk to us at the end of the session.

There’s no doubt that operators are behind the Large Internet Players (LIPs) when it comes to data analytics, and if you have any doubts on that, consider this quote.

 “Without data we would not exist. We ship no goods, we do not manufacture anything, we just provide an electronic digital service. The use of the data is at the heart of the whole of our business.”

That is a quote from a large Internet player, interviewed as part of the research. The LIPs have built massive global businesses on data alone. Operators are at the opposite end of the spectrum – they have masses of customer data, but typically do not use it to anything like the same extent as the LIPs.

The irony is that when it comes to Big Data strategy, the telecom industry potentially has a significant advantage over many Internet players due to the sheer depth, breadth, and quality of customer data it collects in the course of normal business. What’s more, because they own the connection, they also have a direct route to the customer. What they lack, in many cases, is the process to maximise that knowledge.

What they don’t lack, however, is an awareness of the opportunity. The majority of operators who participated in the research program recognize the need to monetize that data. Some saw the potential to enhance their own business, others saw merit in using customer insights not only to sell their own services but also to add value to partners and create new data-centric business models. However, 62 per cent of operator respondents believe they are more than two years behind the LIPs. And as the LIPs are unlikely to stand still and will continue to develop new skills, the reality is that most operators are even further behind.

But what is really holding the operators back in terms of competing with the LIPs? If we strip away the fears around regulation, or of negative customer reaction to the use of their data – that latter one surprisingly low in the list of operators’ concerns – we do come back to vision and execution. It’s the vision to know what you want to do with the data, coupled with having the systems in place to execute that vision.

And based on our customer engagements – in Europe and Asia – we believe the secret to the big data challenge facing the operator community is all about getting the right mix of formula and flexibility. You need the formula to recognise the data patterns that spell out the opportunity, and the flexibility in your systems to quickly react and make the right response based on each end customer’s individual context. The operators that can do that successfully will close the two-year gap much faster than the rest.

Tags: ,

About the Author

About the Author: Andy has 20 years’ experience in product marketing and product management for telecoms vendors, most recently with Chinese BSS provider AsiaInfo. Previously, Andy held senior positions at ip.access (where he was also a board member and director of the Small Cell Forum), ShoZu, and Geneva Technology. .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.