|By Kapil Raval||
|February 18, 2013 09:00 AM EST||
It's common knowledge that the subscriber growth enjoyed by wireless Communication Service Providers (CSPs) over the last several years is tapering off. The CSPs really need new sources of revenue to deliver the required growth. Over-The-Top (OTT) players on the other hand are moving quickly into the SP ecosystems and reaching out to their subscribers. To top it all, the regulators are encouraging new entrants and driving prices down. In Europe, regulations for low mobile termination rates and new international roaming charges are impacting revenue and profit for CSPs. The growth of mobile data traffic and the customer demands for better and personalized services are forcing CSPs to invest significantly to upgrade their networks and devices. There are a lot more similar challenges that CSPs face; however, the key point is that the CSPs have to focus on new sources of revenue to augment what they generate from their infrastructure, services portfolio and customer base.
One area where the CSPs have a definite edge over the OTT players is the access to real-time subscriber intelligence. CSPs have a lot of information (read it as Big Data) about an individual subscriber's taste, preferences, favorites, location, their consumption behavior of different voice and data services, service experience, payment history, etc. In addition to the current and contextual subscriber information, the CSPs also have access to a massive amount of untapped historical data (e.g., subscriber and service history) that can be aggregated and brought back into the present to build a richer subscriber profile and identity. The information is captured from different sources in the network at different times using different techniques and, in most cases, scattered across different databases and data warehouses. The CSPs can understand a lot more about their customers and deliver a much more personalized experience by investing in deeper real-time analytics capabilities, leveraging all these subscriber data and deriving to actionable customer intelligence-driven business models (e.g., meaningful products and services).
Analytics improves multiple aspects of CSPs' operations. Terabytes of dynamic customer data will continue to grow exponentially as carriers add new services and as IP-based traffic increases. Big Data is an opportunity for CSPs to create the intelligence for operating a network more efficiently, to analyze the success of the services that CSPs are offering, and to create a better personalized experience for their customers. Big Data analytics enables service providers to better segment subscribers to provide more targeted marketing spend and the insight to predict churn, cross-sell and upsell opportunities, the quality of customer experience and the lifetime value of a customer. The product managers get a better understanding of which services are most profitable, the impact of competitive offerings and the effect of cannibalization caused by a new product roll-out. It also gives network operations the ability to predict capacity issues and the impact of a new service launch.
I have listed below a few areas where wireless service providers can leverage Big Data analytics to improve market share and ARPU (average revenue per user). HP has the skills, experience, products and solutions in this area. HP has combined its business analytics solution with deep telecom networking expertise to help CSPs generate actionable insights for their market growth.
- Correlate structured and unstructured data from OSS, BSS and Social Intelligence to act in real-time and overcome the complexity of managing networks, services and subscribers across their technical and user experience dimensions
- Customer Experience Management: offer the best quality of experience to end-users (network intelligence); Gain a single-pane-of-glass visibility into individual user's experience, services and network; Improve the business processes and functions related to customer experience responsibilities
§ Customer experience management combined with policy management and Real Time Billing can improve ARPU and reduce churn (service intelligence) by identifying:
- Subscribers who need retention activity (e.g., subsidies for new phones, free months of service to compensate for low quality of experience, automated bill adjustments or credits, etc.)
- Quality of network services (voice/data) and root cause of issues to proactively resolve them and proactively fixing of potential issues for high value subscribers
- Integration points between OSS and BSS infrastructures for automation and proactive care
- Service Personalization: Understand customers to deliver personalized services, digital curation-based content, bundles and offerings in real-time; create a smart unified user profile and analytics with a full panoramic and integrated view of the consumer, network and personal data
§ Campaign management: Improve ARPU and customer loyalty through personalized Campaigns
- Analyze real-time usage to make intra-day marketing program changes, enhanced marketing strategies with real-time analysis
- Develop marketing strategies when customers are approaching the cap, both for mobile (e.g., provide voice minutes to the preferred number, data traffic only for favorite online service) and fixed BB (e.g., Provide data traffic for preferred video on demand provider)
- Offer improvement (and up/cross selling) when users engage call center agents
- Social Intelligence: understand what customers think, improve customer acquisition/retention and create brand awareness, improve & predict sales. Social Intelligence enables organizations to understand and leverage how people behave and what people do on Social Media channels. Social Intelligence is an enabler for many different scenarios:
§ Acquire, retain, and develop high-value customers
§ Reduce value decay and Improving cross-selling rates
§ Optimize communication costs, Improve customer service, manage Customer service crowdsourcing and "owned communities"
§ Activate influencers and enable advocacy
§ Meaning based advertisement
§ Monetize subscribers' base with advertising, couponing and affiliation-based models.
- Monetize the Customer knowledge and Big Data sssets through advertising and revenue Sharing (e.g., affiliation) business models.
- The mobile ecosystem is where the service-providers have far more tools and strategies available to engage subscribers and get a slice of the digital advertising market
- Measure and monitor monetization of campaigns in real time for different business models (from traditional pay per click advertising, enhanced digital Couponing to the end to end digital buyer's journey) through solutions like:
§ Advanced customer profiling (Big Data combining Network, CRM and Social data)
§ Campaign management
§ Advertising marketplace
- Sharing customer data
- As the most basic first step Service providers could share their data assets with other big analytics and marketing platforms, to help them build and monetize the data and get a share of the revenues in such a case.
Most of the CSPs are aware of these opportunity areas. To implement any of these use cases, it's important to look at the end-to-end processes, integration points, analytics tools, storage and above all, applying the right logic to derive intelligence out of data. It is my view that many CSPs will start investing this year in Big Data Analytics. Those with dominant market share might start with customer experience management whereas others might start with monetizing the customer intelligence. By 2015, Big Data analytics will be one of the critical areas for CSPs to maintain their market-share.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,037
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 989
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,117
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,001
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 26, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,053
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,050
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,087
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 26, 2014 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,036
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,504
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,257
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,311
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,345
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,352
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,651
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,538
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,672
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,693
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,855
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,804
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,843