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TM Forum: Carriers may not be well prepared for ‘big data’ impact

ORLANDO, Fla. – Volume, velocity, variety and the most important “v”—value. These are the key elements of big data. Companies around the globe own lots of data, both structured and unstructured, and they face the challenge of using this huge amount of information to benefit their business. The impact of big data on telecom operators was one of the big themes at last week’s TM Forum Management World Americas  (check out all pieces and see our videos).

Many discussions around this theme came up during the trade show.  Al Kurtze, business development executive at Capgemini, noted during a video interview with RCR Wireless News, that carriers have a lot of available information about their customers, their usage and interactions. They also have a lot of data generated within their communication networks. “Both these areas are ripe for a really deep understanding and for gleaning more information from both kinds of data,” he said adding that the most sophisticated approach would combine these two sources to get an even bigger view.

To help address this issue, Robert Rich, managing director at TM Forum Insights, highlighted the advance of three technological changes that could cause a revolution: in-memory databases,  information appliance of data management and column-oriented databases.

However, from Rich’s point of view, the issue is how to take this data from all these different sources, make sense of it and get some business value from it. “That’s the real trick. It is not about the technology; it is about getting business value from the data,” he told RCR Wireless News in a video interview.

During his speech at the event, Rich presented results of a TM Forum survey that showed some of the major big data opportunities for carriers including improving operational efficiency, customer support, user experience, service and network management.

The survey showed that CSPs found the biggest big data challenges were data integration, overall volume of data, skills availability, solution costs and complexity.  “It is very tough to find a good data analyst, who is smart enough to build the model, has the technical skills and really understand the business,” Rich said.

Rich recommended that CSPs pick some projects to work on, managing initiatives like a portfolio. In addition, he also advised carriers to focus on value and manage data as a corporate asset.

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Roberta Prescott
Roberta Prescott
Editor, [email protected] Roberta Prescott is responsible for Latin America reporting news and analysis, interviewing key stakeholders. Roberta has worked as an IT and telecommunication journalist since March 2005, when she started as a reporter with InformationWeek Brasil magazine and its website IT Web. In July 2006, Prescott was promoted to be the editor-in-chief, and, beyond the magazine and website, was in charge for all ICT products, such as IT events and CIO awards. In mid-2010, she was promoted to the position of executive editor, with responsibility for all the editorial products and content of IT Mídia. Prescott has worked as a journalist since 1998 and has three journalism prizes. In 2009, she won, along with InformationWeek Brasil team, the press prize 11th Prêmio Imprensa Embratel. In 2008, she won the 7th Unisys Journalism Prize and in 2006 was the editor-in-chief when InformationWeek Brasil won the 20th media award Prêmio Veículos de Comunicação. She graduated in Journalism by the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, has done specialization in journalism at the Universidad de Navarra (Spain, 2003) and Master in Journalism at IICS – Universidad de Navarra (Brazil, 2010) and MBA – Executive Education at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

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