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CSPs: Winning the Battle for Customers and Creating New Revenue Streams

Industry Marketing Manager - Communications, IBM

As industry marketing manager for Communications, I want to share with you highlights of the 2012 Big Data@Work Study covered in the executive report: Analytics: Real-world use of big data in telecommunications. The study and report, from the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, indicated that 85 percent of CSP respondents—significantly more than the cross-industry average of 63 percent—reported that the use of information (including big data) and analytics is creating a competitive advantage for their organizations.

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This significant response from the telecomunications industry called for deeper examination. More than most industries, telecommunications has the greatest wealth of big data, particularly customer data, and within that data lies the opportunity to derive new insights and predict trends that may spark new ways of doing business. It is the customer-centric objectives that are driving big data initiatives.

CSPs have access to a wealth of information about their customers’ behaviors, preferences and movements. With a treasure of customer-related data, the nuggets of insights buried in big data can be a gold mine. CSPs are increasingly starting to realize that this stockpile of information is an untapped asset. Next-generation analytics can help CSPs mine and refine the value of this economic asset.

The study also included interviews with CSP executives who told us that the use of information and analytics is creating a competitive advantage for their organizations. Those executives also described how using big data—for delivering location-based services, tailored marketing campaigns, next best actions for sales and services, network intelligence, social media insights and high-velocity fraud detection—has the potential of both increasing revenue and reducing costs, often while improving the customer experience.

Executives also confirmed that many telecommunications CIOs guiding their companies’ big data initiatives are beginning with untapped sources of internal information. For example, TEOCO, a telecom software solution provider, analyzed 500 terabytes of data daily from call detail records and inter-carrier invoices to help CSPs identify cost savings and improve service delivery. The company helped a Tier 1mobile operator save more than US$400 million in four years. It also enabled clients to proactively respond to network issues before they affected customer service. (Read the TEOCO case study.)

Some CSPs even see great opportunities in making money from data and believe the future of their organization is as an information company. The network has become a commodity. How CSPs capture data and put sensors in their networks,

that’s where the real gold is. Or, as expressed by Von McConnell, director of technology development and strategy at Sprint: “If Telco’s became nothing more than a dumb pipe, we could make a living just out of analytics.”

To hear more from Sprint, check out this short video: Sprint Leverages Big Data to Gain Valuable Business Insights.

At IBM, our experience with clients guides our research and the solution development tailored for industries. I hope that you will find the report “Analytics: Real-world use of big data in telecommunications” valuable and that it will serve as an important step on your big data journey. IBM stands ready to help your organization win the battle for customers and create new revenue streams.