Improving network insight: If you had an hour to save the world

Industry Marketing Manager - Communications, IBM

I distinctly recall the first time I met Martin Volpacchio, big data strategy manager for Telefónica Argentina. It was at the IBM Information On Demand 2013 conference (now called IBM Insight). Martin had a standing-room only audience and opened the session with a quote from Albert Einstein: “If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem, and 5 minutes solving it.” You could almost hear the mental wheels churning in the audience, and everyone stayed glued to their chairs for the next half-hour while Martin explained what Telefónica Argentina was doing with its so-called BI Lab powered by IBM PureData System for Analytics and other components of the IBM Analytics portfolio.

Telefónica Argentina serves 200 million customers in 20 countries. Starting in 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone and Android-based smartphones, the company saw an unprecedented amount of data flowing through its network. Martin called this “the tsunami of data and information.” Telecommunication companies such as Telefónica Argentina were already managing a great deal of information, since every time a customer made a call or received a text, a call detail record (CDR) was created in Telefónica Argentina’s system. Smartphones introduced a whole different kind of record – the Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR). An IPDR is created every time a client posts a Facebook status, a tweet or watches a YouTube video.

Adding IPDRs to data warehouses already loaded with petabytes of CDR data created new challenges. It took days for Telefónica Argentina to get standard reports, and ad hoc analysis of data was simply not an option. The company needed a new solution—one that could handle the mounting wave of data volumes with performance and scale, at a cost of ownership that did not break the bank. is where network analytics solution powered by IBM PureData System for Analytics comes in. It is a data warehouse appliance purpose-built to enable firms in telecommunications and other industries to tame this tsunami of data and information. Service providers can analyze data over years and understand root causes that lead to network bottlenecks and poor customer experience. They can look at immediate issues with the network—ones that are affecting the most loyal and profitable subscribers—and take corrective actions in minutes instead of hours or days. The solution is further enhanced by predictive analytics that show where network issues are likely to occur and real-time analytics to incorporate what’s happening right now in the network to improve network insight.

Recently, we interviewed Martin about Telefónica Argentina’s deployment of a network analytics solution. He came back to the quote from Albert Einstein: “If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem, and 5 minutes solving it. This platform (BI Labs powered by IBM Analytics) is those 55 minutes!”

Be sure to watch Martin Volpacchio’s interview and start your journey to save the world, one network at a time with IBM.

And join us at Insight 2015, where a number of sessions featuring IBM experts and telecom clients will describe how IBM solutions are addressing the challenges the industry faces today.