Big data a complex challenge for telcos

Shagun Bali/Ovum
19 Dec 2011
At the conference, operators also highlighted their historical “silo” approach to data as something that needs to change. SDM solutions can help operators to centralize data from network and IT operations, but a big question remains as to which department – network or IT – will be responsible for the project. Such challenges are hampering the growth of SDM deployments.
Vendors fail to meet expectations
The moderator of one panel discussion asked service providers to raise their hands if they are not satisfied with their vendors. Surprisingly, all of them raised their hands, demonstrating a clear disconnect between operators’ expectations and vendors’ current offerings. Service providers seemed particularly dissatisfied about pricing, licensing agreements, and off-the-shelf products. Such concerns have led many operators to build more solutions in-house - not good news for the telecoms technology suppliers.
Operators complain that vendors approach their IT departments and propose solutions based on cost more than value. Today, operators seek to derive more business value from their investments, and they want vendors to help them achieve this goal. Telcos are changing how they make decisions; in most cases, decisions are now being made by strategy-focused executives rather than IT departments. As Ovum found in the 2012 telco business and IT trends survey, an increasing number of telcos consider improving customer satisfaction and experience to be a high priority, as compared to reducing costs.
Since operators are at early stages of analyzing different kinds of data, they want vendors to be flexible with their licensing agreements. As operators experiment with different data sets, they sometimes want some extra data stored in the networks, but vendors charge them extra for this. That is not an attitude operators appreciate. They expect vendors to help them in their evolution by being more flexible.
As the telecoms marketplace becomes more competitive, service providers do not want vendors; they want partners. Many times, in the midst of large projects, things do not work out as planned; at such times operators want vendors to cooperate and even invest further in the relationship. They want their vendor partners to walk with them on the journey.


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