If you ask a management team to define "analytics", you'll probably get answers that conjure up images of massive data storage infrastructure, impenetrable management dashboards and reams of operational reports. Hopefully you'll also get answers that identify the unique opportunities for communications service providers (CSPs): the connection between network data, consumer experience and material impact to the bottom-line.
The challenge of managing data will continue to escalate alongside the unstoppable customer demand for data because every business, regardless of industry, is fast becoming a digital business, with IT as a driving force. While many organizations have become highly proficient at data-gathering and will cope with this management challenge, few are capable of turning this data in to market differentiation, new revenue streams or efficiency improvements that drive measurable impact. For CSPs the opportunity to "hit" or "'miss" in the use of data is greater than for almost any other industry - because data is becoming the industry.
CSPs' data revenue will not keep pace with data traffic growth, as over-the-top and social services continue to replace traditional voice, video and messaging, striking at the very core of CSPs' revenue stream. At the same time, CSPs must maintain the kind of network quality that their demanding customers have come to expect. Today's customers are indeed demanding, with consumers becoming increasingly impatience.
So CSPs are in a tight spot, and they should choose wisely when determining investments in capabilities that will contribute to future success. In this regard, investing in the network to expand broadband capabilities quickly moves to the top of the list. The reasons are quite simple: network issues can significantly impact the customer experience, and investments will ultimately determine whether or not CSPs can introduce innovations that generate revenue from new, network-based services on these high-speed, high-bandwidth networks.
Far-sighted providers are investing in the digital tools, capabilities and skills to more easily identify useful data, evaluate, excerpt, analyze and derive insights from data-hungry services.
One of the most data-intensive services and most commonly used is streaming video, where growth is indeed impressive. The volume of video traveling over public networks doubles every year, but the price consumers are willing to pay for access to video services continues to decrease - not happy news for CSPs. All the same, with this challenge comes an upside. CSPs have a unique opportunity to derive insights and drive new revenue streams.
Through the use of network analytics, we see three opportunities to impact the bottom-line: assuring the consumer experience, network control and investment optimization, and cost avoidance and revenue generation.