Six Big Data solutions to watch
Enterprises and carriers alike are looking to monetise their Big Data assts. Capacity explores the top solutions available to help unlock their potential.
HITACHI DATA SYSTEMS
What: Live Insight
When: March 2015
Why: Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) launched Live Insight for Telecom – a predictive analytics solution that provides telcos with real-time insight into network, service and application-level performance – in March this year.
Live Insight is designed to enable service providers to predict network activity based on both real-time and historical data, and in turn improve service delivery and enrich customer experiences.
Bob Plumridge, chief technology officer, EMEA at Hitachi Data Systems, believes that the telecoms market is a great example of a leading sector in Big Data.
“Operators are already starting to use network data from probes to pre-emptively prevent network issues and offer higher levels of service,” Plumridge says. “There is also a great opportunity, when done appropriately, for operators to grow their business using the data they hold to provide a better consumer experience alongside partners.”
The service from HDS incorporates four key features: Granular Analytics for improved visibility, Scalable Analytics for cost efficiency, Adaptive Analytics for optimised performance and Open Analytics for greater flexibility.
The Granular Analytics element is designed to both absorb and analyse up to one million events per second, per processing engine, with millisecond-level visibility.
The scalability of Live Insight allows telcos to scale linearly, and analyse tens of gigabits of streaming data per second, for even the most data-hungry applications – such as mobile 4G, residential broadband and cloud-hosted tools.
Adaptive Analytics uses analytics to predict both real-time and historical data simultaneously, to improve network performance before problems occur.
Lastly, the solution has an open solution architecture, allowing differentiated applications for each user to be created quickly and simply.
Jim Hodges, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, says that the service from HDS will help telcos break down siloes and offer new opportunities for better customer service and increased revenue.
“Being the first to market with a successful offering will bring enormous benefits and prestige,” Plumridge adds. “Which business wouldn’t want to be there first?”
What: Big Data Business Management
When: February 2015
Why: In February this year, Starhome Mach launched three new business modules designed to analyse Big Data from mobile network operators’ infrastructure in real-time, with the end intention of helping them to make better business decisions.
The modules – Segment Analyzer, Inbound Market Share and Quality of Service (QoS) – interlink to provide an end-to-end service to help operators make the most of the vast amounts of data they generate.
“For decades, operators have been sitting on Big Data without realising its value, or were unable to analyse and translate this information into action,” explains Nick Wennekers, director of product management at Starhome Mach. “Our modules let them apply real-time Big Data analytics to their real world challenges.”
The Segment Analyzer tool is designed to provide operators with a greater understanding of the mobile phone usage of each of its subscriber segments, thus enabling them to build better and more suitable packages and bundles. It also allows operators to identify any technical reason for lower usage, such as coverage issues, connectivity or handset malfunction.
The Inbound Market Share solution is intended to deliver an all-round view of an operators roaming environment, including registered roamers, attempted registrants, the operator and its competitor’s market share as well as potential volumes. This provides an analysis of any changes and is expected to enable operators to better negotiate partnership deals.
“Operators’ decisions are all focussed on increasing revenues,” Wennekers adds. “The hard data that Starhome Mach’s solutions delivers ensures these decisions are made with a full picture of the current state of the operator’s roaming business.”
The Quality of Service tool taps into the challenge of analysing and using quality of service information in an effective manner. It measures the business impact of problems with service quality, and ensures that all fixes are focussed on the most profitable market segments.
Telecom Italia Sparkle selected Starhome’s Big Data solution in March this year. Alessandro Talotta, chief executive officer at the Italian operator, says: “We are now able to provide our customers with real-time business management tools and clearing solutions that will support them in making better decisions based on real-time information and therefore grow their business.”
What: Enterprise Data Hub
When: December 2014
Why: In December last year, French operator SFR selected Cloudera’s Big Data technology to help improve its end-to-end customer experience. SFR implemented an integrated Big Data ecosystem which combined Cloudera’s Enterprise Data Hub (EDH) with its Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW).
Cloudera’s EDH has enabled SFR to provide employees across France with the ability to operate using a centralised, real-time customer view, across multiple devices and data sources.
“As the proliferation of LTE, OTT apps and multiple devices per account continue apace, the amount and types of data required to provide a customer with a personalised and high level of engagement presents a number of challenges for companies when it comes to analysing such huge volumes of data in real-time,” explains Amy O’Conner, Big Data evangelist at Cloudera.
“By providing SFR with an integrated Big Data ecosystem that incorporates the Cloudera stack, along with other technologies, SFR now has the capability to meet the full end-to-end requirements of any customer and their individual journey.”
Later in May this year, fraud detection firm CounterTack also chose Cloudera’s EDH. CounterTack selected the Cloudera EDH to help protect organisations from cyber criminals, specifically those that prey on unsuspecting corporate end users on enterprise networks.
CounterTack utilises a Big Data endpoint detection and response platform, and Cloudera’s EDH has provided it with the ability to support enterprise deployments of more than 100,000 endpoints.
This Big Data technology allows CounterTack to scale and properly service large corporate customers; an essential element to enable CounterTack to meet the demands of enterprise security teams.
“As the volume and sophistication of endpoint attacks are expanding exponentially, it is critical for organisations to implement a secure endpoint threat detection and response platform that is combined with reliable advanced analytics,” says Eddie Garcia, chief security architect at Cloudera.
“By integrating with Cloudera Enterprise, CounterTack’s platform is taking advantage of crucial, high-performance, real-time analysis in demanding enterprise environments while also gleaning important insights to help protect its customers from malicious attacks.”
Cloudera claims that its open source Big Data platform is the most widely adopted of its kind in the world.
What: Connected Analytics platform
When: December 2014
Why: Cisco launched its Connected Analytics platform for the internet of things (IoT), as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations in December last year.
The platform features eight different software solutions that target a number of industries, and are designed to analyse data from across all areas of the network.
40% of respondents from a survey Cisco carried out prior to the launch blamed the inaccessibility and inability to interpret their data as their biggest obstacle. Cisco has thus combined intelligent networks and infrastructure with data virtualisation to provide customers with access to highly distributed data, as well as analytics capabilities to extract valuable information.
Perhaps the most significant solution for operators is Cisco’s Connected Analytics for network deployment which is designed to analyse the network for operational efficiencies, and resolve incidents to increase overall visibility.
“There is a massive shift in the market where the remote device at the edge is becoming a strategic tool to share and collect data, enable more informed decision making, and deliver the best customers experience possible,” says Edzard Overbeek, SVP at Cisco Services.
“But if customers don’t have the right analytics solutions in place to make sense of it, that data is useless. With Cisco’s portfolio and broad partner ecosystem, we have the right footprint to drive analytics innovation and help customers turn data into actionable insights that can transform business outcomes.”
When: June 2015
Why: Unified Communications provider Amdocs expanded its Big Data analytics offering in June 2015, as part of its CES 9.3 upgrade. The upgrade included a number of new applications designed to help service providers effectively extract and manage data from multiple sources, as well as provide insights to help improve marketing and customer care operations.
“Addressing customer experience across all these multiple dimensions adds further complexity to service providers’ already complex systems environments, especially when business agility is critical to addressing new regulations and heightened competition from consolidated players OTT entrants,” says Chris Williams, head, global marketing, Amdocs.
“It is therefore critical for service providers to find ways to introduce operational efficiencies and accelerate business value.”
Amdocs’ existing solution features a carrier-grade Big Data platform, designed with service provider needs in mind. The 9.3 upgrade spans industry-specific business and operational support systems (BSS/OSS), as well as network control and optimisation systems.
“Amdocs CES 9.3 delivers cross-portfolio enhancements which improve systems performance, ensuring our customers can offer new services in a timely manner amidst this complexity, while lowering operational costs,” Williams says.
It also streamlines otherwise complex operating environments, encourages cost-reduction and speeds up time-to-market for new products and services.
What: Hortonworks Data Platform
When: October 2013
Why: Rackspace Hosting boosted its Big Data offering in October 2013, when it announced the availability of the Hortonworks Data Platform in both the managed hosting environment and the Rackspace public cloud.
Using the platform, Rackspace has enabled its customers to choose the right environment to host their Big Data solutions; taking advantage of a hybrid cloud approach to achieve the best overall application performance.
John Engates, CTO at Rackspace, says that the volume of data being processed in businesses today is astounding.
“Companies need help analysing and extracting value from this vast amount of information, as Big Data solutions are difficult to deploy and harder to maintain,” Engates says.
“With Rackspace’s Managed and Cloud Big Data Platform offerings, we are providing an open, hybrid Big Data solution for dedicated and cloud instances. Combining this technological expertise with enhanced support from Hortonworks allows us to bring a best-in- lass Big Data solution to market.”
The platform from Hortonworks is powered by Apache Hadoop; an open-source software framework written for the distributed storage and processing of extensive data sets.
Features include rapid deployment and low operational burden, simple pricing and cost-effective infrastructure, as well as a rich partner ecosystem.
“By combining the open source commitments of Rackspace and Hortonworks, we are creating a platform that accelerates the adoption of open standards, while continuing to deliver expertise to the broader Hadoop community,” adds John Kreisa, VP of strategic marketing at Hortonworks.