The Big Telecom Event is an annual summit held by industry publication Light Reading that gathers some of the most important figures in the industry together to discuss progress, problems, and what’s on the horizon as technology continues to develop at a rapid pace. This year’s conference, held at the Sheraton Towers in downtown Chicago, didn’t neglect the massive popularity of Big Data and its emerging uses, which was the main topic of discussion for the panel “The Customer-Driven Telco: Real-Time Analytics, Big Data & CEM.”
The talk was moderated by Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Ari Banerjee and included the following panelists: Adan Pope, the CTO of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson; Amy Millard, the Vice President of Marketing for Support.com; Sid Harshavat, Security Architect for Symantec; and Kevin McGinnis, the Vice President of Development and Operations for Pinsight Media at Sprint.
Focus on cloud infrastructure and organization
Much of what the panel discussed was about using Big Data to its fullest potential – that is, organizing a cloud server and all its data to best serve the customer and the speed at which information can be delivered. Pope suggested that horizontal organization could be a major solution for companies looking to increase accessibility to data for the employees using it because a system with fewer middle levels won’t garble information unnecessarily.
Miller thought another effective way to use the cloud computing technology to its fullest potential was to put a higher emphasis on developing analytics to make sense of large amounts of research-based data much faster to best service a client.
“Organizationally, bringing analytics teams in earlier during development [would be useful],” she commented.
However, Big Data won’t organize itself based on a company’s whim – those involved in the management of data must decide what type of organizational structure makes sense for the needs of its staff before it can be created and used as a cloud infrastructure. CloudTweaks writer Syed Raza commented on the importance of a logical structure for an organization in a recent article.
“Essentially the big challenge is to ensure aligning and organizing data in line of your strategic objectives,” Raza wrote. “Effective decision making requires making sense of the real-time data being generated every second of every day, whether from manufacturing and supply chains or data belonging to social data streams.”
Customer support and learning the consumer’s needs
Another major topic of “The Customer-Driven Telco” panel was the need for quality customer service in the Big Data industry – those who do not supply it, panelists implied, will see their product suffer. As time passes, most consumers are acquiring more and more devices they use on a daily basis, and much of the panel felt it was important for data to be accessible across these devices to remain competitive. Trends in the industry indicate that customer service is evolving as well and that consumers prefer to receive solutions remotely instead of being left hanging on the telephone and talked through a series of actions.
Although every provider has its own philosophy about Big Data and its uses, the panel made one thing clear – with all the different uses of the technology, best practices can only be discovered by analyzing different approaches and seeing what succeeds. McGinnis tied the discussion together nicely with a comment on the nature of Big Data, emphasizing that although providers are managing the infrastructure that houses the data, the information doesn’t actually belong to them.
“Nobody really owns data. You own ways to source the data,” he said.