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Datamarts Will Enable Forward-Looking View

Enhanced knowledge of customer activity will be critical to gain additional revenue from next-generation products and service investments, which will drive broadband service providers to adopt 'subscriber information management' solutions that allow them to harness subscriber data from a number of different sources, according to a new report from Light Reading.

Earlier this year, I researched the untapped applications for existing Datamarts -- specifically how they can be applied for predictive analytics purposes. While many service providers already use historical analytics to determine what their customers have done, very few use the same data to identify apparent forward-looking trends. Armed with the combined data, and an understanding of the trend implications, service providers will be enabled to predict emerging consumer demand.

As operators provide more and more next-generation services for their customers, understanding how customers are using these services will be essential to their future success. "Understanding who the customer is in different roles and contexts, where he is, what he is accessing, what device he is using, and what quality-of-service levels will be needed at what time of day, will be fundamental to the goals of seamless delivery, blended services, and on-demand content downloads and service activation," writes Caroline Chappell, lead analyst for 'Services Software Insider' and author of the report.

Very few operators have begun to consolidate and apply the information provided by subscribers, however, due to the technological difficulties involved with collecting and analyzing user data from numerous different applications and data repositories.

"The telecom industry is at the beginning of a long road toward understanding what the next generation of subscriber information consists of, and how it can be brought together across operational and technological barriers," Chappell writes. "All subscriber information, wherever it resides, will need to be correlated and managed in real time in a next-generation infrastructure that delivers next-generation services. This is a massive challenge for network operators and will involve the development of a new architecture and new approaches to subscriber information management."

Key findings of the study include:

- Operators must harness multiple sources of information about subscribers, including static data stored in customer relationship management or other business systems and dynamic information from network usage and on-demand services.

- Different types of subscriber information are locked into different storage technologies; bringing them together means defining an architecture for subscriber information management.

- The volume of service-specific subscriber information is growing as operators add services. The consolidation of static and dynamic subscriber data is too large of an exercise for operators to handle alone.

- 3GPP is addressing the shortcomings of Home Subscriber Servers with its development of the new Common Profile Storage Framework standard.

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