Empowering a data-driven telecom

The telecom industry is in the midst of a transformation, advancing and delivering new customer experience standards, with major improvements to operational efficiency and reduced costs.

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Business opportunities where data is the key to success for telecoms.

Data is at the forefront of the future for telecom operators. Key areas for utilizing data include:

  • Improving customer experience and customer journey mapping
  • Managing complex mobile networks, driven by 5G and IoT adoption
  • Energy management of telecom operator networks
  • Self-reliant networks and implementation
  • Fraud detection and prevention
  • Billing process optimization and automation
  • Asset management resourcing
  • Employee safety and security through AI

Data reality of today is far from the visions of top-level management

Modern telecom leaders have high expectations for growth and improved business operations as a result of leveraging data. The truth is their organizations are typically far behind.

The truth can too often be described by the rule of 3 – 2 – 1, as experienced by many business stakeholders. At the same time as they are under pressure to deliver data-powered solutions to the market, it requires €3 million of investment and 2 years of lead time to get 1 report out of the data machine. Obviously, this is an exaggeration but much closer to the everyday reality in the frontlines compared to the grand visions of the top management.

Time to value in producing data-driven applications must dramatically decrease

Consider the automobile industry and the transformation it has gone through over the past 140 years. The telecom industry needs to achieve a similar level of transformation around its time-to-value based on data in just a handful of years, let alone 140 of them.

Telecoms are stuck in the same situations that the automobile industry was in when Daimler and Benz produced cars in small workshops, building them one by one. Low time to value was combined with a high unit cost. Things changed when Henry Ford introduced his production line, mass-producing the same car over and over again. Time to value and unit cost went down while the level of customization dropped to zero.

If the telecoms aim to meet the market demands, they need to pay attention to what modern smart manufacturing has done for the car industry — be able to develop purpose-built data applications in both fast and efficient manner.

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Major investments with minor ROI

Most organizations have invested tens of millions into new technology, platforms and ways of working, hoping to better leverage the opportunities that data is promising for the industry.

But this investment is not transforming into delivered value and ROI. This is because the investments have been directed into either siloed initiatives that don’t impact the organization at large or a centralized data platform that quickly becomes a bottleneck for large-scale development.

Proven solutions to the development struggles of data-driven applications

We at Solita have discovered the roadblocks preventing the telecom industry from required advancements. These findings are not empty theories or guesses. 

As listed below, these are learnings from real collaborative solutions we have carried out alongside our clients over recent years. 

  • Implementing data capabilities as separate projects do not work. They need to be built hand-in-hand with value-creating, customer-oriented use cases.
  • An agile approach needs to be applied with data development as it has been with software development. The tools and technologies need to support this agile approach.
  • Data projects need to be built close to business domains and not in a centralized data team.
  • While development is distributed, there needs to be a governance model that ensures interoperability across different domains.
  •  

    Essentials to significantly accelerating production of data-driven applications

     

    There are four critical principles that must work in parallel, in order to speed up the production of your data-driven applications.

  • Holistic approach

    • Human insight and business design
    • Behavioral change
    • Shared goals for the business and IT

    Resilient architecture

    • Tech and ecosystem agnostic patterns
    • Standardisation and automation
    • Metadata to ensure reusability

    Incremental delivery

    • Vertical slicing
    • DataOps and continuous value delivery
    • Autonomy

    Capability to execute

    • Distributed implementation
    • Continuous measurement
    • Lean and agile methods

Moving from a centralized to distributed data development is at the core of this new approach.

Have a large number of data sources and data consumers? Most telecoms do.

Solita suggests implementing three key principles to create the paradigm shift needed to enable distributed data development.

Data governance

  1. Define domain-oriented teams that can take responsibility for their data assets. Ensure they are equipped with the skills and tools to develop and run applications based on data.
  2. Gradually build a non-invasive governance model that defines the common standards to ensure interoperability between domains. Required metadata definitions, data publishing processes and data access all need to be standardized, ensuring that built datasets are available and have a collective and understandable interface among different teams.
  3. Evolve the role of IT to provide infrastructure as a collection of self-service technologies rather than expect them to build and maintain just different systems. This enables the domain teams to focus on creating business value from available data.

In order to facilitate this change, Solita has developed a modern framework for producing data-driven applications at scale.

We call it DataBlox.

DataBlox consist of six critical building blocks:

  • 1

    Data Orientation – How mature is the organization in working with data and what is the vision for what it wants to achieve?

  • 2

    Data Journey – What is the strategy and what are the main challenges to execute?

  • 3

    Data Foundation – Enable implementation and execution with a multi cloud-based platform

     

  • 4

    Data Speed – Optimize the value process for producing data applications.

     

  • 5

    Data Scale – Optimize the process for scalability and lowering cost per produced unit.

  • 6

    Data Orchestration and Governance – Lead and govern capability development, operations and change.

     

DataBlox creates impact that lasts

Combined with a deep business understanding of telecom operations, DataBlox delivers significant business value. As we have proven in our work with existing clients, major improvements await you.

  • 4 x

    Faster time to value

  • 10 x

    More frequent value delivery

  • 30 %

    Lower cost of maintenance

Read telecom industry case story

Join our webinar: How to develop the next generation data applications 4x faster

Join the special webinar event with experienced data professionals. Solita data experts Anssi Tikka and Antti Loukiala will walk through the concrete steps needed to increase your time to value by as much as 4x. 

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