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Subex targets data integrity, finds too many manual processes

Data integrity is an area of telco operations that no one likes to discuss. Properly addressing it can save millions of dollars.

With carriers increasingly aiming to more accurately correlate network inventory, customer data and service usage, data integrity needs to be addressed.

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According to a survey of global telcos sponsored by Subex, 60% of operators experience up to 30% order fallout. Not only is this because of too many manual reconciliation audits, but also because there are still too many siloed processes and views of processes. Given that the average telco spends 40% of their opex budget on network operations and allocates 60-70% of their capex spend to building and maintaining the network, the problem is very real.

An Analysys Mason report earlier this year, for instance, predicted that the Data Integrity Management (DIM) market will reach $137 million by 2014, up from $98 million in 2010.

Subex’s survey group of 95 telcos was comprised of 34% mobile and 21% fixed telcos, with the remainder coming from cable and ISPs. The largest region covered was North America, followed by Europe and then the rest of the world. The research found that only 1.44% of telcos globally believe their inventory is 100% in sync with their network data. Only North American telcos were willing to stand by this claim. Generally the majority of telcos believe that more than 20% of their inventory data is out of sync with the network. Ten percent of order fallouts are due to inaccurate data according to 40% of the respondents.

Encouragingly, over half of the sample intend to invest or are investing already in discovery and reconciliation solutions, and interestingly for the followers of policy and charging, a similar percentage will be investing in centralized product catalog solutions – a recent recommendation for integrating policy and charging functionality (CP: Amdocs, Bridgewater target mobile data experience).

According to Paul Skillen, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Subex, data integrity is not just a technical issue, it is more the “ application of tools, methodologies and human capital to solve data quality challenges.”

Skillen points to the company’s experience that “capex recovery is as much as $2.7 million for every $100 million in network capex and we would expect a system to pay for itself in six months.”

The Subex solution is an extension of their ROC solution and combines three data integrity functions: multi-layer network and service discovery; data reconciliation; and discrepancy analytics. Once reconciled, the different environments are kept reconciled on a “continuous, controlled basis.”

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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