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John Myers

Hey all-

Welcome to my blog. The fine folks at the BeyeNETWORK™ have provided me with this forum to offer opinion and insight into the worlds of telcommunications (telecom) and business activity monitoring (BAM). But as with any blog, I am sure that we (yes we... since blogging is a "team sport"...) will explore other tangents that intersect the concepts of telecom and BAM.

In this world of "Crossfire" intellectual engagement (i.e. I yell louder therefore I win the argument), I will try to offer my opinion in a constructive manner. If I truly dislike a concept, I will do my best to offer an alternative as opposed to simply attempting to prove my point by disproving someone else's. I ask that people who post to this blog follow in my lead.

Let the games begin....

About the author >

John Myers, a senior analyst in the business intelligence (BI) practice at  Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). In this role, John delivers comprehensive coverage of the business intelligence and data warehouse industry with a focus on database management, data integration, data visualization, and process management solutions. Prior to joining EMA, John spent over ten years working with business analytics implementations associated with the telecommunications industry.

John may be contacted by email at JMyers@enterprisemanagement.com.

Editor's note: More telecom articles, resources, news and events are available in the BeyeNETWORK's Telecom Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Recently in Risk Management Category

Many times in the world of data warehousing and business intelligence (BI/DW) professionals a distinction is made as to the size of a BI/DW environment.  This can be an effective measure since it can be argued that the more data you have the more analysis that can be performed.  However, more often than not it can be a misleading measure.  For example, no one would doubt the power of the 500+ horsepower Corvette Z06.  Yet, if you lived in downtown London, the size of the Corvette’s engine would be wasted.  A Prius or an Oyster Card would be a much better investment.

Big Data Size vs Big Data Value

In “big data” environments, you do not have the choice of Corvette or Oyster Card.  “Big data” requires the power of the Corvette.  However, BI/DW professionals need to do more with those “big data” environments than just collect the data.  They need to provide the correct level of “big value” from those environments.

TeradataLogoTeradata has taken just such an approach with their “petabyte club”.  Each of the members of the “petabyte club” has “big data” environments.  But the “honor” of the club resides in the ability to provide value to the “petabyte club” organizations and not just a “notch” on the size totem pole.  

Telecom Take

The Teradata “petabyte club” includes organizations like AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless were the value of the “big data” environment is not limited to a Teradata press release.  Each is using the environment to provide a key aspect to the business.  Verizon Wireless looks a single view of the customer. AT&T is using it for customer profitability.  Both of these represent significant portions of competitive advantage strategies.  Being able to show this contribution to corporate positioning is the key for a telecom’s BI/DW environment.

Does your telecom have a “big data” environment? Does it receive “big value” from it?

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

Posted October 6, 2010 3:00 PM
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Competition for a limited number of customers in highly penetrated markets and increased government regulation has created a unique connection in the telecommunications industry - the linking of financial risks with operational risks.

On the financial side, the competition for customers has led to a near-realtime activation requirement for service connectivity and a true realtime, “self” provisioning requirement for products like phone apps and IPTV content.  A failing in this area leads to either a customer experience issue with an incorrect provision of a telecom service/product or a billing issue for that service/product that is incorrectly accounted for as a revenue or expense.

In terms of operational risks, increased government risk and compliance reporting requirements has led to the need to identify interactions across a wide range of platforms and associate those interactions with internal and external risks to the organization.  An inability to understand these interactions can lead to data breaches that lead to unwanted and costly corporate exposure or points of internal process breakdown that can indicate potential if not outright fraud.

Automated Processes: Linking Financial Risks with Operational Risks

In the past, these two practices were separated in the worlds of the office of the CFO represented by billing operations and customer fraud management and the office of the CSO in the form of corporate and information technology security.  And for the most part, these two groups had little need to interact unless focused on some aspect of internal fraud detection. However, with the increased implementation of automated business processes and applications to meet the market challenges of customer expectations; financial and operational risks now need to be linked to maximize revenues and minimize risk exposure.

Billing Operations teams need to understand the linkages between internal and external interaction with the systems that allow for various stages of “realtime” provisions of services:

  • Has the configuration of the billing system been changed?
  • Who has accessed the product catalog? How often?
  • When was the last update of the metadata associated with customer care?

Security and IT Operations needs to understand the financial impact of unauthorized access or suspect platform behavior:

  • How much exposure has a data breech led to?
  • What is the dollar value of a change to a server configuration?
  • Which customers are impacted?
Forensics on the Fly

ArcSightLogoRecently, ArcSight announced the release of their next generation Enterprise Threat and Risk Management (ETRM) package.  At the heart of this announcement is the upgrade of the following ArcSight products:

  • ArcSight ESM 5.0
  • ArcSight IdentityView 2.0
  • ArcSight Logger 5.0

Each of these offerings brings a new aspect to the ability of Security and IT Operations teams speed the analysis of system, access and log event across a wide variety of platforms.  This comes from the ability to perform “forensics on the fly”.  This ability to link disparate events and recognize their relation to enterprise risks goes a long way to answering the questions of “who?” and “what?”.

Telecom Take

For telecom organizations, the link between the CFO and CSO for enterprise risk management has been limited.  Now, with the ability to see events across multiple automated platforms in both financial and operational terms,  these links can strengthen and expanded to meet the challenges of both teams.

Finance can delve deeper into the root causes for the financial issues of customer/external usage fraud and revenue management.  Security and IT can assign monetary values and establish ongoing business cases for their compliance activities.  In both cases, the telecom organization should embrace the responsibility to link these worlds for long-term competitive advantage as well as short-term financial recovery and regulation compliance.

How is your telecom organization linking these aspects of risk management?

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

Posted September 21, 2010 8:28 AM
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Accenture recently released a study about the issues that major organizations see in terms of risk management.  The results included current problems with their risk-management functions:

  • 85% Ineffective integration of risk, return and capital issues in decision-making
  • 85% Lack of alignment between the company’s strategies and its risk appetite
  • 82% Insufficient enterprise-wide risk culture
  • 80% Inadequate availability of timely risk, finance and business data
  • 78% Lack of integration and aggregation across all risk types
  • 78% Ambiguous risk responsibilities between corporate and business units

And biggest challenges foreseen over the next two years:

  • 93% difficulty aligning with the overall business strategy
  • 89% the need for more effective collaboration with business units
  • 89% the need for greater integration in the firm’s processes and culture
  • 89% inadequate resources and talent

Telecommunication service providers, and revenue assurance organizations, as a whole can take some of this information to heart as an indication that greater corporate cultures are seeing some of the same issues that impact revenue assurance everyday.

In particular, I am heartened to see that “lack of integration across risk types” and “inadequate resources and talent” are being recognized at the corporate leadership level.  Now the question is…

Will this set of “action items” make it into the corporate action plan and receive the resources that they deserve?

What do you think? Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (JohnLMyers44) me directly.


Posted July 14, 2009 8:00 AM
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Let's give props where they are due.... Bryan Sartin and his investigations team over at Verizon Business got a great note in the press last week relating to data theft.

No........ it wasn't Sartin's team who lost the data.... In this case Sartin's team helps organizations to identify where and how data thefts take place. In these instances, the network often isn't the problem. The problem is how the data is handled by 3rd party IT support vendors and physical security agents.

I think the reminder that data theft crime / fraud isn't always a high tech enterprise. It can be as low tech as paying for an Excel spreadsheet with customer information in it.

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Posted October 6, 2008 8:00 AM
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With the changing nature of business, internal control and audit teams will continue to evolve. This evolution will have both internal and external drivers. Sarah Johnson has an excellent look at how pulling back to "material misstatement" levels and changing expectations will impact the roles of teams implementing internal controls.

The key to this will be how those teams utilize "risk assessment" strategies to focus their efforts to satisfy Sarbox and internal stakeholders. For telecom, this will focus on revenues, costs and areas of "public exposure" ( ...see the recent NSA issues re-surface... ).

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Posted November 6, 2007 8:00 AM
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