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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 Billing Category

At this week's TDWI Conference in Orlando, the focus is on Emerging Technologies.  The Monday Keynote presentation focused on the ability of an organization to use "nimble" development practices ( ... as opposed to Agile methodologies... ) and cloud based technologies to enable quick results.

"When the CEO comes knocking..."

Kevin Rooney's keynote presentation focused the results of an effort where a company CEO wanted to understand his company's position within particular insurance markets and how to increase the company's position within the market place via customized/optimized price points.  However, many questions "loomed" over the effort:

  • Could all the publically available data be used effectively?
  • Was there value in effort?

Rooney developed a nimble response team within his IT organization that tackled the issues of determining if the data available/feasible and if the business model was possible.  NOTE - Rooney used a technique that Harvard Business Review has advocated for reducing the tension between existing "legacy" and breakthrough innovation teams.

Rooney also reached out to the team at Kognitio for an analytical platform that would allow for an initial "proof of value" and a minimal capital expense (capex) rollout into production as well as a powerful analytical platform to perform the types of queries required of the effort.

In this, Rooney linked a nimble development team with a power and flexible analytical engine to develop a competitive advantage application for his CEO is a timeframe that allowed his firm to capitalize on the opportunity and develop areas of competitive advantage.

Telecom Take

With the stated goal of many of the major telecoms utilize metered billing plans in the future, telecom organizations need to be flexible in their approach to understanding how those billing models will impact profits.  It will no longer be appropriate to set metered or utility plans and then 'see how they do'.  Telecoms will need to be flexible with "what if" management scenarios via either descriptive or predictive analytics to provide analysis on which plans will be profitable and which will not.

NOTE - BT has a long history of doing this type of analysis.  However recent developments relating to increased smartphone usage and the need for more flexbile pricing models will drive an increased need for this type of work. 

Powerful analytical platforms like Kognitio will be part of the solution.  However, it will be forward looking analyst organizations that make these solutions possible.  Those analyst organizations, with telecom BI/DW teams, can utilize tools within a nimble analysis cycle to implement valuable projects. 

How is your telecom organization handling flexible metered billing situations? Reactively with spreadsheets or proactively with "what if" models?

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

Posted November 9, 2010 12:15 PM
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ComcastAnother Tuesday… Another comment on the guys from Philly…

This time I am intrigued by the continuing efforts by Comcast and others to implement metered billing for data access.  Karl Bode’s piece talks about how Comcast is offering test versions of usage metering software for their data plans.

While I agree that ISPs have a business case for metered usage of data… I also think that North American’s consumer market has had “all you can eat” data access plans for so long that they will be resistant to moving back to a metered billing model.

How do you think that the revenue opportunities outweigh the poor PR aspects of metered usage?

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (@JohnLMyers44) me directly.


Posted January 19, 2010 12:25 PM
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I thought that iPhones were only dragging down my local cell tower. It appears that iPhones are also "attacking" the LANs of businesses. Ephraim Schwartz looks at some of the non-cellular un-intended consequences relating to iPhone usage.... or rather "over usage".

  • Are the networks of the US ready for the 'always on' iPhone?
  • Can "all you can eat" data access plans support this business model?
  • Will Americans allow a usage based data plan to come into effect if "all you can eat" doesn't work?

Let me know what you think? Send me an email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) or post your comments.

NOTE - It appears that the only option is for higher "all you can eat" plans and not for usage plans... Or so says JD Powers...

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Posted April 25, 2008 8:00 AM
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Members of the FCC are again rattling their sabers on an open network access issue. In his article, Grant Goss looks at how FCC members are "warning" the wireless service providers about potential oversight intervention and/or regulation.

Personally, I think it is a little early to start "warning" people about something that hasn't happened. Yet, I liked the observation from Robert Frieden about handset subsidies. Wireless service providers talk about how two year contracts are designed to subsidize handset costs. However they don't give any type of discount if you have your own phone. That would be an alternative model to answer my question about locked vs unlocked handsets.

As against regulation as I am, I would have no problem with the FCC asking the following question if subsidized plans were more expense than unsubsidized plans:

"Are you bundling product and service? Or are you gouging because you can?"

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Posted January 30, 2008 8:00 AM
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Back in July, I took a look at how some are considering moving telecom billing practices to a utilities model. In this model, you pay as you go just like with water, electricity, etc. I took a cynical eye toward moving in this direction because the US telecom consumer has been "trained" to "eat all they can" at the telecom "buffet" ( ...wireless roaming, pay per view, and international long distance being exceptions... ).

Susana Schwartz looks at how Time Warner Cable might just have the motivation to move from an "all you can eat" to a "pay as you go" model for their ISP services.

Since it appears that a relatively small percentage accounts for 50% of the traffic on their ISP network; I have some questions:

  1. I'm impressed that Time Warner Cable has those statistics.
  2. Since I view the Internet as "free speech" and not "free beer"; what are those 5% of users doing? Running the mother of all World of Warcraft parties?
  3. How much backlash will come from a switch to a more costly approach?

I believe that Time Warner might be a good test case for utility billing. However, if they want to delay that action and keep their "all you can eat pricing", here are my suggestions...

As a first step, they could put some language in their user agreements similar to Verizon's "limited" unlimited wireless data plans in an attempt to curb this usage. If that didn't work, they have a small enough user base that they can make segmented adjustments to their product plans to put those "high usage" subscribers on a significantly higher plan and thus a diet. Finally, Time Warner could implement the utility billing for those plans above a particular usage level.

While this might seem like a lot to delay a relatively innovative billing decision ( ... and trust me there would be lots of telecoms who would jump at the chance of getting on that bandwagon only AFTER time warner does... ); however any one who has run afoul of the NYC media... perhaps discretion is the better part of valor in this case.

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Posted January 28, 2008 8:00 AM
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