Blog: 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.... Copyright 2013 Thu, 09 Jun 2011 10:35:20 -0700 NHTSA on Wireless Use - Do not be distracted Interesting note at today’s keynotes at the Telematics Update 2011 Show in Detroit…

David Strickland, Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, made it very clear to the telematics/auto industry conference that technology curbs will be explored to prevent distracted driving.  This comes despite a March 2011 move for additional study on the problem of distracted driving before government action.

Perhaps his most clear statement in regards to the NHTSA’s focus on safety relating to distracted driving was:

“A car is not a mobile device. A car is a car."

This reminded me a story that I heard from an active US observer with the German auto industry.  The story goes that many German automotive engineers refused to put cup holders in their luxury cars.  “Cars are for driving and not for drinking” was the stance from those German engineers.  The US observer asked those same engineers “Do you want to sell cars in the US or stand by your position on cup holders?”  Today, my German car has very nice cup holders…

SadpirateAdministrator Strickland… you might want to tell your boss, Secretary LaHood, this story about markets…. Also, it might help to toss in a couple of stories about iPhone “jail breaking” and estimate exactly how long any hardware/software regulation would last in the face of a determined hacker community.

Would you risk “jail breaking” your wireless device to use if there was a regulation against it? Would you accept the regulation?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Regulation Thu, 09 Jun 2011 10:35:20 -0700
Using Geospatial Analysis for Electric Vehicle BI Just got out of an interesting session with Garmin at the Telematics Update show.

Garmin said that fine detail analysis of a car's behavior including speed of acceleration; speed of braking; and avoiding hills could dramatically increase the range of an electric vehicle (EV)... or reduce the carbon footprint of a gas vehicle. This is over and above traditional information like speed and distance. It was, quite frankly, an implementation of geospatial analysis I hadn't thought of.... That is until the business/green aspects were provided to me...

Since EVs currently only have so many charging locations, you don't want to get stuck down the wrong road or halfway up the wrong hill.... ;)

The question will be how well an organization can integrate the various telematic information to create that analysis:

  • Dynamic EV information like battery charge
  • Fluid external information like traffic density
  • Static external information like rise and fall of streets; as well as charging station location

to provide an EV’s driver with the "operational BI" on how/where to drive.

Other than shortest distance or shortest time how many elements due you think the average driver can process or agree to process from a navigation system?

Or does it depend on training associated with running out of "juice" on the wrong side of a hill from the charging station? ;)

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.
]]> Analysis Wed, 08 Jun 2011 18:57:23 -0700
Connected Infotainment Making the Car Social Back at the Telematics Update 2011 show in Detroit.  Just left a presentation from Ericsson and Cybercom on making the car social via telematics.

The packed room heard how Ericsson and Cybercom are attempting to bridge the gap between the telecom industry and the auto/telematics industry. It appears that the telematics/auto industry is attempting to re-invent the wheel (pardon the pun) that Apple and Google have been building quite effectively recently.

In particular, Apple's recent iCloud announcement seems to put many of the content delivery aspects of the telematics industry to rest....or at least in my humble opinion.

There are still significant issues associated with distracted driving and bandwidth to deliver this content. However, these are issues that auto industry appears to be tackling with vigor and great interest.

What do you think of iCloud as an infotainment platform?

Can a car truly be a social platform?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Tradeshow Conference Report Wed, 08 Jun 2011 15:22:01 -0700
Show Report Telematics Update 2011 Detroit
Check out the information on their website.

As well as my past telematics blog postings.

As always, you can track my live updates on twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp).

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.
]]> Tradeshow Conference Report Wed, 08 Jun 2011 10:06:40 -0700
Managing Mixed Data Sets in Telecom In the last 24 months, there has been a trend toward the acquisition of analytical databases to augment an established DBMS’ existing product line.  For example, the following mergers and acquisitions were compiled by Doug Henschen in April:

  • EMC buys Greenplum July 2010
  • IBM buys Netezza November 2010
  • Hewlett-Packard buys Vertica March 2011
  • Teradata buys Aster Data April 2011

Many of these acquisitions were driven by the reality that you really need to use the correct DBMS architecture for the right job rather than taking a one size fits all approach.  However the question then becomes how do you bring that data together once it resides on those separate platforms?  One solution is to use the concept of

CompositeThis week Composite will release its next generation platform for data virtualization: Composite Information Server 6.0.  This platform allows organizations to make data decisions based on the best platform for the job rather than pushing all data to a particular platform.

Bring Big Data into the Fold

BigDataVirtualizeOne of the best uses of the enhanced platform is the ability to virtualize big data sources like Hadoop, Netezza and SAP into a seamless environment.

Using the Composite “optimizer” functionality, organizations can take advantage of the relatively new big-data processing environments without delaying the “time to value” of those new data sources into existing implementations. This will be particularly important as organizations begin to ingest data sets like social media interactions; RFID sensor information; and other big-data sources that haven’t matured sufficiently to including in existing data environments, but still have excellent value to the organization.

Telecom Take: Use the Right Tool

DataVirtualizeAs telecom organizations make moves to integrate multiple data sources to enable their “single view of the customer” associated with customer experience management as well as spreading customer support to centralized call centers; telecoms will need a much more robust ability to have consistent and timely data spread across those locations.

For customer experience management, telecoms will need to have proper data virtualization to avoid the age old question from calls to the call center:

“Shouldn’t you already know about my orders and account information?”

For call centers, to provide flexible access to similar data sets across operational (ie billing), analytical (ie fraud management) and external data sources (ie credit reports); a robust virtualization environment will allow for flexible scheduling of call center resources not only in one location but across many without customers having to hear:

“Sorry I don’t have that in my system…”

All in all, I believe that the continued advances in the Composite virtualization suite make it one of the better options for telecoms to overcome the legacy (network, billing) and ‘next generation’ (social, geo-spatial) data silos that seem to impact telecom organizations more than others.

]]> Business Intelligence Mon, 06 Jun 2011 08:22:40 -0700
Telematics are the M2M for the Auto Industry US Mobile Penetration Rates:


As US wireless providers approach a mythical 100% penetration rate in 2011 (see above), wireless carriers are looking for new ways to extend their services within households via machine to machine (M2M) connectivity.

One of the ways to do this is by enabling automobiles with connectivity to report back on vehicle performance, ‘health’ and possibly crash information.  Recently, Vodafone and Hyundai agreed to a collaborative agreement.

These types of arrangements should help not only with building barriers to exist for customers by “locking” them into multiple agreements, but also build revenues as mobile data rates follow their landline and mobile voice cousins along the product maturity curve and the eventual price decline… Hopefully, many years from now.

Are you ready to get a wireless data plan for your car?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Location Based Services Tue, 03 May 2011 13:08:57 -0700
Distracted Driving is not just Wireless Phones General-smart-phoneLast November, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood started making noises about a “hardware” solution to the issue of distracted driving as it relates to wireless devices.  Secretary LaHood was advocating ‘disabling’ wireless devices in moving vehicles.

Now in March, LaHood is leaning more toward NHTSA a study before making any ‘harsh decisions as it relates to wireless devices.  This study would look to determine if devices cause "cognitive distractions" to drivers and contributes to accidents and deaths.

I applaud Secretary LaHood taking the step to perform a study and base any regulatory decisions on hard numbers rather than ‘gut feel’.  But I am concerned that LaHood and the Department of Transportation are focusing too much on consumer devices rather than other causes of distracted drivers.  Some that I can think of off the top of my head are:

  • Pets
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Shaving
  • Applying makeup
  • Children

I would advocate a simple solution to the problem… Move toward a nationwide standard to “double the points and double the fine” for any and all distracted drivers during moving violations.  This would similar to the recent campaigns focusing not just on the fact that drunk driving is a bad decision, but a REALLY bad financial decision.

For those using wireless devices during a moving violation, the ‘detection method’ is to simply use the existing lawful intercept laws to utilize the voice, SMS or data records associated with a suspect’s wireless device.

Are you ready to have hardware in your phone or in your car to prevent the usage of wireless device while it is moving?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Regulation Tue, 05 Apr 2011 10:04:54 -0700
Infotainment with Paul Schaffer Ladies and Gentlemen Infotainment… Infotainment… Personally, I thought that David Letterman made that word up… I guess I am late to the party…


But in all seriousness, an infotainment system is a fancy term for mobile video and the other informational aspects available on a smartphone.  Specifically IVI or “in-vehicle” infotainment systems are those that reside in cars. Instat estimates Dollar-sign-thumbnail that 35 million in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems are expected to ship in 2015.

This is the continuing push of content from the desktop to the mobile platform.  Wireless carriers will find this situation both an opportunity and a challenge.  There are dollar signs attached with the wonderful world of infotainment.  Just like IPTV and other content delivery avenues.

However, as mobile connectivity and general video quality issues associated with the infotainment concept, wireless carriers will be more and more responsible for the customer care aspects of that content delivery, but with less control.  Also, wireless providers will have cost issues with the delivered content.  As I have said before, Warner Brothers, Disney, etc will want their cut of the revenues to provide that premium content.

Are your telecom organization executives ready for marketing and customer care aspects of deploying in-vehicle infotainment systems?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Wireless Thu, 03 Mar 2011 15:14:36 -0700
Location Based Services - Just need to know where I've been A wise man once said:

Ain't no need to watch where I'm goin'; just need to know where I've been.

Tow_materUnfortunately that was a tow truck from a Disney Pixar movie…. While he was driving backwards… Not necessarily the best way to analyze your business or drive a car….err…tow truck. 

But the concept is still valid.  If you have knowledge of where you have been, you can help to re-trace your steps either anecdotally or analytically.

In this the geospatial analysis market is heating up with ESRI making an announcement to be included within the DataMarket in Windows Azure Marketplace.  Making geospatial  analysis available via the cloud, you can encapsulate both the location services and the location of the analysis.

This can be important in the area of operational business intelligence for the telecom industry when you start to think about optimizing truck rolls and other in person customer facing (B2B or B2C) activities.  This analysis can help with both time and coverage associated with scheduling crew activities.

Does your organization have the ability to analyze ‘truck rolls’ for distance optimization? time optimization? both? neither?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Location Based Services Tue, 08 Feb 2011 15:14:50 -0700
Bigger Picture: Coordination with Big Data As larger data sets start to take root across various industries, it is going to be important to put those “big-data” results into a more manageable picture for end users and analysts.  Many of the existing “big-data” end users are already familiar with the data sets and how they wish to look at those data sets.

However, the true value of “big-data” or analytics on “big-data” is going to be presenting the information to the end user who may still be thinking about analytics in “small-data” ( … or relatively small data… ) terms.

For example, new “big-data” analytics provides a “richness” of information and an increase of the dimensions that “small-data” systems cannot match.  Yet, many users in marketing or product management may not understand how to make the leap from “big-data” aggregates to “big-data” detail because they don’t have the context of the “big-data” detail(s) they are looking at.

Mixing and Match with Big-Data

The twin challenge associated with the ability to handle and analyze “big-data” is the ability to put that analysis into context.  “Big-data” often refers to senor, geographic or application data.  However, not many people in end user/analyst communities have the ability make the leap from those “big-data” details to an end “so what picture?”.

This week Tableau announced the next edition to their business intelligence / data visualization product line – Tableau 6 – which supports the ability to “blend” data sets for end user visualizations that will tell the story that marketing and product management will understand and have that “AHA!” moment.  While the data visualization is nothing “new”, the ability to perform with “big-data” data sets will be the key aspect.  If the visualization takes too long, the marketing analysts and product management teams will lose interest and use less detailed analysis tools. 

Telecom Take

As telecom data rockets further and further for social media, location based services and overall smartphone usage; “big-data” is going to hit head long into telecom BI/DW teams.  And while those teams are struggling with the ingestion of the data, end users are going to demand analytics and visualization tools that don’t hold back their “day jobs” from being completed…

Using data visualization tools, like Tableau’s new offering, will offer the ability to match the potential of the data with promise of the analysis. 

How is your telecom BI/DW team positioned to meet end user requirements for visualizing big-data? Strictly using aggregates? or big-data detail?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Business Intelligence Wed, 10 Nov 2010 15:00:00 -0700
Innovation: Linking Nimble Analysis with Cloud based Tools 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 ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Telecommunications Tue, 09 Nov 2010 12:15:00 -0700
The Future is Now in Big Data Everyone is talking about a data explosion:

  • RFID information in Retail environments
  • Social media interactions via wireless
  • Behavioral event data via eCommerce
  • etc

All of this is leading toward the era of “big-data”.  Most would say that the “big-data” era is already upon us.  Some would say that future data loads will dwarf current requirements just as current numbers dwarf the past 5–10 years.

However, the key to the “big-data” era will not be in the simple accumulation of data in business intelligence and data warehousing (BI/DW) environments, but the utilization of that data across the organization.

Deep Analytics on Big Data

TdwiLogoThis week The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) held its initial solution summit on the topic of “big-data” in San Diego: Deep Analytics for Big Data.  It was a gather of decision makers and leading vendors to discuss the topic of “big-data” and the future of analytics associated with those “big-data” BI/DW environments.

Chief among the discussion topics were how to make the correction decisions on:

  • Building “big-data” environments in a greenfield environment
  • Transitioning from existing BI/DW environments to support “big-data”
  • Hybrids to support existing datasets and the “new”, larger requirements

Solutions.  Not just Problems.

During the solution summit, customer implementation case studies were provided by vendors that highlighted the issues with “big data” BI/DW engagements.

Telecom Take

Telecom organizations are on the front line of “big-data” analytics.  Wireless voice, SMS and IP-base product data are at the core of the “new” business models for both carriers and organizations looking to capitalize on new business models…

Think about it… All the information that Google uses for their targeted web-based advertising transits a telecom network at some point.  iTunes would not be possible without the networks to pass content to either the tablet or smartphone.  Carriers need to use their knowledge of the network events linked with customer information to either get a leg up on companies like Google and Apple.

Yet, carriers should exercise good judgment with all that “big-data”.  Privacy laws associated with customer information are only going to become more stringent in the future as uses like telematics and location-based services take hold.

How is your telecom organization tackling “big-data”? Reactively or with strategy?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Business Intelligence Wed, 06 Oct 2010 19:00:00 -0700
Big Data Requires Better Decisions In a recent keynote address, Marc Demarest talked about the need for increased decisioning associated with “big data”.  Whether it be complex event processing (CEP) or streaming analytics, the ability to make timely decisions on the analysis of “big data” sets is limited when you place a human element in the critical path.  Not only will bottlenecks occur, but more than likely the data will move so fast that no decisions will be made.

Rules to Live By

Being able to automate the decisions that need to be taken from “big data” analysis is going to be the key for many industries.  Business intelligence/data warehouse (BI/DW) professionals will not be able to place alarms or workflows before a human analyst or operational team.  This will come from the fact that 8am-6pm time windows will not be sufficient for the decisions that need to be made and the fact that not all human interactions will know what to do or the extent of what needs to be accomplished.

HPLogoSteve Pratt of HP’s Business Intelligence Solutions group presented at the recent TDWI Deep Analytics for Big Data Solution Summit for the need to automate decisions in the healthcare industry.  His reasoning was that the complexity of healthcare decisions and the need to make the timely decisions at the point of interaction was key to improving the quality of healthcare and the reducing the cost.  Improved quality would come from leveraging standard practices and by providing the proper care “further up the food chain” and thus eliminating rework later on.

Exemplifying these concepts a common situation in pharmacies.  With each prescription that a pharmacist fills, analysis and decisions need to be made about standard medical practices (ie drug interactions) and standard business practices (ie payments, deductibles).  By automating this analysis at the point of sale, healthcare can become safer and less expensive. 

However, this does not come without cost.  The ability to institute these decisions is not as simple as implementing a database trigger.  The implementation is more than an “if-then” statement.  Often the automated analysis and related decision is more than a single action path.  Issues of this complexity take more time than other types of analysis.  Below is Pratt’s analysis of where automated decisions fit on a time to value graph.


Telecom Take

For telecom organizations, the stakes are not same as they would be in healthcare.  However, automated decisions on “big data” have similar needs.  Both telecom costs and revenues will be impacted.

Network health in the future will have greater importance as the implementation of enterprise level service level agreements (SLA) move toward consumer relationships.  Both fiber-to–the home (FTTH) and wireless connectivity may soon have up-time/connectivity obligations as more and more aspects of daily life depend on IP-based connectivity.  Imagine the issues associated with FTTH downtime on IPTV products during special events like the Super Bowl.

Product pricing and availability are already moving toward speeds that humans have hard time comprehending.  In some African nations, pre-paid wireless revenue models are moving toward a per-tower pricing structure.  Imagine attempting to control, or even worse validate, call pricing at the tower level using primarily human based decision controls.

Which decisions in your telecom environment are managed with automated decisions?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Telecommunications Wed, 06 Oct 2010 18:00:00 -0700
New Revenue Streams from Big Data While many existing revenue streams can be augmented by “big data” business intelligence and data warehousing (BI/DW) environments; the analysis of “big data” also means that new sources of revenue and new business models can be implemented.  This can come from:

  • Previous business models that were unattainable from past technologies
  • New business models that unimagined before the existence of “big data”
  • Hybrid models relying on analytical models fed by new “big data” sources across industry domains or industries themselves

Creating New Revenue

KognitioLogoThese new “big data” enabled business models require that both data acquisition and data analysis happen within the ability of an organization to capitalize on the opportunity. 

Analytical database engines, like Kognitio, use massively parallel processing (MPP) processing to enable these “speed of business” capitalizations.  Kognitio in particular uses the power of in-database processing and analysis to allow for the efficient loading of “big data” datasets into their WX2 platform.  This allows for BI/DW professionals to avoid some of the ETL related, “big data” issues (ie if you can’t load it effectively, you cannot analyze it in a timely fashion).

Telecom Take

New revenue streams are going to be important for telecom organizations.  Revenue pressures are coming from the declining per unit value of voice, and now data, products.  Substitute usage of lower, or zero, value voice alternatives has been ongoing for years.  Yet now, price pressures are starting to work their “magic” on data products. New providers and 3rd and 4th place carriers look to attract new customers and erode the pricing for Internet connectivity.

Being able to exploit new revenue streams provided by the analysis of the data resident in telecom networks will be one of the keys for telecom carrier operations in the short-term and long-term.  BI/DW professional in telecoms will be pressed to provide the analytical environment to enable these business models.

Which new/non-traditional telecom business models are your telecom organization linking to existing network/customer data? Which are linked to external/non-telecom data?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Telecommunications Wed, 06 Oct 2010 17:00:00 -0700
Relationships in Big Data Everyone knows this analogy:

“Find a needle in the hack stack"

With “big data” situations in business intelligence and data warehousing (BI/DW) environments, finding the needles becomes a much more impressive issue:

“Find needles AND the like pieces of hay and how do they relate to each other in the stack”

This comes evolution of predictive analytics and the quest not just for the goal or object (ie valuable customer, influencer, churn prospect), but also for the behavioral events that lead up to those goals or objects.

Impact of Social Media

With the growth of the ability to capture the event data associated with behavior based data sources of telecom call data and social media interaction (ie twitter, facebook, etc); “big data” BI/DW environments are not going away.  They are going to expand and BI/DW professionals are going to need to find a way to perform analytics on these data sets in an effective manner. 

New analytical database providers, like Aster Data, have moved to harness power of massively parallel processing (MPP) power and MapReduce processing to attain the type of relationship processing that the explosion of behavior based data sources have spurred. 

Telecom Take

As mentioned above, telecoms are some great sources of this new behavioral event data.  Call Detail Records of all types (xDRs) will be the basis of future a telecom organization’s ability to avoid becoming a dumb pipe.  The relationships in that behavioral event data will provide either the edge that telecoms need to make addressable advertising and location based services business cases a reality; and to fight off the challenges that Over the Top (OTT) content providers like Skype, Netflix and iTunes are bringing to the traditional telecom business model. 

Are relationship analytics associated with “big data” data sources currently being used in your telecom organization?  If not, why?

Post your comments below or email ( / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

]]> Business Intelligence Wed, 06 Oct 2010 16:00:00 -0700