Digital Identity & Data Analytics – Are users’ digital identities at the heart of monetising CSP data? Dec 2015 issue of VanillaPlus
Can CSPs beat the GAFAs when it comes to big data?
Conventional wisdom has is that CSPs (communications service providers) have spent most of this millennium napping and have ceded mobile content and cloud services to the giant web companies. George Malim doesn’t think they’ll miss out on big data analytics.
The GAFAs – Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple – used their web-savviness at the start of the internet revolution to build massive businesses that redefined the global economy. Google has grown to
dominate search and advertising, Amazon has revolutionised retail, Facebook has invented a new platform for social interaction and Apple has made communications devices cool. While the GAFAs were building their businesses, CSPs were distracted by the massive investments required in 3G and 4G and fibre networks.
These traditional infrastructure businesses weren’t suited to working at web speed in largely unregulated environments and consequently CSP attempts to join the party failed. They looked halfhearted and a little bit like a dad dancing at a teenage disco.
All the GAFA businesses are now founded on the data they have about their consumers. Google knows what you search for, Amazon knows what you buy, Facebook knows who your friends are and what you’re interested in, Apple knows what content you buy and now enables you to pay for items. However, it is the CSPs that have richer data.
CSPs know where you are, what you do on your phone, how much you spend and, because they’re old infrastructure businesses, they have a relationship of greater trust with their customers. Yes, we moan about CSP customer service but compared to a GAFA, CSP customer service is excellent. Most CSPs have shops, call centres and web self-care. Most GAFAs can only be contacted via automated web query forms and actively shun customer interactions.
CSPs then have richer data, better customer care capabilities and they have a billing relationship with their customers. As more and more traditional businesses from other industries enter the digital services value chain, the data CSPs have and their support capabilities start to become a portfolio of immense attraction. With the need now to federate contextually relevant data insights among all the players in the digital value chain, CSPs could be the providers of the enabling hub that links data from multiple sources together in ways that all businesses can utilise to the benefit of customers. If CSPs pull this off, they’ll become the gaffers – an informal English term for the boss – of the digital services value chain, not the GAFAs.
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category: Digital Edition