Recent IBM acquisitions deliver key technologies for doing business smarter.
Today at the TMF Management World 2011 conference in Dublin, Ireland, IBM announced new software and services designed to help communications service providers (CSPs) deliver new and innovative services to subscribers.
With the world's carriers facing high market saturation, a sharp decline in fixed wireline services, and the rapid proliferation of smart devices, CSPs are turning to new technologies in analytics and cloud to make their operations more efficient and deliver improved user experience.
The IBM Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE) is a communications industry framework which provides the foundation for much of the software that runs the world's communications services. The enhancements in IBM SPDE being announced today will expand capabilities in the areas of cloud-based services, business-to-business commerce, enterprise marketing management, real-time analytics, 4G-LTE network support and improve alignment with key industry standards such as TMF Frameworx.
As part of today's announcement, analytics and campaign marketing management software gained from recent IBM acquisitions have been incorporated into SPDE. This will allow for CSPs to effectively manage marketing campaigns while simplifying and enhancing the customer experience, offering benefits such as timely offers based on prior behavior, and a deeper understanding of the customer base.
"As service providers today are focused on entering new markets and differentiating their services, they need to continue to expand while maintaining a massive network infrastructure," said Scott Stainken, general manager for IBM's Global Telecommunications Industry. "Using IBM SPDE, communications providers can manage their networks more efficiently, bring new, personal solutions to subscribers based on their specific wants and needs, and use analytics to identify and fix problems before they begin."
The IBM SPDE framework is designed to enable CSPs to easily create, deliver and manage new services. It includes best practices that identify and document proven architectural patterns, as well as design guidelines that align with industry standards and which have been gleaned from successful projects done with top CSPs all over the world.
To support the development of solutions that address key challenges faced by service providers, SPDE has added capabilities in the following key business areas: customer management; sales and marketing; operations support; subscriber services; corporate management; information technology and network technology.
One of the customers taking advantage of SPDE is Ufone, a Pakistan-based CSP who has been able to drive profitability in a highly competitive market by using SPDE-enabled business process solutions.
"At Ufone, we are committed to making it easier than ever for our customers to do business with us," said Faisal Khaliq, chief information officer for Ufone. "We feel it is critical to invest in the customer management, sales and marketing, and subscriber services solutions that are delivered on the IBM SPDE framework in order to provide the services our customers want and deserve."
Another customer utilizing the benefits of SPDE is Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). IBM has provided TSTT with consulting services, integration, application support services and software solutions. These essential technologies and services enable TSTT to manage its network, provision and configure services, and effectively reach and market to their customers.
"TSTT has adopted these solutions to improve service quality, reduce costs, and improve overall customer service," said George Hill, chief technical officer at Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited. "We feel it is critical to invest in these areas. The new capabilities of SPDE are helping TSTT provide effective marketing solutions and simplify the introduction of new solutions for overall campaign management.
Acquisitions Expand IBM SPDE
In 2010, IBM made a number of key acquisitions, including Coremetrics, Sterling Commerce, Unica and Netezza, to help clients manage the expanding volumes of data that are being generated by consumers and drive marketing decisions that create smarter merchandising and supply networks. These software technologies—along with capabilities from previous acquisitions including Cognos, ILOG, SPSS, BigFix, Guardium and Initiate, help deliver the expanded capabilities in today's announcement.
For example, Globe Telecom—a service provider in the Philippines—is growing in a fiercely competitive market by delivering highly targeted promotions to their subscribers. By deploying analytics and campaign marketing management software found in SPDE, marketers can now configure triggers that automatically detect opportunities for targeted promotions—resulting in compelling offers that keep customers with Globe.
As part of today's announcement, IBM is also introducing new solutions in the area of 4G/LTE service management. With enhancements to its advanced analytics and automation capabilities, service providers can now use IBM software to quickly identify and diagnose network disruptions in 4G/LTE networks, allowing providers to minimize service interruptions. Another key announcement from IBM software is the introduction of the IBM Communications Service Enablers (ICSE), which allow a CSP to leverage key standard interfaces to extend communications networks into new services and improve the way their customers work, shop, and socialize.
A Decade of Industry Leadership
Today's announcements represent the continued expansion of IBM's leading portfolio of industry solutions and frameworks to help companies capitalize on new customer buying patterns. Industry frameworks provide a configurable platform to speed deployment of business solutions. They extend IBM's service oriented architecture (SOA) middleware with industry-specific features and specially designed process templates. IBM industry solutions and industry business partner solutions build on the value provided by these industry frameworks to deliver a comprehensive, customized solution for each client.
IBM released the first version of SPDE in 2001, and since that time has continually upgraded and improved the framework to meet the changing requirements of service providers. To date, more than 1000 service providers and all 20 of the world's top telecommunications companies have selected IBM to help them manage their communications business.
Built on best practices and patterns from client engagements with CSPs around the world, IBM SPDE is the blueprint that enables Smarter Communications by helping deliver value-added services that launch smarter services, drive smarter operations and build smarter networks. IBM is leading a conversation in the marketplace about how our world is becoming smarter, and software is at the very heart of this change. IBM's Industry Frameworks play a critical role in our ability to deliver smarter planet solutions by pulling together deep industry expertise, technology and a dynamic infrastructure from across the company to provide clients with offerings targeted to their industry-specific needs.
For more information on the IBM Frameworks or for details on how IBM is helping service providers and business partners to make smarter, faster decisions, visit: www.ibm.com/software/industry/communications.