Amdocs Data Science as a Service: Big Data Innovation Hope or Hype?

Ron Westfall
Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

  • Amdocs introduced its DSaaS solution as part of the overall expansion of its BDA portfolio. Now, Amdocs must show it commands the channel resources, including BDA hosting centers, to drive and differentiate DSaaS.
  • Amdocs must overcome potential key barriers to operator adoption of DSaaS, including meeting country-specific storage laws, gaining operator trust for hosting valuable data sets, and proving the value of Hadoop-based BDA platforms.

Recently, Amdocs launched its Amdocs Data Science as a Service (DSaaS) solution as part of the expansion of its overall big data analytics (BDA) portfolio. The new solution targets operator interest in using cloud-based BDA to support applications such as executing data discovery health checks and situation-specific analytical application development. Amdocs touts using BDA centers distributed throughout EMEA, North America and Asia-Pacific to deliver the data management and data storage resources required to scale DSaaS. Amdocs can stake a marketing claim toward early targeting of the DSaaS space by a major OSS/BSS supplier, but must address key obstacles that could cause DSaaS to fizzle as the next new, must-have cloud-based application in the near future.

Country-specific Data Storage Legal Mandates: An integral element of the DSaaS sales pitch is using vast, widely distributed server resources to manage and scale data sets that risk overwhelming the internal BDA resources of operators. As a result, DSaaS can appeal to small operators that lack the budgets for internal scaling of BDA platforms as well as top-tier operators looking to outsource BDA functions such as the customized targeting of verticals. However, countries such as Germany already have strict requirements that mandate the physical and virtual storage of data, especially personal data, must remain within national borders. We believe these boundary-specific data storage mandates will multiply among jurisdictions into the foreseeable future. This can increase the complexity of DSaaS business cases, putting a potential dent into using server resources distributed among a diverse geographic footprint to achieve the economies of scale required to differentiate the cost savings appeal of cloud-based analytics. On the other hand, Amdocs wields the global managed service resources to aid operator navigation of meeting country-specific storage mandates on a country-by-country basis to smooth DSaaS adoption. Such global resources can prove a key differentiator against DSaaS startups, such as Metamarkets.

Tall Thresholds for Securing Trusted Partner Status: Vendor management of operator networks and operations have grown over the last few decades. Operators continue to warm up to adopting managed cloud-based models for supporting internal operations and improving the flexibility and cost models of customer service packages. However, operator data sets, especially customer data sets, can constitute the crown jewels of the operator’s business. To entrust these data sets to a third party, such as Amdocs, can engender greater degrees of trust in relation to hosting other established cloud-based services such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). Moreover, Amdocs must prove its DSaaS can produce actionable results that OTT-source analytics alternatives, such as Google Analytics, may lack. This can also require hosting and integrating the business intelligence (BI) platforms of operators, which may or may not improve the DSaaS business case.

Expanding Operator Acceptance of Hadoop Technology: Amdocs uses the Hadoop standard to support the open source interworking required to scale DSaaS applications economically and competitively. Amdocs needs to convince operators that the overall cost savings for data storage and application distribution warrants more aggressive adoption of Hadoop-based DSaaS. Amdocs also needs to promote interoperability of DSaaS platforms with traditional databases to build operator confidence in outsourced, cloud-based BDA apps. This can include ensuring operator personnel have training certification with Hadoop protocols, such as MapReduce and Hbase, to ease transitions from in-house, proprietary BDA protocols. In particular, Amdocs can further differentiate its DSaaS proposition by integrating real-time analytical tools and automated processing of actionable analysis into its solution.

Overall, we believe Amdocs possesses the OSS/BSS portfolio range and managed BDA resources to drive accelerated operator acceptance of DSaaS. Early Amdocs success in this still-nascent space will undoubtedly attract expanded supplier targeting of DSaaS.

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