IBM steps up focus on telecoms with cloud, analytics innovations

IBM India today announced its innovations — cloud, analytics, mobile and social technologies – to assist telecoms to improve customer engagement and monetize.

The announcement is happening at a time when the IT vendor is reportedly facing huge pressure to retain its IT outsourcing account with Bharti Airtel, India’s #1 telecom operator. There are indications that Bharti Airtel will not offer the entire IT outsourcing deal to IBM this year.

IBM India said the new innovations will enable telecoms to make technological, operational and business model transformation to effectively transition from being network connectivity providers to enabling a rich digital experience for consumers.

The focus of IBM reflects the statement by Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) India head Sandeep Girotra who shared mobile data – 2G and 3G — growth in India.


NSN India head today said telecoms need to shift its focus to a service centric, customer centric and business centric approach from network centric approach to monetize from 3G and 2G data.

Indian mobile data from 2G and 3G increased 87 percent in 2013, says NSN

Demand for better 3G customer experience is gaining momentum though the 3G coverage in India is less than 30 percent. This does not means that network should take a back seat though 3G penetration is around 5 percent in the country.

To retain user-base and engage with mobile customers, telecoms need to invest in SDN, cloud, etc. The NSN report noted that 3G coverage is inadequate in most of the towns and cities. The shortfall in coverage in category A is around 50 percent.

IBM Digital Reinvention Study 2013 says 63 percent of 1,100 executives surveyed expect consumers to gain even more power and influence over their businesses. Looking five years out, 58 percent of these business leaders expect new technologies to reduce barriers to entry and 69 percent expect more cross-industry competition.

“With today’s uber-connected, empowered individuals demanding a 24/7 consumer experience and exerting greater influence by participating in more digital activities as they conduct their daily lives, Telecom operators should turn to the latest technologies and draw on their unique capabilities to capitalize on the emergence of the everyone-to-everyone economy,” said Vikas Sehgal, director, Telecom Industry, IBM ISA.

Some of the IBM innovations are the following:

IBM Vibes

IBM Research introduced Vibes, an enterprise social software, can analyze audience interaction on social networks, as well as by cross-referencing their available purchase history, or information about their interests based on other social networking activity.

IBM Async

IBM said Async solution can assist telecoms ti gain operational excellence with an alternate content delivery paradigm for heavy content such as videos. This will facilitate a service provider to control when, and at what price the content is delivered to the users. Async can empower users to select from a multitude of price and expected delivery time (or EDT) choices.


IBM said Contextual Content Communication, a micro-cloud based solution, will help telecoms enable contextual communication of content in diverse business scenarios for an enhanced and better targeted user experience. For example, a consumer walking into a stadium to watch a cricket match could be specifically targeted with appropriate content related to the match or players.

Rajani Baburajan