Cisco’s Chambers says operators must transform or risk irrelevance – data analytics is the key

Cisco targets "digital transformation" opportunity with Mobility IQ

In his typical fast-talking and energetic style, Cisco CEO John Chambers opened the company’s MWC service provider press conference with three main messages.

1. Digital cities and Internet of everything is a 19 trillion dollar opportunity (Chambers highlighted Barcelona as a digitised, innovative city based on all-Cisco architecture).

2. Everything will go digital, even Mobile World Congress will be led by digital companies and service providers in the future.

3. All companies are facing market transitions driven by digital transformation and those organisations that recognise this will lead.

Chambers further warned that “40 to 50% of service providers risk becoming irrelevant.”  Cisco is clearly focused on helping service providers and operators make that digital transformation in their own  business processes as well as their network and services.  Chambers pointed out that in the transformative area of NFV, “Cisco has 49 virtual network functions ready to go, our nearest competitor has less than 10, by the end of the year we will have over 90.”

Mobility IQ

Analytics is one area where Cisco sees market opportunity, announcing Mobility IQ, a new cloud-hosted mobility analytics solution that provides network, user, application and device knowledge and visibility in real-time, working across Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE networks.  Mobility IQ is sold as a SaaS model and is based on Cisco’s Intercloud services.  It provides visual network knowledge to drive business value for service providers, enterprises or even consumers.  Chambers claimed the differentiator for Cisco is that this solution “provides the complete picture unlike the many stovepipe solutions on the market.  It is also flexible and easy to use and afford as a pay as you go software service”.

Mobility IQ’s network knowledge and analytics can be tailored for different audiences – Network Operations Centre, Marketing, and Managed services experience.

Using MWC network traffic as an example, Kelly Ahuja SVP Service Provider Business Cisco, provided visual examples of the kinds of data Cisco’s Mobility IQ could collect.

Cisco Mobility IQ

Capability of Cisco Mobility IQ (click for bigger)

Especially interesting was the Managed Services data that a service provider could sell onto their business customers in retail, hospitality and entertainment venues could benefit from.  One of Cisco’s partners Ooredoo, the leading operator in Qatar with 100 million customers, sees market opportunity in real-time data and analytics that can transform its business and enable faster decisions.  For example, Cisco mentioned a new world airport – with 50 million passengers – in Doha, Qatar.  How can service providers help airport authorities and retailers manage the flow of people through the airport and reshape data services based on real-time network and mobile subscriber data?