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Cloud Computing

IBM Buys Another Analytics Firm, Beefing Up MobileFirst

IBM Buys Another Analytics Firm, Beefing Up MobileFirst
October 1, 2013 1:14PM

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By providing the analytics tools communications service providers need to drive better customer experience and better revenue opportunities, IBM's acquisition of The Now Factory will deliver significant benefits and also complement Big Blue's broader analytics strategy, according to analyst Charles King.

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Big Blue has scooped up yet another analytics firm. This time, IBM is betting on The Now Factory, a privately-held analytics software provider that helps communication service providers (CSPs) deliver better customer experiences and drive new revenue opportunities.

IBM says The Now Factory nicely complements its own MobileFirst Analytics portfolio. MobileFirst is designed to enhance how organizations analyze mobile device usage.

With The Now Factory's analytics, CSPs can gain real-time insights into their customers by analyzing massive quantities of network and business data. With this type of insight, IBM said, CSPs can provide better service quality to their customers by better managing negative experiences and network outages.

"Today's announcement is part of IBM's strategy to continually establish leadership in the era of big data and capitalize on the opportunity to analyze data in real time," said Bob Picciano, general manager of Information Management at IBM Software Group. "The Now Factory's software enhances IBM's big data and analytics portfolio by improving the speed, development and implementation of big data solutions, and gives communications service providers the ability to better service their customers."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Explosive Demand

The explosion of growth in the volume of real-time data that is being produced by mobile devices and the strain it is putting on mobile networks to collect and process events instantly, monitor their performances, and understand the impact of customer interaction is driving demand for this type of software.

According to analyst and research firm Informa Telecoms and Media, by 2016 the average mobile phone subscriber will use 6.5 times as much video. That's 10 times as much gaming data, and eight times as much content for social media and music than they currently consume.

IBM said The Now Factory's software helps CSPs better understand how a subscriber interacts with cloud-based services, such as mobile applications. For example, a CSP can use the software to analyze customer usage of 3G and 4G LTE data services and identify high volume pre-paid subscribers. This can result in a targeted campaign to convert high volume pre-paid subscribers into post-paid accounts.

Profound Impact

"We caught up with Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his take on IBM's latest bid on the analytics front. While big data and analytics are influencing the IT market generally, he told us there are some sectors and use cases where their impacts are more profound.

"These include CSPs that are operating networks for mobile devices. As the number and use of those devices continues to explode CSPs will be hard pressed to ensure that networks are running efficiently and customers are well served," King said.

"That's where The Now Factory comes in by providing the analytics tools CSPs need to drive better customer experience and better revenue opportunities. By doing so the company should deliver significant benefits to IBM and also complement the company's broader analytics strategy," he said.

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