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Stratecast Predictions 2014: The Year Ahead - and a Look Back

NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

Stratecast Predictions 2014: The Year Ahead - and a Look Back

In this year's look forward, Stratecast provides a view of likely developments in the multiple dimensions in the communication space. The very complex interplay of the economy, consumer perceptions and technology ultimately make such an exercise more of an art than a science. Nevertheless, as the reader will discover, Stratecast's predictions for 2013 were, by and large, correct. Where they were off was mostly as a result of developments occurring more quickly than had been supposed—even by the players in the market. Yet, the rate of change seems likely to accelerate even more as the market evolves.


under-reach in the long term. People always expect a greater rate of change than is sustainable in the near future; and, probably as a consequence, become somewhat pessimistic about developments that may take place in more than a few years.

While this is true, generally, about anything involving technology, it is becoming less true about computing and communications technology: with the acceleration of change, the uncertainty that once characterized the far future is coming to characterize the near future. Some futurists, including Ray Kurzweil, are convinced that, by the year 2020, the rate of change will be so great that human minds will be incapable of encompassing or understanding it. Although Stratecast doubts that this "singularity" will occur quite the way that futurists like Ray Kurzweil predict, it is true that this accelerating change dynamic continues to influence the telecommunications market in ways that remain very unpredictable.

Nevertheless, as the reader will discover, Stratecast's predictions for 2013 were, by and large, correct. Where they were off was mostly as a result of developments occurring more quickly than had been supposed—even by the players in the market. Yet, the rate of change seems likely to accelerate even more as the market evolves.

2014 is likely to be a time of extreme, perhaps even radical, change. Consumers will be exposed to new forms of access technology and new integrated service offerings. Enterprises will increasingly virtualize operations using communications and computing. The cloud will begin to become less of a fad and more of a routine solution. Operators will be scrambling to implement the new systems and technologies that will enable all of the new devices and capabilities. Regulators will begin to impose rules on broadband access, and will be looking at the intersection of wireless and broadband.

"May you live in interesting times," is said to be an ancient Chinese curse.2 Certainly 2014 will be interesting times in the telecommunications sector. However, rather than being something to dread, Stratecast believes it is, rather, a time of extreme opportunity. Navigating the hazards and exploiting the opportunities is something that Stratecast has helped its clients do for more than years. We stand ready to provide the analysis and insight that will help ensure our clients' success in the coming year as well.

Enjoy the following 2013 report card and our 2014 predictions. We wish you a joyous and safe holiday season.

2013 Predictions Revisited

Big Data and Analytics (formerly Analytics, Customer Experience and Marketing2013 Prediction: Big Data will become the #1 driver of BI and analytics investments…

Outcome: "Big Data" was the #1 driver of investment in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics market in 2013. In fact, our assessment of the impact of Big Data led Stratecast to change the name of its program addressing this space from Analytics, Customer Experience & Marketing (ACEM) to Big Data & Analytics (BDA). Organizations are almost universally aware that they must find ways to deal with Big Data; and that is driving most of the investment in the space. The problem, though, with Big Data is far from simple: a glut of data about Big Data, much of it narrowly-focused and self-serving, which is creating confusion and organizational paralysis. Stratecast is demystifying the Big Data black box with its 12-part Big Data model; identification of Big Data core solutions and three component areas; and mapping of Big Data functionality into six areas of impact at communications service providers (CSPs).

2013 Prediction: …trailed closely by CEM.

Outcome: Customer experience analytics (CEA), which enables and supports customer experience management (CEM), is the second largest technology segment in the Big Data and analytics market. (The largest segment is Big Data core platforms, solutions, and services.) As defined by Stratecast, CEA is a CSP-focused segment. CSPs are accelerating their investments in CEA, not only to do a better job delivering high-quality services but also to find ways to monetize services from which they presently derive little revenue—most notably, video. Top telecommunications solution providers, such as Alcatel-Lucent, Lavastorm, Comptel, Amdocs, and NetCracker, are among the leaders in providing CEA to CSPs; these companies understand Big Data core functionality, and have the telecom-specific expertise to help CSPs apply Big Data to specific areas of need.

2013 Prediction: The increasingly blurry line between application performance monitoring (APM) and customer service assurance (CSA) will disappear, at least in video QoE.

Outcome: APM involves pre-testing of networks, services, devices, and capabilities by simulating their performance over future service paths and endpoints; while CSA is about obtaining customer experience analytics on the fly, as a live service is being delivered. Providers continue to offer either CSA or APM solutions, because the two require different components and capabilities, and it is not a simple matter to provide both. Providers need to make the investments and organizational commitments to emulate CEA's user-centric, "outside in" view of service delivery by seeing themselves through their customers' eyes. CSPs want both prelaunch service analytics (APM) and in-service analytics (CSA) from a single provider, so as to simplify their lives. And while they're at it, CEA providers should also consider offering the other two areas of CEA under one roof: customer profiles and quality of experience.

2013 Prediction: Established BI platform providers will take note of the "intercept, store & forward" model that is developing in the market, and respond.

Outcome: The "intercept, store & forward" model, simply put, is about real-time analytics; and real-time analytics is one of the hottest competitive differentiators in today's Big Data and Analytics market.3 At present, the only technology that can deliver real-time analytics is in-memory computing, where the data system processes data in real time in RAM, rather than using external memory. Some of the largest traditional data storage and data management providers are currently moving toward incorporating real-time analytics into their offerings, but the other large, established BI platform players trail SAP in this regard. SAP's HANA (High-performance Analytic Appliance) is an in-memory, column-oriented database management system that, in addition to providing real-time analytics, also integrates the widely diverse data sources and streams that make Big Data so challenging to manage.

2013 Prediction: An increasing number of BI analytics "Big Data" providers, who already have seven areas of Stratecast's nine-part BI Model covered, will add the eighth and ninth: data warehousing (DWH) and extraction-transformation-loading (ETL).

Outcome: A critical mass of the largest Big Data and Analytics providers, including EMC, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Teradata, either added data warehousing to existing analytics software suites, or vice versa; as have some of the largest Big Data providers on the telecom side, including Alcatel-Lucent, Amdocs, Huawei, and Lavastorm.

Table of Contents

Introduction 42013 Predictions Revisited 5Big Data and Analytics (formerly Analytics, Customer Experience and Marketing) 5Business Communication Services 7Cloud Computing 7Connected Home 8Consumer Communication Services 9OSS/BSS Global Competitive Strategies 92014 Predictions 12Big Data and Analytics 12Business Communication Services 13Cloud Computing 14Connected Home 15Consumer Communication Services 15OSS/BSS Global Competitive Strategies 16Secure Networking 17

To order this report: Stratecast Predictions 2014: The Year Ahead - and a Look Back

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