Amdocs AIDA was recently announced at their InTouch show, apparently to ‘genuine applause’. Detail is currently sparse, but the promise is of a solution that finally unlocks the value in all that telco data…
Based on the limited information shared so far by Amdocs, AIDA has been called a Business Intelligence (BI) solution for telco, but this is either selling it short or vastly underestimating the issues of data integration in OSS and BSS.
Eventually, AIDA has to do BI. This is the end goal. Once all the dirty, complicated data munging, moving and cleaning is done. BI analyses the data and tells you something useful. The Amdocs opportunity here is to compete with ‘generic’ BI vendors like Oracle by providing a product that is tuned to telco data and telco business.
But before you see nice graphs and pie charts there’s a huge job to be done: Tying BI features up to multiple data sources that have different storage mechanisms, different APIs and are updated to different time horizons. Once the data is accessed, one must determine its meaning, normalize the names of things in the data, and start combining shared references to the same things to build up the currently missing big-picture.
There’s whole companies based around accessing or transforming telco data. Ontology and Celona come to mind. Both offer very smart solutions to one aspect of data access. AIDA has to do this and more.
It will be interesting to see where AIDA focuses its efforts initially. On data access. On BI. Or on something more exciting like making the insight actionable by tying it in to their OSS planning and forecasting tools.
The biggest risk is that AIDA becomes another 'big-bang' transformation project rather than a solution that can deliver a return on investment today while enabling the long journey necessary to change data, process and business.
Data integration is the second most difficult OSS challenge after process integration (and usually you can’t have one without the other). Even if AIDA has the whizz-bangiest technology behind it, even if it’s smarter than dedicated data-meisters like Ontology and Celona, there will be plenty of opportunity for Amdocs to sell system integration days.
But perhaps Amdocs are the guys who can pull this off. I certainly wouldn’t criticise them for having a licenses and services revenue model for AIDA. A pragmatic approach, acknowledging the need for services effort, might work in their favour. The big opportunity here is that Amdocs could have both the technology and the project clout to do the job.