Week in research: Operators turn to SDPs; 93% of IT managers struggle to control corporate data

SDPs gain favor with operators: Racing to market with services ahead of the competition is the top driver for operators using service delivery platforms (SDPs), according to survey results published by Infonetics Research. And as OTT (over the top) providers take a bite out of operator revenues, survey respondents say they are using SDPs to create and manage their own offerings. To save the cost of deployment, 46 percent are using COTS (commercial off the shelf) software with only a little customization. "Though many of the basic drivers behind investments haven't changed--things like shortening time to market for new services and reducing opex--operators are definitely looking to SDPs to monetize their networks and manage the impact of over-the-top providers on the bottom line," said Shira Levine, directing analyst for service enablement and subscriber intelligence at Infonetics. Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC) replaced Huawei in the top spot for SDP vendors in 2013, while Oracle tied for second place with the Chinese vendor.  Release

Infonetics SDP deployment factors

IT managers struggle for data control: Data fragmentation drives up costs, affects decision making, and increases security risks for businesses, a report from Freeform Dynamics says. According to an article in Help Net Security, 82 percent of IT managers polled in the UK and the United States said that data availability issues hamper decision making.  More concerning, 93 percent of the respondents said they struggle to control their corporation's critical data as the need for storage grows along with the cost. And 81 percent are troubled by the ongoing BYOD trend as employees put sensitive data onto their devices.   "IT staff are finding it extremely hard to manage and protect corporate data vital to their business as it fragments across their own infrastructure and the so-called 'Shadow IT' network. Managing the complexity and the storage overhead is expensive, and protecting the data is a security and business-continuity risk. Despite broad acknowledgement of these issues, only a handful of our respondents appear to be in proper control." Article

Social media, the next frontier: Social media is an increasingly important factor for improving the customer experience, a Frost & Sullivan report says. The report put a candy coating over this fact, something that customers already demonstrated this spring to carriers like Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) following major voice and Internet outages. "Any medium that is accessed by a large number of people can qualify as a potential contact channel," said Nitin Bhat, partner and head of consulting at Frost & Sullivan. "With over a billion users in Asia Pacific alone, social media has established itself as the latest customer contact channel. Its impact on society, in general, has been immense, where it has become a cultural phenomenon, empowering people to interact, participate, and share ideas and opinions. Today, it is also a business phenomenon with many firms leveraging its benefits to improve collaboration with end users." Release