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Why Guavus believes big data monetisation is a real business

Highlights
  • Post setting up hub in Singapore, Guavus is hiring, and exploring growth opportunities in markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines
  • Guavus will broaden product portfolio beyond telcos to include other verticals that have similar data opportunities
  • It is not just about data but correlation to find unique KPIs to improve business processes: Louis Brun

Big data, smart data, data analytics are popular buzzwords today that gained significance, for many businesses, only in the last two to three years. The evolution of the data economy continues to lure not only active interest but also ‘big’ concerns. Beginning from issues of trust to actual derivation of insights that matter, data debates have questioned whether there is enough intelligent correlation, and hence application of data, seen today.

It is this backdrop that has enabled various companies to set up businesses dedicated to data. Guavus is one such. Guavus’ business model is focussed solely on big data analytics – a domain that it sees flourishing not only in the current state but also in the future. “For a company like ours that is well established in North America and very dominant with tier one US carriers, expansion was on the cards,” remarked Louis Brun, the recently appointed Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific for the company.

Mr Brun became part of Guavus’ management after the company acquired Neuralitic Systems, that he had co-founded, in January 2013. While Guavus is still in the process of detailing its business plans for the Asia Pacific region, it has already taken some big steps for a market that it believes holds its future growth. The company has an established client, Starhub, in Singapore, which is also its regional hub. It has signed a new client in the Philippines as well. “We did deliberate on where our hub office for Asia operations should be and Singapore was a natural choice not only because we already have a relationship here but also because of its connectivity with other markets in the region,” said Mr Brun.

Guavus is still in the process of identifying the various APAC markets that it will focus on in its immediate future. The company is hiring in region already. “We are extensively meeting carriers in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and assessing the best opportunities. In the second quarter, the team will concentrate efforts in two or three countries, and the rest we will approach more from a business development perspective,” Mr Brun informed.

Much of this transformation is taking place under the stewardship of former NetApp hand, Manish Goel, who took charge of the company as CEO in October 2013. Another big step for Guavus would be seen in its decision to broaden product portfolio beyond telcos to include other verticals that have similar opportunities such as data centres, retail, banking and credit.

The optimist way forward
Telecom operators, or carriers, as Mr Brun refers to them, in the region are seeing pressure for the first time in many years as ARPUs (average revenue per user) are dropping. Guavus believes that therein lies the opportunity.

Unlike the US, in Asia, a large part of the subscriber base is prepaid. Due to this, granularity in information that is available in a market such as US has been missing in Asia. Mr Brun observed, “We are seeing changes in some of these trends. Telecom companies are focussing on improving one-to-one relationships with subscribers. Our strength is the capability to retrieve massive amount of data from multiple data sources and then fuse, correlate, aggregate and generate KPIs (key performance indicators) to address a carrier’s challenges. So, ARPUs may be declining but companies can still improve business process and hence increase the average profit per subscriber. Data analytics makes room for new things. It is more important today than ever before to be able to monetise data, and that is where we come in.”

Gauvus’ definition of improving business process includes optimisation of networks, marketing and brand to better plan investments. “At the end, it is not just about data but correlation when you find unique KPIs. We need to understand trends so right investment is deployed to right places for better results in all aspects of the business,” Mr Brun stated, reiterating why data monetisation is a need of the hour for many businesses.

The year 2014 will see the company take more steps to expand its presence in the region.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.
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