VP Europe, cVidya
Steve McNickle is VP Europe for cVidya, an innovative provider of revenue intelligence solutions for telecom, media and entertainment service providers including AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telecom and Vodafone. The company's product portfolio helps operators and service providers maximise margins, improve customer experience and optimise ecosystem relationships through revenue assurance, fraud and security management, sales performance management, pricing analytics, and inter-carrier services. cVidya has partnered with Oracle for more than a decade.
Please could you tell us a little about cVidya's partnering history with Oracle, and expand on your Oracle Exastack accreditations?
"cVidya was established just over ten years ago and we've had a strong relationship with Oracle almost since the very beginning. Through our Revenue Intelligence work with some of the world's largest service providers we collect tremendous amounts of information, amounting to billions of records per day. We help our clients to collect, store and analyse that data to ensure that their end customers are getting the best levels of service, are billed correctly, and are happy that they are on the correct price plan. We have been an Oracle Gold level partner for seven years, and crucially just two months ago we were also accredited as Oracle Exastack Optimized for MoneyMap, our core Revenue Assurance solution. Very soon we also expect to be Oracle Exastack Optimized DRMap, our Data Retention solution."
What unique capabilities and customer benefits does Oracle Exastack add to your applications?
"Oracle Exastack enables us to deliver radical benefits to our customers. A typical mobile operator in the UK might handle between 500 million and two billion call data record details daily. Each transaction needs to be validated, billed correctly and fraud checked. Because of the enormous volumes involved, our clients demand scalable infrastructure that allows them to efficiently acquire, store and process all that data within controlled cost, space and environmental constraints. We have proved that the Oracle Exadata system can process data up to seven times faster and load it as much as 20 times faster than other standard best-of-breed server approaches. With the Oracle Exadata Database Machine they can reduce their datacentre equipment from say, the six or seven cabinets that they needed in the past, down to just one. This dramatic simplification delivers incredible value to the customer by cutting down enormously on all of their significant cost, space, energy, cooling and maintenance overheads."
"The Oracle Exastack Program has given our clients the ability to switch their focus from reactive to proactive. Traditionally they may have spent 80 percent of their day processing, and just 20 percent enabling end customers to see advanced analytics, and avoiding issues before they occur. With our solutions and Oracle Exadata they can now switch that balance around entirely, resulting not only in reduced revenue leakage, but a far higher focus on proactive leakage prevention.
How has the Oracle Exastack Program transformed your customer business?
"We can already see the impact. Oracle solutions allow our delivery teams to achieve successful deployments, happy customers and self-satisfaction, and the power of Oracle's Exa solutions is easy to measure in terms of their transformational ability. We gained our first sale into a major European telco by demonstrating the major performance gains that would transform their business. Clients can measure the ease of organisational change, the early prevention of business issues, the reduction in manpower required to provide protection and coverage across all their products and services, plus of course end customer satisfaction. If customers know that that service is provided accurately and that their bills are calculated correctly, then over time this satisfaction can be attributed to revenue intelligence and the underlying systems which provide it. Combine this with the further integration we have with the other layers of the Oracle stack, including the telecommunications offerings such as NCC, OCDM and BRM, and the result is even greater customer value—not to mention the increased speed to market and the reduced project risk."
What does the Oracle Exastack community bring to cVidya, both in terms of general benefits, and also tangible new opportunities and partnerships?
"A great deal. We have participated in the Oracle Exastack community heavily over the past year, and have had lots of meetings with Oracle and our peers around the globe. It brings us into contact with like-minded, innovative partners, who like us are not happy to just stand still and want to take fresh technology to their customer base in order to gain enhanced value. We identified three new partnerships in each of two recent meetings, and hope these will open up new opportunities, not only in areas that exactly match where we operate today, but also in some new associative areas that will expand our reach into new business sectors. Notably, thanks to the Exastack community we were invited on stage at last year's Oracle OpenWorld conference. Appearing so publically with Oracle senior VP Judson Althoff elevated awareness and visibility of cVidya and has enabled us to participate in a number of other events with Oracle over the past eight months. We've been involved in speaking opportunities, forums and exhibitions, providing us with invaluable opportunities that we wouldn't otherwise have got close to."
How has Exastack differentiated cVidya as an ISV, and helped you to evolve your business to the next level?
"When we are selling to our core customer base of Tier 1 telecommunications providers, we know that they want more than just software. They want an enduring partnership that will last many years, they want innovation, and a forward thinking partner who knows how to guide them on where they need to be to meet market demand three, five or seven years down the line. Membership of respected global bodies, such as the Telemanagement Forum enables us to lead standard adherence in our area of business, giving us a lot of credibility, but Oracle is also involved in this forum with its own telecommunications portfolio, strengthening our position still further. When we approach CEOs, CTOs and CIOs at the very largest Tier 1 operators, not only can we easily show them that our technology is fantastic, we can also talk about our strong partnership with Oracle, and our joint embracing of today's standards and tomorrow's innovation."
Where would you like cVidya to be in one year's time?
"We want to get all of our relevant products Oracle Exastack Optimized. Our MoneyMap Revenue Assurance solution is already Exastack Optimised, our DRMAP Data Retention Solution should be Exastack Optimised within the next month, and our FraudView Fraud Management solution within the next two to three months. We'd then like to extend our Oracle accreditation out to include other members of the Oracle Engineered Systems family. We are moving into the 'Big Data' space, and so we're obviously very keen to work closely with Oracle to conduct pilots, map new technologies onto Oracle Big Data platforms, and embrace and measure the benefits of other Oracle systems, namely Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, the Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine and the Oracle SPARC SuperCluster. We would also like to examine how the Oracle Database Appliance might benefit our Tier 2 service provider customers. Finally, we'd also like to continue working with the Oracle Communications Global Business Unit (CGBU), furthering our integration with Oracle billing products so that we are able to quickly deploy fraud solutions into Oracle's Engineered System stack, give operational benefits to our clients that are pre-integrated, more cost-effective, and can be rapidly deployed rapidly and producing benefits in three months, not nine months."
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