Total Telecom caught up with Laurent Michel, CMO at Intersec to find out what 2018 has in store for big data in the global telecoms sector

Tell us a little about the company and what are its aspirations for the future?

Intersec is a leading Fast Data software vendor, designing innovative platforms enabling companies to leverage their Data. Our disruptive technology crunches and consolidates huge amounts of data coming from heterogeneous network equipment and IT, and turns them into actionable insights in real-time. Applications range from Contextual Marketing, Geolocation Intelligence or Smart Cities.
As we managed to industrialise some use cases for the Telco business, we found that other verticals had the same challenges, especially in the Smart City area. There are lots of demands calling upon Geo Intelligence and capacity to deliver results in a very limited time frame.
Applications are linked to buoyant markets such as public safety, carbon reduction emissions, smart lightening, parking lots management, traffic regulation, optimisation of City staff’s rounds, etc. We are looking forward to spreading our footprint to these exciting areas. We already have had encouraging projects with customers such as Paris City Council and RATP Dev (French public transportation).
My role within Intersec is to design the right value proposition for our target markets. This means identifying the right opportunities both from business trends and technological evolutions. Once we have chosen our battlefields, my challenge is to drive both our product roadmap and our communication strategy accordingly. I also make sure that our sales forces are all set to be convincing.

Let’s talk about Intersec’s GeoInsights project. What inspired you to begin this project?

Through their location data, all network operators have a huge opportunity to monetise interesting insights based on a very large sample of population. Yet monetising these data can be challenging since:
Industrialisation in collecting, processing and analysing is difficult
Operators could work on it but they focus on historical data and fail at monitor data in real-time
Our value proposition is to help them overcome quickly both these issues to provide a real and marketable service

What was the scope of the project?

In 2015, a consortium led by public authorities launched a project to build a railway express line from downtown to a major European airport. For such a huge project (1.3 billion euros) anyone can understand the importance to conduct a study before starting to dig.
Prior to redesigning new means of public transportation, a thorough knowledge of the traffic, frequency and behavior of visitors appeared essential. From the data of a Tier One mobile operator, Intersec’s GeoInsights solution used artificial intelligence to run complex analytical algorithms, and extract segmentation and mobility insights for geolocation reports. Over 4 months, we analysed more than one billion events daily in total compliance with privacy regulations. At Intersec, we dedicated 3 people – mostly data scientists – to conduct the project for 4 weeks.
Results provided a precise quantification and analysis of the travelers’ origins and destinations, their transportation means. Such insights allowed regional authorities to spot optimal locations for arrival and departure, and to dimension the necessary infrastructure along with the service’s time schedul

What potential is there for Intersec to replicate this project elsewhere?

As such needs are universal and our solution is network agnostic it can be extended to any type of public or private networks (LPWA networks, Mobile networks, beacons, RFID and Bluetooth local networks, sensors, …).
The project would not be the same per say but the technology can be duplicated and some algorithms reused, completed by new ones.

What new markets is Intersec looking to break into?

Geographically, Intersec would like to reinforce its positions in North America and in Asia – mainly in the telecom market. As for our new verticals approach, our focus is mainly on European smart cities and smart transportation markets. 

Why are these markets attractive to Intersec? 

Regarding the telecom market, both the US and the APAC regions are huge markets. They are at a different stage of the telecom commoditisation but they converge on the use cases linked to our solution.
As for the new vertical markets, they are the main domains where location data is of the essence. Some of the use cases they wish to develop are time-constrained and real real-time is essential. Therefore, we really are providing substantive solutions to these markets. 

What new technologies are you particularly excited about at the moment? 

We are very excited about new technologies to improve further our product spatial resolution down to a couple of hundred meters where today cells can be several kilometers large. This accuracy offers great new perspective to service providers: more precise insights in urban areas, especially for pedestrian movements, geostatistics for rural areas (to count the visitors in an isolated castle), measurement of billboard audience in real-time are a few examples of what they’ll be able to offer. 

What predictions do you have for the data management / analysis sector in the next 18 months?

I think Artificial Intelligence will provide a radically new way to extract insights from all these data. As algorithms improve, the paradigm will smoothly shift from descriptive to prescriptive analytics.
Telecom operators should grasp AI and Machine Learning to understand, optimise, and improve business and network capabilities, meet tomorrow’s needs and fully enter the Smart cities and Smart mobility reality.