IBM acquiring LTE analyzer Now Factory

Now Factory's software and services will be folded into IBM's MobileFirst portfolio

Expanding its portfolio of data analysis services to better accommodate the mobile market, IBM is acquiring Dublin-based Now Factory, which offers customer usage analysis services and software for wireless telecommunications providers.

Launched in 2007, Now Factory sells to telecommunications providers who are building LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks, which will likely significantly boost the amount of data their customers consume. It claims at least 40 service providers among its customers.

IBM will fold Now Factory into its software group and Now Factory's software will be placed in IBM MobileFirst Analytics portfolio, which is designed to help businesses improve their customer experiences through the use of data analysis. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Now Factory's software can ingest a carrier's operational data, alerting it of outages or outbreaks of negative sentiment, giving them the opportunity to quickly fix problems.

In addition to providing a way to understand massive streams of real-time operational data, Now Factory also analyzes other forms of customer data as well. For instance, it can examine the profiles of those customers who use prepaid cellular plans and highlight those customers who would benefit to switching by postpaid accounts.

Consumer use of mobile devices seems to be growing. By 2016, mobile phones will consume 6.5 times as much video, 10 times as much gaming data, and 8 times as much social media content and music as they do now, predicted analyst and research firm Informa Telecoms and Media.

IBM plans to fusing Now Factory's into its own InfoSphere Streams platform for analyzing massive amounts of steaming data.

Now Factory software can also be paired with other IBM big data styled products, such as IBM PureData System for Analytics and the Hadoop-based IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, to enlarge the scope of subscriber and network data that can be examined.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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