Focus Data Services Ltd. Gains Deeper Access to Telco Data Records

Massive amounts of customer transaction records can hamper the analysis BI tools provide -- unless you manage the data properly.

Focus Data Services Ltd. is an international provider of Law Enforcement Support systems. Focus works with wireless and mobile telecommunications companies across the United Kingdom to process police and emergency services requests for Call Detail Record (CDR) data. The Focus 112 software system provides disclosure which is similar to a data retrieval solution. Focus manages the interface process for the more than one million inquiries for CDR that police make to telephone companies per year.

Telecommunications companies face unique challenges as they navigate between meeting growing data retention laws and important business objectives. The cost of storing massive amounts of data for compliance limits the ability to focus on data with high business value. This is largely because affordable, traditional approaches to data storage tend to be off-line and result in difficult and slow data retrieval. A delay can have severe consequences when it comes to police inquiries and overall business productivity.

With European Union data retention laws, telcos have a legal obligation to keep data. On average, police and emergency personnel make 10,000 data retrieval inquiries to telephone carriers every month. With 20-30 members of a staff processing data retrieval requests, processes can result in time and resource drains on an organization.

With Dataupia, Focus is able to automate 80-90 percent of data retrieval processes to save time and money. The Satori Server is capable of storing billions of event records according to industry-standard methods, such that business intelligence tools can report on and mine the Data Retention Stores’ rich information assets.

Selection Criteria

For law enforcement agencies, access to CDR can be a life-or-death matter. Focus selected Dataupia to help manage and access critical data because of its all-in-one offering -- server, storage, and optimization software. Additionally, the Dataupia Satori Server is simple, flexible, scalable, and cost-effective. There was no need to rip and replace existing technology; the Dataupia Satori Server seamlessly integrated into the existing infrastructure. The appliance’s ability to accept data from a range of legacy systems was also appealing to Focus, as was the cost-effectiveness of the appliance. However, the number one reason Focus selected the Dataupia Satori Server is that it allows for personalization and change by scaling effortlessly to handle increasing database size.

Project Scope/Functionality, and Benefits

Focus utilizes the Dataupia Satori Server as the underlying data management architecture to increase its online data storage capability and achieve unprecedented access to data stored in the system. Dataupia’s technology enables Focus to implement data management in a cost-effective and rapid manner to allow officials to act quickly and help companies keep up with shifting compliance laws. The combination of highly specialized software and powerful processors allows large amounts of data to remain online and ready for use.

The fact that the Dataupia Satori Server installs quickly and requires little administration is a major strength. It also allows for Omniversal Transparency and continuous, seamless scalability. (Omniversal Transparency is the ability to shield applications and users from any changes to their current configurations and business processes.) Dataupia recently enhanced its solution to include dynamic aggregation capabilities, which address the needs and data warehousing requirements of today’s data-intensive organizations such as Focus. Its simplicity and flexibility support more simultaneous queries and concurrent users than traditional data warehouse platforms.

Additionally, Dataupia provides reputable customer service and support. After implementation, the lines of communication remained open. The Dataupia Satori Server is easy to install, use and manage. The documentation provided was thorough and user-friendly, allowing administrators to spend minimal time training staff on the Dataupia Satori Server.

The telcos Focus works with are now looking at data in a consolidated way. Furthermore, they can use BI tools to optimize real-time business information, eliminate disparate data sources, and effectively utilize legacy data systems. Dataupia’s Satori Server allows Focus customers to quickly and cost-effectively access and analyze data in order to process queries to assist with crime analysis. In fact, Dataupia allows Focus Data Services Ltd. to store data in one system and access it at 20 percent of the cost of the traditional management system.

Lessons Learned and a Look Ahead

Looking back on the implementation of Dataupia, Focus considered what, if anything, they would do differently. The general consensus was that Focus would have spent more time anticipating additional ways their staff could utilize the data, aside from the one application referenced in this case study.

Following the successful implementation of the Dataupia Satori Server, Focus has already been thinking about how they will use the solution in the future. The company plans on eventually increasing capacity by adding blades to handle more data. Because of Dataupia’s scalability, Focus will be able to easily grow the capabilities of the solution to continue to meet their evolving business needs.

Additionally, Focus plans on expanding the use of their data for more than just the initial application, and will also make it available for general BI analysis.