Exclusive: Windstream turns up Big Insights for customers using machine learning, open source and its own expertise

Windstream Holdings CEO Tony Thomas said his company has developed a game-changing platform for its customers that uses machine learning, graph data base technology and open source.

In an interview with FierceTelecom, Thomas said the platform is called "Big Insights" or "insights into what is true." While data lakes aren’t exactly new, extracting, processing and correctly using the massive amounts of data has been a bit of a problem over the years. Big Insights shows customers what's taking place across their applications and networks.

"We built a very large, big data lake running the most modern technology of graph databases that's going to crunch all that data and provide insights back to customers about their business, about their relationship with Windstream, about how we can deliver more cost savings or a better customer experience," Thomas said in a Wednesday afternoon interview with FierceTelecom. "We're investing tens of millions of dollars here. We've made big investments in the past, and we're making really big investments in 2020 to drive that competitive advantage into the marketplace."

Big Insights went through its beta release last night, which means customers were able to access the first set of data insights on Thursday. Thomas said Big Insights was developed internally using open source components, that latter of which he declined to name.

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It's impressive that Windstream developed it internally during the coronavirus pandemic and as it worked its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Windstream exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday after first filing for it in February of last year.

"I would tell you open source is a powerful contributor to even our own capabilities," Thomas said. "I'd say it's a combination of the tremendous talent we have at Windstream with large advances in open source technology capabilities. We can just do really remarkable things with our underlying investment that we've already made in graph database technology.

"We have one of the most exciting pieces of tech."