The digital world is growing for telecom operators. With advanced options and the opportunity to get shares in a rapidly advancing market, operators are realizing the impact of improved operational activities.
Understanding the Opportunity
This enhanced interest in the digital market does not come without any benefit or costs for operators. The market presents excellent revenue gain potential, but only for telecom operators that are willing to make the necessary investments. With customer demands also increasing, it is no secret that the expenditure on IT and the overall revenues made through operations are expected to increase for operators.
These findings have been included in the most recent ICT insights survey by the research firm Ovum. According to the survey, a majority of 70 percent operators are planning to increase their net IT expenditure over the course of the next year. Almost 30 percent of these operators are planning to increase these costs by either 6 percent or more. This increase in net total spend for the IT sector indicates the fact that telecom operators are beginning to realize the potential that the market holds.
This growing increase in the number of companies increasing their IT budget is expected to have a cascading impact on the revenue generation of the OSS/BSS domain globally. Ovum has also indicated that the annual revenues from the OSS/BSS market are expected to grow to $22.5 billion in 2022 from $17.5 billion in 2017. This CAGR of 5.8 percent is one of the best in the market and makes the telecom industry a hot property for revenue generation in the future. Current telecom operators with their established infrastructures have a great opportunity to latch on to these challenges. Read on to find out how.
Delivering Next Generation Services
To deliver next generation services, operators need to step out of the realm of what governs the industry currently and implement futuristic methods of governance. This movement towards the future is not just confined to keeping pace with technology trends and chalking out competitive and updated strategies. This step towards the future entails a lot more, such as the eagerness to update to the infrastructure of next generation technologies, such as 5G, network functions virtualization, and the Internet of Things among many others. The use of these technologies in creating smarter networks will dictate the future pace of development.
Simply put, since the telecom operator industry has an intensely competitive environment, operators need to use all up-to-date methods to stay relevant in the picture. The underlying idea behind this is to shift from the traditional system-centric approach and go towards a more end-to-end service-centric one. Operators need to revise their current strategies in a bid to incorporate smarter services that:
- Are tested in the market for scalability and agility
- Include a large industry ecosystem that is aimed at new customer markets and segments
- Facilitate the growth of personal and real-time communication.
Understanding OSS/BSS and What Ails Them
OSS/BSS stand for operation support system and business support system respectively. These two systems work in tandem to support a wide range of telecommunication services and make life easy for telecom operators.
Operation support systems usually assist in the management of communication networks. These tools help in the coordination of resources for designing, building, maintaining, and operating communication networks.
Business support systems help organizations to reach out to their customers and create an offer for them. These offers are personalized in order to give special offers to each customer based on their preferences and usage patterns.
OSS/BSS systems currently have a long way to go before they can support this digital transformation. Most operators have a complex maze of legacy systems that are not compatible with the requirements of these technologies. To maintain a competitive edge, operators are now looking at and thinking of planning beyond the traditional KPIs of profit margins, revenue, etc. Instead, we now have criteria such as efficiency, customer experience, agility, quicker time to market, and seamless product delivery in the mix.
However, with the current extent and limitations of legacy systems, operators cannot meet these requirements. They’re falling short on numerous counts, including the duplication of information, which adversely impacts the time to market for several products.
Underlying Trends and the Journey so Far
Regardless of the implications, operators have come a long way in the implementation of OSS and BSS strategies. Some underlying trends are expected to phase out over the course of the next couple of years. It is initially expected that software as a service (SaaS) stacks will rise to the fore. Operators realize the impact of competition and are looking for cost-efficient stacks that can be rapidly deployed at any given time.
Moreover, it is expected that the revenue from analysis-based tools will significantly increase over time. This change will be driven by the maturation of AI and machine learning tools that enhance the analysis process over time.
The Changes in Play
The changes brought through digital transformation are already in play and can be seen across multiple industries. Here are three OSS/BSS examples in major industries:
In retail, addressing business activities like sales and inventory management are still a significant challenge for operators. This is how the BSS system can facilitate in this industry.
- An efficient POS system. Point of Sale systems play an important role in the overall buying process. The addition of a CRM in these systems enables enterprises to configure the mode of payments and price lists, and to restrict individual channels of payment.
- The digital solution plays an important part in executing end-to-end management of logistics at the backend. Finding the correct product mix with optimal inventory and store capacity is the final aim.
- Retailers work with a broad ecosystem of partners, and a BSS solution helps them to manage this ecosystem efficiently. From managing invoices to setting delivery details, the system works best when creating and following schedules.
Enhancing the Usage Pattern of Customer Data
A BSS can be used across industries because of its ability to help organizations enhance the usage pattern of customer data. By augmenting services such as service bundling as well as switching and gift services, the BSS/OSS improves the selling process based on insights from customer data.
The following changes can be influenced by a BSS across the banking sector:
- Simplifies the customer acquisition process for banking services.
- Lead collection systems are facilitated.
- Customer complaints are dealt with in a professional manner to mitigate the negative PR that might arise out of them.
Achieving the Transformation
The passage towards a modernized OSS/BSS system can come through multiple efforts.
These three key aspects of the digital transformation have to be at the core in order to enable the transformation towards modern OSS/BSS systems:
- Enhanced customer experience
- Operational agility
- Focus on platform play
Models to Drive Change
To drive change in the customer experience, operators need to be focused on:
- A cloud based server for micro-services.
- Real-time communication, or the provision of real-time analytics.
- A layered architecture that hinders all forms of data duplication.
Download the Mahindra Comviva E-Book to learn more about the digital transformation for telecom operators, and how you can be a part of it.