Table of Contents
For the communications service provider (CSP) global community, 2015 promises to be a year of change for an industry in flux. To be fair, the previous sentence has been true for a number of years, and the level of change seems to only increase. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For the suppliers of Operations & Monetization (O&M)—also known as OSS and BSS—change is driving innovation and growth. But growth will come only to those companies, big and small, which can demonstrate that their innovations satisfy the continually evolving needs of CSPs.
The transformation of the CSP global community includes a number of catalysts. Stratecast has been describing many of these for years; yet, their relevance in 2015 remains high. These include:
• CSPs continue to be squeezed financially. Data volumes continue their exponential expansion; yet, the carriers’ ability to monetize hasn’t kept pace with the rise. This means that most CSPs, globally, struggle with tightening profit margins. In response:
o The importance of Financial Assurance increases. This market, which includes Revenue Assurance, Fraud Management, and Margin Assurance, is growing rapidly.
o CSPs are becoming receptive to new ways of doing business. Many new business models include partnerships between the CSP and other enterprises to provide something of value to the consumer that wasn’t previously possible. Partnerships require settlement; and they change what was previously a business-toconsumer (B2C) model, increasingly, into a business-to-business (B2B) to-consumer (B2B2C) model.
o As CSPs embrace new possibilities, they are increasingly demanding flexibility in their O&M solutions. They want to experiment; and, if the experiment fails, quickly try something else.
• The Virtual Network—which Stratecast sees as a blend of Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Software Defined Networking (SDN), and cloud architecture—continues on the path to reality, even as the industry continues to define what the Virtual Network is. While none of these architectures will provide immediate relief to the financial squeeze CSPs feel, CSPs have shown solidarity in their belief that the long-term benefits of flexibility, programmability, cost reduction, and competitive prowess are compelling and achievable. CSPs will undergo much introspection and technical analysis of the architectures in 2015.
• As LTE deployments have increased globally, CSPs are looking to drive additional revenue from their LTE networks. Voice has long been the main service offering; data and messaging were add-ons. With Voice over LTE (VoLTE), voice is now an additional component on the data network. This evolution of voice service could be a game changer; but expectations will be high from both consumers and regulators. Will VoLTE finally allow CSPs to retire older voice systems? Will consumers be willing to pay for high-definition voice and/or video calls? The solution suppliers that provide systems, services, and IT infrastructure to CSPs—the O&M suppliers—must stay abreast of the business and technology redefinitions that are now underway. The CSPs are counting on their suppliers to lead them successfully through this extended period of
O&M solutions will need to perform in a double-duty fashion for several years. First, seamlessly interacting with existing systems and numerous data repositories associated with previously implemented business management and network operations processes. Second, delivering new capabilities essential to operate and manage the needs of new business models, new technologies, new services, and new types of customers.
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