Operator Perspectives on 4G BSS Requirements

Operator Perspectives on 4G BSS Requirements

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Service providers are constantly challenged to improve the customer experience, support new services and revenue streams, and reduce their operational costs, but outdated and disjointed BSS systems often get in the way.

Join Redknee and Telecoms.com as we discuss a critical issue facing service providers today – upgrading back office systems to optimize the business and keep up with today’s new technologies and growing customer demands.

Telecoms.com Intelligence recently conducted a survey of some of the world’s top service providers to better understand this timely topic. What are the top reasons for BSS transformation, and what are the top challenges service providers are facing before going forward? What systems are most ‘at risk’ and what is the best strategy for change?

Telecoms.com, along with Redknee CTO Jim DeMarco, tackle these questions as they reveal new survey results highlighting the challenges operators are facing and what can be done to overcome BSS bottlenecks to innovation and new services.

Click here to register for the ‘Operator Perspectives on 4G BSS Requirements’ whitepaper.

Tags; 4G, Archive, BSS, Featured, Redknee, Redknee, telecoms.com, Telecoms.com Industry Survey, Telecoms.com Intelligence
  • James Demarco
    James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks everyone for your time!

  • Nicole Ramson
    Nicole Ramson March 20, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you for all your questions. The Q&A is now closed. You can forward any further questions you may have to James Demarco by emailing jim.demarco@redknee.com. Thank you all for joining today.

  • James Demarco
    James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    All in all, let’s not lose the key lessons learned from the survey: speed matters, scale matters, and customers are in control now. So whatever changes we need to make must be made in the context of making the operator more agile and responsive in the immediate term. Thanks for participating!

  • Raphael Charit March 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    To the first message in the chain of nataliecompton. What is in your opinion the best way to approach the architecture change? Follow the standart E-tom, or look for the first 5 burning points and find a solution? It is clear that a Big -Bang is not the best,

    • James Demarco
      James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      eTOM is a pro forma process map. Every RFP generator talks about it, but few operators strictly adhere to it. I’m a firm believer in looking at the burning points first. If eTOM gets you there, then fine, but otherwise don’t let it get in the way of talking about the real business problem.

  • Ramanarayana Sharma March 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    The percentage of unclear or incomplete standards was lesser and you mentioned that this trend of standard adherence is going down as operators know what to do .. but in the last bt one slide the discussion was that we shouldnt replace old problems on the new systems. If we are not adhering to standards to reengineer our processes , then what is the method in which we can resrict the old problems on the new systems ? I believe standards shoud still be followed . Process standards from TMforum as an example . Can you please deliberate on this point

    • James Demarco
      James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Fair point. Standardization helps reduce complexity in forward-looking processes, but all too often we see a need for “feature replication” from legacy systems that either didn’t follow standards or were deployed before such standards existed. In many cases, in most cases in fact, we see requests to keep up business processes and offerings that are no longer relevant for either the operator or the end customer, and are cumbersome to both. It’s frequently easier to let old systems stay up with the legacy complexity until they can be shut off rather than just replicating that complexity into a faster system to slow it down. Agility requires you not to carry your pots and pans onto the race track. Did I answer your question?

      • Ramanarayana Sharma March 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm

        The point that i was trying to make James is that organisation should benchmark and set aside some budget for following industry based standards for business process standardisation . I am asking whether the standards based trend is going up or down? Inyour slide i saw that the standards based approach was not given a big importance and was in the last when compared to Integration , cost , risk and system ownership

        • James Demarco
          James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm

          Aah, thanks for clarifying the point. The survey only touched on the question, and you’re right that the responses didn’t indicate an enormous amount of love for standards. Part of the challenge there, I think, is that the standards have become too complex themselves, and also that they were built around an operations model that is no longer valid in a world where connectivity allows OTT players to attack at close to zero cost of entry. So, to answer your point directly, my opinion is: (a) no, most operators aren’t paying too much attention to operational standards as they look at 4G monetization (but note by contrast that they care heavily about technology standards, b/c there’s great monetary savings there); (b) standards have got to evolve to be simpler and easier to use as operators get more agile; and (c) the standards bodies need to get more agile about that point themselves. Operators are looking closely to process engineering as they look at 4G, but the survey indicates clearly that the processes have to be clean.

  • JimDev March 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    We are what you would call a medium sized operator with both fixed and mobile assets. We are looking to make a major overhaul to update our BSS. How long would the phased in transformation approach you mentioned actually take?

    • James Demarco
      James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      There’s no one answer here, as the factor is complexity more than size. I’d say that since you are looking to consolidate systems, you should start with how your customers are looking at you inward. From there, stepping through segment by segment to a final architecture plot would determine the overall response. That’s not the most straightforward answer, so let me try a ballpark: with fixed and mobile together, give yourself 2-4 phases and expect it to take 18-24 months.

  • James Demarco
    James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    It starts with target architecture and targeted business model. Generally speaking, we’ve seen that ring-fencing old processes for old customers while opening up to new processes on a simpler model helps. So you identify the target marketing model, then apply a simple, fast to deploy approach. Then leave and ultimately migrate off the legacy systems over time.

  • billnewley March 20, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Are there ‘best practices’ when moving BSS to a virtualized environment? We are looking to move as much as possible over the next 2-3 years, but I’m concerned about some of the challenges ahead

    • James Demarco
      James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Not yet. But there are some guideposts. First, look at what must be done in real time – deterministic performance requires a careful virtualization approach. With that said, the steps remain the same as with other IT hardware choices – determine your underlying technology strategy, bandwidth capacity management, etc.

  • nataliecompton March 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I am on a team that is researching how to consolidate what has grown to be more than 20 different point solutions for billing. Some are redundant and the result of an acquisition, but rest are focused on fairly minor but important functions. What’s the best way to go about this?

    • James Demarco
      James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Start with the business model and most importantly the customer model. I’m a big fan of looking at it from a customer (human) story board perspective. That has a tendency to reduce the complexity of the conversation. From there, phase your changes (and eliminate the ones that don’t matter). Don’t forget to complete it with a targeted end state architecture.

  • JimDev March 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    You mentioned wanting to avoid moving over your ‘old’ problems onto the new systems. Can you provide any best practices for avoiding this?

  • Gerben March 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Have you examples that drastic approac to make changes did work out well?

    • James Demarco
      James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      One or two. In most cases where wholesale swap-out worked out, the CEO led an end-to-end effort, and they did the radical change one bit at a time.

  • Nicole Ramson
    Nicole Ramson March 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you all for joining us, the Q&A has now started.

  • James Demarco
    James Demarco March 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Feel free to post up any questions in this blog.