Pipeline Publishing, Volume 5, Issue 9
This Month's Issue:
The Changing Landscape
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Open to Change

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barriers to innovation. They’re tethered to older technology models, rigid and slow to adapt: qualities that are the exact opposite of an active technology ecosystem that’s at work in the outside world.

Huge Expense

Modernizing these legacy systems means spending huge amounts of capital over long periods of time just to catch up with current offerings available elsewhere. The proprietary business management systems that run telecommunications operations tend to gobble up capital without yielding the agility demanded by the digital era. Every new demand – for bundled pricing discounts, for e-commerce capability, for multi-party business transactions – requires another bolting on of another proprietary software extension, with the resulting mass demanding constant care and handling by a team of experts who

In a world where creativity is thriving, prevailing telecom back-office systems are barriers to innovation.

updates may be, they will continue to demand inordinate amounts of capital to support incumbent providers that have grown up around a concept of proprietary development. The internal economics of legacy telecommunications software are out of whack with what the market demands today: powerful, flexible, efficient and affordable back-office systems.

Retrofitting expensive and proprietary legacy platforms will only extend the current problem. What the industry needs is a way to dramatically reduce the entire range of back-office costs while accommodating innovative new business models.

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uniquely possess knowledge of its intricacies and characteristics.

It was never an ideal way to go, but it worked well enough in a high-growth, high-margin, rising economic era when competition was limited, if present at all. Not so today. As carriers attempt to coax new revenues from maturing markets and lure consumers with lower-priced brands in a difficult economic environment, they need an economic flexibility legacy business systems can’t support.

The telecommunications industry is at an inflection point where a refresh of back-office systems is desperately needed. A sort of creative destruction of old and unyielding systems has to occur in order for carriers to reduce the economic risk of pursuing new business models.

Rewriting the software stacks that manages legacy back-office environments isn’t the answer. No matter how ingenious the

Reducing Risk

Instead, the industry has a window now to move toward a new, innovative approach for back-office systems that brings the revenue possibilities of new digital applications in line with the underlying cost structures of the telecommunications business.

Rather than managing stacks of separately designed software modules, carriers have a new opportunity to embrace the power of open-source approaches that reduce the cost of back-office systems by magnitudes of order. A carrier-grade, open source back-office environment can replicate all the functionality of legacy applications – billing, order management, customer care and the like – while supporting new business models, for a fraction of the cost of prevailing proprietary systems in similar implementations.

That’s exactly what the telecommunications industry needs – to be released from the

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