Pipeline Publishing, Volume 5, Issue 9
This Month's Issue:
The Changing Landscape
download article in pdf format
last page next page

Next Generation Management
for Converged Services

back to cover

By Rick Schmaltz and Vadim Rosenberg

The introduction of hybrid cars pushed auto-mechanics not only to learn new skills, but also to use totally new tools for the complex electronics and software responsible for the control and distribution of power. Can a mechanic use only the traditional engine diagnostics tools to analyze loss of performance?

While we are not in the auto industry, I find this example very applicable to the transforming telecommunications industry and the new requirements for service assurance. As services look more like multimedia software applications, shouldn’t our management tools change, too?

In legacy environments, a service was a function of the network. User devices were, in essence, extensions of the network (phones or cable boxes plugged into the wall outlet, which connected to the distribution box, etc.). Since the network was under full control of the operator (phone or TV cable), the service was easy to manage. The traditional network fault and performance management tools took care of networks and elements from both troubleshooting and bandwidth perspectives, and element management tools made sure that all the devices were correctly provisioned and activated. Together, that was a pretty good assurance that the service was delivered. Is this still true?

Today… operators are looking for new revenue streams and cost saving strategies


applications delivered to end users over pervasive channels. Can we use the traditional approach, for example, to assure that the “MyTraffic” premium service is delivered to IPTV subscribers correctly, e.g. the information is correctly delivered to their screen, and requests for zoom-in or alternate route are executed within the expected one second? Totally unrelated to the quality of the video or sound, these interactive applications differentiate IPTV from traditional TV. Even when bundled into a packaged service, they build the competitive advantage that helps operators preserve their customer base and even gain market share in new areas.

Today, with voice revenues drying out and cost-sensitivity growing, operators are looking for new revenue streams and cost saving strategies. With IT standards-based Internet technology at their side, they are moving quickly towards both objectives.

For new revenues, they are rolling out next generation value added services (VAS) like m-commerce, IPTV, presence-based enhanced interaction, geo-location-based services, games, and conferencing. In today’s new environment, services are essentially

Customer Self Service (CSS), on the other hand, is more of a cost cutting measure. Customers who can easily pay their bills on-line, submit a service request, activate new service features, or chat with a representative over the built-in IM, are less likely to email or call a live agent. And of course, there is always an e-commerce and up-sell angle associated with CSS portals. Increasingly, CSS itself becomes the platform for new revenue services like IM-to-SMS, e-commerce, and Web calling. In some cases, communication

article page | 1 | 2 | 3 |
last page back to top of page next page

© 2009, All information contained herein is the sole property of Pipeline Publishing, LLC. Pipeline Publishing LLC reserves all rights and privileges regarding
the use of this information. Any unauthorized use, such as copying, modifying, or reprinting, will be prosecuted under the fullest extent under the governing law.