As communications service providers (CSPs) across the globe increasingly look toward OSS/BSS and other ComIT solutions to drive down costs and boost revenues, the demand for standardization is growing.
Why? Because standards reduce risk. IT managers no longer have the luxury of rolling the dice. They need to know that the solutions they purchase and deploy are going to work today and support
the new value-added services of tomorrow and next year.
"It is clear from this research that industry standards have a very real role to play in making BSS/OSS work for the business," says Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manager of
Oracle Communications. "Standards expedite procurement processes for our customers through their use of common terms to describe product and service capabilities, and the ability to identify
inefficiencies via comparisons with industry best practices. As we can see from the results of this new research, standardization can also reduce integration and operational costs as well as
Inconsistent standards adoption for OSS/BSS business processes and IT infrastructure has led to these challenges for CSPs, the Oracle report concludes:
- Three quarters of respondents (75 percent) believe that systems integration costs are higher now than they would be with the widespread adoption of standards, and 65 percent feel the same way
about management and maintenance costs;
- For 57 percent of respondents the lack of industry-wide standards adoption makes it more difficult for IT departments to respond as quickly as they would like to new demands from the
- When asked which outcomes for OSS/BSS would provide the biggest benefit to their businesses, 54 percent ranked increasing the agility of the IT architecture to become more responsive to
business needs in their top three.
Vertical Expansion Through Standards
As service providers look to expand services into vertical markets with huge revenue potential, including healthcare banking even government support, standardization of solutions becomes
even more dire. IT departments of hospitals and banks will need to be able to clearly state their complex individual business challenges and requirements, and vendors will need to be able to
communicate their value in real terms.
Standards bodies like the TM Forum provide templates and support to achieve that sort of highly technical agreement and take much of the guesswork out of expensive, business-critical, nail-biting
purchases for IT managers. In fact this sample RFP template
posted online by Cisco shows the full 115-page behemoth. Taking this
due-diligence burden off the shoulders of an IT manager must be worth the document's weight in gold.
Standardization is like an antacid for IT-manager heartburn over procurement by guaranteeing interoperability with existing systems. Standardization gives that IT manager a level of comfort
and transparency into the solutions that will promote a more widespread adoption. Once banks are comfortable deploying mobile payment solutions, rolling out a customer-care solution will be less
anxiety inducing. Healthcare IT managers basking in the benefit of mobile workforce solutions will be much more enthusiastic when it comes to talking about that billing-system upgrade they've
been putting off. Standardization is the language that will allow everyone to communicate the benefits of OSS/BSS systems and solutions across vertical segments.