Unlocking Agility in your OSS and BSS

By: Catherine Michel

The digital age has spoken

The ever-shifting market demands of the digital economy require extreme business agility to attract and keep customers happy. Customers want instant access to the latest available offerings through any channel, the ability to personalize those offerings to their preferences, and the instant gratification of getting what they bought at the point of sale.  All of this against the backdrop of insatiable customer demand for innovative, bandwidth hungry applications delivered to a wide range of devices.

It is all about making it easy for increasingly tech-savvy customers to get what they want, where and when they want it. Business and consumer users alike want an inter-linked communications ecosystem and to interact with their service provider through whichever channel is most convenient to them at the time. The inability to quickly meet these demands risks churn.

Having invested in next generation networks, service providers must now transform the way they do business. Taking a leaf out of the OTT book of success, they must develop the flexibility and business agility to compete effectively. Keeping customers, increasing ARPU and revenue growth, depend on launching innovative services quickly and securely and tearing down less successful applications equally fast. And operators must halve the time and cost of doing so.

The opposite of agile

At the top-end large, business-level communications service providers (CSPs) have had to invest a lot of money in customizing what are seemingly one-off and unique solutions for their customers, especially at the network engineering and IT project delivery levels. Hence the operations to support large businesses have always been non-standardized and labor intensive. Those investments have been seemingly worth it, however, given the amount of revenue margins that could be expected in return.

At the other end of the spectrum for the consumer mass market, CSPs have attempted to keep the offers simple and standardized. As such, operations are meant to be standardized and automated to ensure consistency, quality and low operating costs, taking advantage of economies of scale against lower revenue margins. The realities of the consumer environment, however, defy the argument. The level of customized infrastructure and the amount of product proliferation present for supporting the consumer environment actually resembles large business operations. 

The net result for all ends of the spectrum is code customization, complexity and high operating costs all around, none of which helps the growing demand to support more automated personalization and service delivery in today’s diverse digital economy.

What agile really looks like

Agility is how quickly you can define and make a capability operational, sellable and deliverable to a customer. To be agile in this sense, from the point of devising a product idea to the point of selling it and then installing it for the customer, requires a digitally agile architecture that is catalog-driven at its core.


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