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Three paths to success: navigating the digital era


It’s no surprise that many CSPs are moving to a managed services model as they evolve into DSPs.

Three best practices for evolving into a DSP

In my work with CSPs around the world who are evolving into Digital Service Providers (DSPs), I come across providers from all walks of life and geographies. Despite their differences, those who are successfully navigating the wave of change are following three overarching best practices:

#1. CSPs are favoring ‘Plug and Play’

Think about it: virtually everything in today’s digital world is made to plug and play. Our Apple iPhones and the applications we install on them, for example. Even website development has been made easy through the plug and play model, where the average consumer can now build beautiful websites with little expertise and add the applications they need to support their individual business with the click of a mouse.

So why would it be any more different for the complex world of telecom BSS? In this plug and play world we now live in, "rip and replace" of large-scale systems no longer makes much sense—even if the goal is for the enterprise to be more agile in a digital world.

Why? Costs aside, for an enormous number of companies, legacy applications are mission-critical (it is estimated that 70% of the world’s data still resides on the mainframe). They are the lifeblood of a business, supporting the purchasing, manufacturing, financial and payroll systems. They store the information and business processes that can actually differentiate a company from its competitors.


To move quickly to capitalize on new digital services, CSPs have realized they will need to adapt their OSS/BSS from highly-customized, proprietary platforms to "plug and play" networks and platforms that partners can use when working in the digital services ecosystem.

This means that CSPs are looking to leverage what they already have to support new offerings and services. This requires partners who understand how it all fits together and how to connect the infrastructure dots.  And in many cases, the best partners for the job are those who build and deploy these solutions in the first place.

#2. More than ever, CSPs are embracing the Managed Services

It’s no surprise that, in light of the challenges, many CSPs are moving to a managed services model as they evolve into DSPs. Managed services has become a viable model for many CSPs as they look to free up internal resources to collaborate with new stakeholders, create new revenue-generating services and innovate.

A study led by Technology Business Research shows the appetite for managed services will continue to grow—and that digital services, lowering capital expenditures and focusing on core competencies are driving this change.

In fact, TBR predicts that the IT outsourcing managed services market in the telecom industry is expected to exceed $12 billion by the end of 2016. TBR’s research shows that this trend can be found worldwide, and those most open to the idea of relying on third party experts to run portions of their IT infrastructure are telecom companies operating in markets like Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

Managed services has been the mainstay of large CSPs in North America for decades and now we see operators looking to trusted partners to optimize, manage, and maintain their key systems like wholesale and retail billing, mediation and beyond on a global scale.


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