For an organization focused on the role of IT in telecom, the ETIS Community Gathering 2013 kicked off on a seemingly strange note. It’s not that the industry trends outlined by their Chairman (Belgacom’s Wim De Meyer) were completely unfamiliar or off-base. Instead, the trends were all very familiar and well-acknowledged – but not specific to anything in the IT or OSS/BSS spaces. Consider…
- The Evolution in Network Access Speeds
- Competition Between OTT and Telco Players
- Increasingly Demanding Customers
- Operator Demands for Simplified Networks and Network Architectures
- Operator Searches for Innovative Services and Service Adjacencies
Yet while the trends might seem like a generic recap of the challenges facing operators today, there was also a clear message around telco-IT; all of these trends directly impact operator IT strategies. Network simplification, after all, must extend to operations and OSS systems. Likewise, new service innovations might help operators to compete better with OTT players and help meet new customer demands, but they are meaningless unless billing systems can keep up with service agility and service complexity.
Along these lines, our first presentation at the event was titled, “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Simplifying Vendor Selection and Mitigating Risk.” You can download a copy here .
Where one of ETIS’ primary goals is to support knowledge sharing across its members, the goal of our presentation was to share a framework for evaluating OSS/BSS solutions and the buying criteria that operators need to consider when looking at these solutions. There was also a “good news vs. bad news” aspect to the presentation. The good news: OSS/BSS, and IT in general, has taken on a fundamentally more important role in operator business and procurement decisions given its critical role in dealing with all of the trends outlined earlier. The bad news: this elevated importance means that OSS/BSS and IT decisions now touch many more parts of an operator than ever before. Combined with an evolution in the vendor landscape, the complexity of any procurement decision has been greatly magnified – making the job of the procurement executives we were talking with tougher than ever before.
There is, luckily, one last piece of “good news” that follows; with risk comes reward. Operators who can manage coherent decisions that support meaningful service innovations, are in a solid position to benefit.
- ETIS’ Community Gathering 2013 highlights that the fundamental changes telcos are dealing with in their businesses are the same ones impacting their IT and BSS/OSS strategies
- The importance of OSS/BSS to evolving telco services and businesses has grown its profile within the SP
- At the same time, this importance raises the stakes around OSS/BSS procurement and vendor selection decisions