How Far Can Orga Systems Drive Billing-as-a-Service?

Ron Westfall
Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

  • Orga Systems leads billing-as-a-service (BaaS) development and alliance within the EASI-CLOUDS project framework.
  • Orga needs to demonstrate it can influence channel partners to coordinate cloud standardization efforts in order to drive BaaS adoption.

Orga Systems recently hosted a meeting of the international EASI-CLOUDS project with over 30 project partners from Germany, France, Finland, Egypt and South Korea.  The EASI-CLOUDS project is being developed within Information Technology for European Advancement (ITEA2), a pan-European research program.  Orga developed a ‘billing-as-a-service’ (BaaS) application for the project that can be reserved and used in the cloud as a variant on software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology and services.  Naturally, Orga can derive marketing clout from steering the BaaS initiative within the framework of the EASI-CLOUDS project, but does the company wield the channels to drive BaaS adoption across a meaningful cross-section of the service enablement ecosystem?

Orga has prudently focused its BaaS development efforts on the operators themselves.  For many operators, the billing system can represent the crown jewels in their OSS/BSS realm as well as the entire organization, since virtually all operator services and applications require effective and efficient billing to prove successful.  In fact, many high-priority operator initiatives linked to major organization initiatives such as big data/network analytics and SDN/NFV require proof of linkage to billing in order to receive operator resource prioritization.

Top-tier operators can afford the licensing and maintenance costs related to professional and complex billing systems.  However, many lower-tier operators could benefit from reducing the costs involved in licensing and maintaining traditional billing systems by adopting a cloud-based BaaS solution.  BaaS solutions would emulate cloud-based offerings such as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) in using wholesale cloud infrastructure economies of scale to yield significant cost savings for customers.

Orga plans to showcase its latest results and future plans at the ITEA and ARTEMIS co-summit taking place during the first week of December 2013 in Sweden.  At the event, Orga needs to link its BaaS technology development and alliance progress with explicit ITEA EASI-CLOUDS cloud infrastructure goals such as:

  • Establishing a compelling service composition and orchestration cloud framework for BaaS;
  • Facilitating cloud interoperability and federation;
  • Advanced SLA management for cloud-based BaaS QoS assurances; and
  • Standardized interfaces that ease BaaS portability.

Without proof points in these areas, Orga risks repeating the hype cycle excesses that have plagued BaaS marketing since 2010.  This concern extends to cloud standardization efforts, especially in the area of federated clouds where previous standardization efforts have produced modest if any progress thus far.  Orga needs to detail how its support efforts for ITEA2 EASI-CLOUDS standards are coordinated (or do not need coordination) with similar cloud standardization efforts within organizations such as the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), Open Cloud Consortium (OCC) and the TM Forum.

At the least, Orga needs to show its BaaS project leadership will not unnecessarily duplicate similar cloud standardization efforts.  Furthermore, Orga needs to enlist its BaaS development partners to market how they can meet operator BaaS requirements while also avoiding the false starts related to previous BaaS initiatives at the vendor and ecosystem levels.  By delivering on these types of objectives, Orga can show it is well-suited to lead operator adoption of BaaS applications and steal some marketing thunder from its top-tier OSS/BSS supplier rivals.

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