ItsOn: Is It On or Is It Off?

Ron Westfall

Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

  • ItsOn introduced its Smart Services platform this summer and has already announced OSS/BSS wins with Sprint and its subsidiary Virgin Media USA.
  • The ItsOn Smart Service platform delivers the OSS/BSS automation, customer self-care, sponsored data support, and boost in time to market intervals for new services to merit consideration from operators exploring their OSS/BSS transformation strategies.

ItsOn competes as a supplier of automated OSS/BSS solutions. With the OSS/BSS competitive landscape already heavily crowded how can ItsOn compete long-term as a relatively new entrant? Even more importantly, can ItsOn meet the business transformation objectives of top-tier operators on a sustained basis?

By enlisting Sprint and its Virgin Mobile USA subsidiary as customers, ItsOn is off to a good start answering these challenges. In July 2014, Sprint selected the ItsOn Smart Services platform to support future Sprint prepaid mobile data, voice and messaging service packages. The multi-year deal enables Sprint to use ItsOn’s SaaS (software-as-a-solution) cloud solution to extend service policy control to various mobile service offers. This includes embedding ItsOn device software on all new Sprint Android devices sold through all distribution channels moving forward.

In July 2014, Virgin Mobile USA selected the ItsOn platform to launch its Virgin Mobile Custom offering that includes no-annual contract obligations with parental controls. Virgin Mobile Custom will become available exclusively to Walmart customers at 1,800 stores beginning Saturday, August 9 (back-to-school season). Through the offering, customers can customize plans selecting from a range of calling, texting and data options that suit their family and personal needs.

ItsOn announced the commercial availability of its Smart Services platform only in June 2014. Previously it had partnered with Sprint in 2013 to support the Zact service, whereby Zact leased Sprint’s network capacity in combination with using the ItsOn cloud platform to create and support the mobile data plans and services. The company’s presence in the Sprint organization validates it has successfully differentiated its OSS/BSS solution against a vast seabed of competition. The key attributes and differentiators of the ItsOn proposition include:

 

  • <b>Automation and Customer Self-Care:</b> The Smart Services platform supports automated OSS/BSS and network functions, including policy orchestration, charging, rating, billing and on-device customer care. Support of these features show ItsOn is meeting top operator priorities. This includes driving operator customer self-care goals identified in the Current Analysis OSS/BSS survey as the top operator OSS/BSS investment priority (please see 2014 OSS/BSS Investment Trends: Top Operator Drivers and Priorities, July 24, 2014). The automated OSS/BSS and network functions address the operational efficiency goals of operators by avoiding the build-out of separate silos to support multiple OSS/BSS functions.

 

  • <b>Improving Time to Market Intervals for New Services:</b> The Smart Service platform delivers service creation through cloud-based SaaS economies of scale that use integrated catalog management to rapidly meet the service preferences of targeted demographic segments. Reducing time to market intervals for new services in turn drives the on-device service experience, including the purchase, account creation, contextual marketing, real-time roaming upsells, and group plan sharing apps.

 

  • <b>Sponsored Data:</b> The Smart Service platform integrates support of sponsored data plans, including third-party sponsorship of customer usage for apps and content services. Sprint’s decision to use ItsOn sponsored plan capabilities counters AT&T’s recent move to support sponsored plans. While the ItsOn platform is not unique in supporting sponsored plan capabilities, the company can claim a time to market lead over rivals in driving operation planning of launching data sponsorship.

ItsOn has demonstrated its cloud-based Smart Services OSS/BSS solution can meet the virtualized policy and billing demands of a top-tier operator including real-time traffic management. These capabilities can enable operators to produce personalized and contextual services that support app-based plans according to customer needs.

However, ItsOn must contend with competitive challenges on the horizon. For example, the Smart Service Platform has only been deployed for mobile prepaid services and has yet to be battle-tested for mobile postpaid services let alone multi-play services that can include fixed, Pay TV, and IoT applications. Moreover ItsOn has yet to market its cloud security credentials, an issue identified by operators as their top cloud adoption challenge.

With the Sprint/Virgin Mobile wins and financial back from Vodafone Ventures and Verizon Investments, ItsOn has already earned an auspicious debut. Overall ItsOn is on target to be more on than off in driving operator OSS/BSS transformation objectives.

 

 

About Ron Westfall
As the Research Director for Service Provider Infrastructure, Ron is responsible for tracking the evolution and key developments within the global service provider infrastructure and service enablement ecosystem markets, including back-office, infrastructure, regulatory, revenue management, and digital ecosystem issues.

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