MWC 2015: Huawei’s Business Enabling System (BES) – Ready for Digital Prime Time?

Ron Westfall

Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

• At MWC 2015, Huawei promoted its Business Enabling System (BES), a framework using assets like pre-integrated software modules, analytics, and API management designed to drive operator adaptation to and influence over B2C/B2B/B2B2x digital ecosystems.

• Huawei needs to produce proof of concepts (PoCs), use cases and endorsements that demonstrate operators are ready to use the BES as the integral framework required for replacing the traditional BSS and drive their overall digital transformation.

Huawei used the MWC 2015 event to promote its BES. Or more accurately, re-promote the BES framework it has championed for at least a year now (please see: Huawei Global Analyst Summit 2014: BSS Transformation Drives Huawei BES Vision, May 5, 2014). To Huawei’s credit its core message has remained consistent in advocating that the BES hierarchal architecture design – using integrated business processes adaptive to value chains, customer experience, infrastructure, and digital/non-digital services – is essential for replacing the limitations of the traditional BSS. Such legacy BSS limitations include multiple silo-bound processes predicated on delivering telco services like voice and data but not Internet-centric digital services (e.g., Baidu, Google, Alibaba, Amazon) and dependence on inflexible processes that limit operator agility.

Since Huawei has invested heavily in its BES framework, how can it differentiate and drive its BES proposition within the global digital ecosystem to prove its indispensable role in driving operator BSS and business model transformation?

Crystallize Portfolio Details: Huawei’s outbound marketing of BES continues to lack some crucial upfront portfolio details. Through inquiries to Huawei, it has become evident that portfolio elements such as service delivery platform (SDP) and cloud infrastructure products (e.g., servers, cloud engine switches, storage platforms) play key roles in addition to designated BSS-to-BES transformation products (e.g., revenue management, business analytics, customer management). Huawei’s vision and messaging would benefit from a tighter presentation of the portfolio assets needed for BES implementations.

BES and SDN/NFV?: In laying the groundwork for operator adoption of BES the linkage to meta-technology initiatives, such as SDN/NFV, SoftCOM and digital service platforms, remains tacit but scattered. In particular, Huawei needs to specify how BES interworks with NFV orchestration and SDN hypervisor technology to assure its primacy in operator digital services planning and pre-empt rival attempts to use SDN/NFV as a wedge against the framework.The Huawei BES framework proposes the transformation of the traditional BSS into the BES framework. What are the major considerations that operators need to consider in evaluating BES?

BES Integration Options: Operators must evaluate Huawei’s BES proposition in the context of understanding how much of the Huawei portfolio in areas such as SoftCOM, distributed cloud data centers and SDN/NFV integration would be required to achieve adaptation and success within the global digital ecosystem. For example, the Huawei BES framework can play a pivotal role in adoption of the Huawei SoftCOM architecture (i.e., cloud-centric business model) to assure the scalable, elastic architecture required for operator agility in driving the digital value chain. How BES supports the cloud orchestration required across the B2C/B2B/B2B2X digital ecosystems will prove essential in generating operator confidence toward adopting the framework.

Vertical Applications: Operators need to vet the Huawei BES framework in its potential to drive the targeting of vertical markets. Unlike many of its key competitors, Huawei does not customarily target customers in vertical markets directly. Since Huawei does not work directly in vertical markets, it might be fair to question the depth of its understanding of vertical market requirements. As one of Huawei’s objectives is to help its operator customers to penetrate verticals, then these customers need to know that the advice they will be getting from Huawei comes from a place of proven deployment experience. Huawei can count on rivals using vertical competencies as a differentiator in selling against the BES framework.

Overall Huawei needs to include progress with operator trials and PoCs, let alone operator endorsements and use cases, to fuel the year-plus marketing momentum behind BES. Otherwise Huawei risks entrapping BES in an early downward spiraling hype-cycle that creates the ecosystem impression that the framework lacks prime time readiness because it was too heavily promoted ahead of operator willingness to adopt BES on a robust, wide scale.

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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