CSG International: Can Its CSG Ascendon Platform Drive the Ascent of Operator Digital Services?

Ron Westfall

Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

• CSG International purpose-developed its CSG Ascendon platform to enable operators, content providers, and retailers to transform their operations to improve the pursuit and targeting of rapidly expanding digital services opportunities.

• By focusing more on the cloud/SaaS security credentials of the Ascendon platform, including the potential acquisition of cloud security broker technology, CSG International can further differentiate its new digital services platform against a sea of competitive alternatives.

CSG International developed its CSG Ascendon platform to enable operators to capitalize on burgeoning digital services opportunities. The CSG Ascendon platform is designed to support an overlay framework that enables operators to identify, analyze and scale existing and new digital services. The platform offers cloud-based consumer profiles, preferences, digital entitlements, e-wallet and payment options to drive operator differentiation of their digital service plans. The Ascendon platform benefits from CSG’s SaaS service support resources and deployment experience to address operator concerns related to the adoption and integration of new digital services technology.

The CSG Ascendon platform must contend against a plethora of rival digital service platform competition including offerings from systems integrators, infrastructure vendors, and OSS/BSS suppliers. What platform attributes enable CSG International to differentiate its Ascendon offering?:

Configuration Flexibility: The CSG Ascendon platform offers four solution configuration options that combine its BSS assets and content management products into a single integrated platform. As a result, the platform can drive operator digital services goals related to the building and monetizing of new digital customer relationships, extending order management to third-party digital commerce products, integrating policy control into all digital services flows, and supporting overall business transformation objectives. Few digital service platform rivals can match the CSG Ascendon platform’s configuration range and flexibility.

Digital Services Deployment Experience: CSG International can tout its deployment track record within a wide variety of digital services environments, including Comcast XFINITY On Campus, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Cineplex Entertainment and ESPN digital services implementations. Due to its systems integration heritage and diverse digital services channels, CSG International gains a leg up against solutions that lack equivalent digital services experience backgrounds, especially within non-operator environments such as retailer and content provider networks.

With the CSG Ascendon platform targeting burgeoning operator investment in digital services build-outs, what moves can CSG International make to advance its attractiveness to meeting operator digital services concerns?:

SaaS Security: Operators consistently identify cloud security as the single most important potential impediment to accelerated adoption of SaaS implementations such as Ascendon. While the infrastructure side of the operator’s SaaS implementation can deliver nearly foolproof security assurances, individual users of SaaS apps typically lack appropriate security controls that minimize risk. This includes vulnerability to phishing and other attack techniques that can compromise digital content and services. The lack of a distinct security component somewhat dilutes the Ascendon platform’s overall digital services enablement virtues.

Acquire Cloud Security Specialists: As part of the Ascendon proposition, CSG should consider proactively guiding operator outreach endeavors to educate users on best practices for avoiding security breaches. Moreover CSG needs to consider acquiring a cloud access security broker specialist, such as Skyhigh Networks or Netskope, to burnish its cloud security credentials. Such a move can ease integration of cloud security with operator policies, using technology purpose-built for cloud environments and thus avoid stretching security platforms designed for enterprise or on-premise settings.

Overall, CSG commands the portfolio and channel resources to play a major role in using the CSG Ascendon platform to drive operator as well as retailer and content provider adoption, and scaling of digital services. With a robust security offering and message in place upfront, the CSG Ascendon platform can become a more compelling solution for operators to select in steering the ascent of their digital services packages.

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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