- On December 5-6, Amdocs held an Industry Analyst Summit to provide an update on its product portfolio, corporate strategy, innovation efforts, and customer attraction across its business lines.
- One constant across the product and business line updates is an expectation that telecom networks and services will continue to get increasingly complicated – and that Amdocs will benefit by addressing that complexity and educating its customers.
Amdocs is a fixture in telecom networking and service enablement. It’s not surprising, then, that across our telecom networks research, assessments on the vendor and its positioning are plentiful, including:
- Its positioning within telecom network support and operations services;
- Its positioning within managed IT services;
- Its role in service enablement;
- The competitiveness of its network operations, NFV management and operations solutions, and billing portfolios;
- … Not to mention insights into significant product launches, acquisitions, and other company developments.
Building on this base of analysis, connecting with the vendor at its headquarters in Tel Aviv presented an opportunity to better understand the company’s diverse product lines and portfolios and provide context for how Amdocs sees the telecom market and its opportunity within the market. In very simple terms, Amdocs sees telecom as an increasingly complicated space.
- Services Are Complicated. Traditional telco voice, video, data, and mobility services are getting augmented with enhanced content offers, offline entertainment offers, and new B2B services. Add in OTT services (whether as a partner or competitor) and the telecom service landscape is significantly more complex that at any time in the past.
- Transformation Is Complicated. It’s easy to look at new technologies like NFV or 5G and assume that the path ahead for service provider transformation is straightforward and focused primarily on the engineering realm. But, true transformation must equally address operational complexity, business complexity (including customer demands and sales compensation implications), and organizational complexity (including cultural and expertise issues).
- Network Operations Are Complicated. Once transformation is complete, new modes of operation must follow, affecting business operations, network operations, and internal cultures. The integration of AI and automation tools aims to simplify some of this. But, as IT and non-IT aspects of networks converge, holistic operations support and ongoing transformation support need to converge as well.
- Open Source Is Complicated. Just a few years ago, the concept of telecom service providers relying on open source software in their networks would have been unthinkable. Now it is a requirement to support service agility and operational efficiency. However, open source software does not imply deployable solutions. Instead, it delivers a foundation on which products can be built (and which will need to be serviced over time).
- Microservices Are Complicated. Much like open source, microservices have become a hot button for service providers; as their understanding of virtualization matures, the opportunity to decompose services promises operations and service agility that the (often envied) IT world is already enjoying. The disaggregation of functions into microservices, however, implies a broader set of assets (the individual disaggregated components) to configure, monitor, expose, and secure.
All this complexity and complication is enough to make a service provider cry.
Amdocs, on the other hand, sees it as an opportunity to help telcos develop, deliver, integrate, and bill for new services – potentially in a never-ending array of packages. It might mean supporting transformation efforts via network rollout, integration, and management services – including Amdocs’ own and third-party products. It might mean leveraging the virtues of open source in key flagship initiatives like its ONAP offer for NFV MANO. Or, it might come in the form of its Microservices 360 platform, aimed at taking some of the complexity out of putting microservices to use, evolving Amdocs applications to a microservices architecture.
It’s a compelling story. Unfortunately, anyone can tell a good story. This need for proof points will only continue as Amdocs looks to innovate in new markets (like microservices) and raise its profile in running network infrastructure that stretches beyond its own portfolio.
To its credit, Amdocs leveraged its recent analyst summit to ‘lift the veil’ a little and share a handful of important customer references that highlight its progress addressing these various complexities. And it’s clear from these references that transformative sales engagements are as much about educating customers on how to integrate new technologies into their portfolios, as well as into their internal staffing and cultures, as they are about the technologies themselves. However, as Amdocs CEO Gelman asserted: “Educated customers are the best customers.”
As Amdocs looks to execute on the opportunities presented by network and service complexity, it must double-down on those education efforts.