ZTE Delivers ‘POWER’ to Digital Transformation Initiatives, but Will Operators See the Light?

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• ZTESoft hyped its POWER strategy at MWC17, combining Platform, Omni-channel, Vertical Industry + Value, Experience and Real-time platform capabilities, aimed at operator digital transformation.

• ZTESoft confronts marketing challenges as the POWER label mimics the Huawei’s ROADS framework, confuses the market, and needs policy control and partner enablement validation.

At MWC17, ZTESoft roll out its POWER strategy targeted at operator digital transformation. The POWER acronym takes into account six key elements ZTESoft identified as required for executing operator digital transformation: Platform, Omni-channel, Vertical Industry + Value, Experience, Real-time. ZTESoft showcased its cloud-based ZSmart 9 BSS, ZSmart Digital CRM, ZSmart cvBS convergent billing platform, and ZSmart AnyShare XaaS offerings to demonstrate the POWER strategy’s broad applicability to meeting operator digital demands. However the POWER brand and marketing exercise harbors pitfalls for ZTESoft’s digital transformation global outreach.

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Gauging Initial Reaction to ONAP at Mobile World Congress 2017

David Snow – Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • The formation of the ONAP project from the combination of open ECOMP and OPEN-O reduces the complexity of the NFV MANO standardization process.
  • While ONAP is a welcome and timely development, some MANO vendors at Mobile World Congress were ambivalent; for them, getting on with the job is more important.

On February 23, the week before Mobile World Congress, the Linux Foundation announced the merger of open source ECOMP and OPEN-O to form the new Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project. Then, on February 27, the very day that MWC opened, ETSI reported that Open Source MANO (OSM) had reached 60 members, including Verizon as its most recent operator member. Thus, MWC was a great opportunity to sound out industry reaction to these moves. Read more of this post

NFV MANO Templating: Being “Open” with Your Hard-Won Experience Becomes a New Competitive Differentiator

David Snow - Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

David Snow – Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • December 2016 saw a flurry of high impact NFV MANO market developments and suddenly everyone is talking “templating.”
  • Contributing VNF templating experience and tools to the “open” market does not come naturally to telecom vendors, but it’s now well on its way to being a competitive advantage.

Though it’s still early days, December 2016 was something of a high spot for NFV MANO.

During the month, AT&T proudly announced that it had finally got some public operator buy-in for ECOMP, reporting that first Orange and then Bell Canada were testing its platform. After that, a rather uninspiring term, templating, came to the fore and suddenly became a “hot topic”. Read more of this post

The New Edge Computing Consortium: Ready for the Digital Prime Time?

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• In November 2016, Huawei co-launched the Edge Computing Consortium (ECC) to advance industry-wide openness and collaboration in digital transformation environments.

• However the ECC initiative must expand its membership, increase geographical diversity, clarify its OT and ICT convergence goals, and further differentiate from existing standards initiatives to move the digital ecosystem needle.

In November, Huawei launched the Edge Computing Consortium (ECC) in coordination with the Shenyang Institute of Automation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Intel, ARM, and iSoftStone. The primary goal of the ECC is to develop a cooperative platform to advance openness and collaboration in the operational technology (OT) and information and communications technology (ICT) industries to stimulate adoption of digital transformation best practices. The ECC views OT, ICT, and operator communications input collaboration as essential in using digital transformation to drive a new phase of industrial restructuring. This restructuring entails automation of industrial processes and increasingly customized and personalized digital services and products. The lifecycle management of digital service operations and edge computing resources sets the groundwork for digital innovation, unleashing new value chains and supply chain efficiencies for ecosystem members. Read more of this post

TEOCO: Can Its New 5G ASSET Design Tool Ready Operators for 5G Buildouts?

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • TEOCO recently unveiled its 5G ASSET Design tool solution aimed at driving operator network modelling of 5G deployment scenarios and elevating operator consideration of its overall portfolio for 5G network builds.
  • The 5G ASSET Design tool counters existing OSS/BSS solutions that include 5G network design and planning tools, creating a time-to-market shortfall for TEOCO. Moreover, the new tool does not paper over TEOCO’s portfolio gaps in driving overall 5G network buildouts.

In September, TEOCO unveiled its new 5G ASSET Design tool solution. The solution addresses the following 5G network design priorities:

– Ensuring smooth transitions from existing 4G network performance optimization planning to the early-stage design of 5G networks;
– Planning 5G networks to ensure the automation of traffic offload processes and maximize revenue capture opportunities; and
– Generating 5G network designs that account for the expected effect of 5G frequency bands in relation to network site and cell densities. Read more of this post

Telefónica’s End-to-End Digitalization: How Can Suppliers Capitalize on Operator Digital Strategies?

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • In September, Telefónica Global CIO Phil Jordan outlined Telefónica’s end-to-end digitalization strategy that focuses on both how it interacts with customers and how it can make internal operations more efficient. The strategy requires digitalization in the front that spans the customer-facing omni-channel spectrum; and digitalization in the back that fundamentally streamlines its organization and operational processes.
  • The Telefónica approach provides a strong checklist of digital transformation demands that OSS/BSS suppliers must meet in order to deepen their operator relationships. Without an end-to-end digital platform offering, OSS/BSS suppliers risk becoming sidelined in operator digital transformation journeys.

At the Amdocs Digital Executive Summit during the 2016 CTIA Super Mobility show, Telefónica Global CIO Phil Jordan provided a view of Telefónica’s end-to-end (E2E) digitalization strategy and vision. Telefónica recognizes that the emerging competitive pressures within the digital services landscape require operators to transform their business models and operations; in other words, ‘do or die.’ For Telefónica, these competitive pressures include growing competition from Google Fiber; satellite TV provider Sky, which plans to offer mobile service in the UK later in 2016 (ironically on Telefónica’s O2 network); other new MVNOs such as Dixons Carphone; OTT substitutes including public WiFi, Skype, and Facebook Messenger; and the evolving digital strategies of traditional telco rivals. This trend has compelled Telefónica to adapt its operational and business processes in order to scale and keep pace with the demand curve of digital customers. Read more of this post

ZTE ZSmart Digital CRM: Does the Solution Offer Anything New or Different?

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • ZTE recently unveiled its ZSmart Digital CRM solution, a cloud-based platform targeting operator digital transformation, including the exploration of new business models.
  • The ZSmart Digital CRM solution lacks new, compelling differentiators; as a result, ZTE missed the opportunity to convince operators that it can drive digital transformation and help operators profit from emerging vertical and IoT opportunities.

At its recent ZTEsoft User Summit event, ZTE detailed its new ZSmart Digital customer relationship management (CRM) solution. The solution consists of the following key components:

• Mobile-first self-care apps;
• Omni-channel unified contact center (UCC);
• Analytics-driven social and network insights;
• Catalog-driven sales;
• Operator-centric API ecosystem opportunities; and
• Cloud-based management. Read more of this post