By Chris Waters, Business Analyst, InfoVista
Analysts Patrick Kelly and Anil Rao of Analysys Mason recently hosted a webinar about the service assurance segment of telecoms software, during which they examined the current and future state of the market, addressed the challenges facing communications service providers (CSPs) and recommended the drivers spurring future growth.
According to Patrick and Anil, the service assurance market generated more than $2.55B in revenue during 2011 and is projected to grow at a 7.2 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $3.6B by 2016. Specifically, service management and performance monitoring are expected to be the largest growth areas at a 13.8 percent CAGR and 7.1 percent CAGR, respectively. However, the following four trends may prove to slow down this upward trajectory:
- Customers' privacy concerns and strict policies have discouraged CSPs from accessing the customer information available to them on their networks.
- Deterioration in macroeconomic fundamentals has slowed business growth and delayed investments in telecoms services.
- CSPs have found it hard to share network information with other business units because of hardwired organizational structures and processes.
- Resistance to change and lack of cooperation between operations within CSP organizations has hindered business growth.
The analysts went on to discuss key business objectives that will spur investments in the service assurance market, and provided insights that may help CSPs stay ahead of the curve and differentiate from the competition:
- Network analytics: Data typically used for network management and operations can also be applied to call center operations to improve resolution of reported problems by tracking bandwidth usage and the causes of performance degradation. Investing in these technologies can offer real-time actionable insights, improve business performance and lessen the risk associated with inaccurate projections.
- Virtualization of the network: Software-defined networking (SDN) will impact investments in the data center and the aggregation network because network traffic patterns have become much more chaotic.
Finally, Patrick and Anil concluded the webinar with a discussion of how improved customer service is driving investments in IP passive probing and end-to-end performance monitoring, and thus should be a key focus for CSPs moving forward. Other noteworthy recommendations included:
- CSPs will need to deploy IP probes closer to the edge of the networking the next two years to isolate and diagnose problems more quickly.
- The convergence of voice and data will require a change in system integrators.CSPs need to work with suppliers and systems integrators to design and implement a service assurance system that is capable of crossing technology domains to generate reports with in-depth insight into customers' quality of service and quality of experience.
- CSPs should prepare fault and performance monitoring systems to support cloud services.Infrastructure virtualization will require that operations teams report on key performance indicators (KPIs) and share performance reports with internal departments and customers.
What do you think are the biggest challenges in the service assurance market today? Do you think it will continue to grow as Analysys Mason has predicted? I welcome your thoughts in the comments below!