By Cyril Doussau de Bazignan, Director of Product Marketing, InfoVista
The revenue crunch is forcing communications service providers (CSPs) to operate more efficiently and control costs, while rapidly creating and launching new product offerings. Innovations, like next-generation networks, fixed-mobile network convergence and the transition to an all-IP infrastructure, are helping to alleviate some pressure, but are also bringing new operational and technical challenges.
For one, the value of the network has shifted from its pipes to the services and applications the pipes deliver. In all regions, quality of experience (QoE) and quality of service (QoS) are becoming the main business differentiators, opening up a significant opportunity for CSPs' OSS/BSS organizations to develop into more strategic roles as they innovate to match CSPs' current business model evolution and technology migration. Whatever strategies selected by CSPs to improve their bottom line — customer intimacy, product leadership or operational excellence — network intelligence is taking an increasingly important role in differentiating products from competitor's offerings and improving operational efficiency.
- Customer intimacy is achieved by building out customer knowledge, monitoring customer QoE, understanding how customers are consuming services, monitoring custom service level agreements (SLAs) and proactively identifying instances of network and application performance degradation. A strong focus on customer intimacy prevents dissatisfaction, churn and revenue loss.
- Product leadership is achieved when CSPs provide the most complete communication and IT solution portfolio and unify their offerings through one portal. Offering such a portal requires that CSPs be equipped with a powerful data warehouse to store key performance indicators, key quality indicators and IP detail records for each service and customer. Most of the CSPs we talk to are starting to offer connectivity, unified communication and utility computing services to become the best enterprise one-stop shop and are rationalizing their service assurance solution around proven multi-service commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) performance assurance platforms so they can offer consistent service level monitoring.
- Operational excellence is achieved by lowering mean time to repair and requires collaboration between silos and faster end-to-end troubleshooting.
Succeeding with each of those strategies will be greatly facilitated for the CSPs that have organized their best practices around a proven, carrier-class service assurance platform. Telstra is a perfect example of an organization that has undergone a strategic IT transformation project to tackle these challenges head on. If CSPs want to rationalize and optimize their performance management practices, they must implement a similar approach.
To learn more, read my full article in Vision2Mobile about how CSPs, particularly mobile operators, can lead their markets through the revenue crunch. Additionally, if you're interested in another really promising OSS innovation in today's marketplace, check out my article in Pipeline about the recent introduction of self-organizing networks (SON) and their applications in RAN optimization.