Cutting edge BSS is essential to digital service innovation
What do we mean when we talk about fostering a culture of innovation for new digital service models? There is a well-studied positive correlation between technology cycles and the emergence of new cultural trends and phenomenon. The growth of the internet from the late 1990 has had a profound effect on global culture from which we can never return, spawning millions of differences on our lives in social interaction, entertainment, the arts, business, transport, medicine, basically all areas of human life. This has been enabled by the computer technology that started to be developed in earnest in the 1960s. In the 2020s the cultural impact of a new technology cycle follows ever more quickly as uptake can be spread at viral speeds due to the established existence of the internet.
As CSPs now enter a new age as digital platforms for any and all of the consumer and B2B services that can be conceived, ideas of what form the cultural and social trends will take, as soon as creative minds put the new waves of technologies to use. If we look at the history of CSPs, they are not the most innovative organizations, which can lead to problems, such as the OTT developers and service providers markets cutting CSPs out of the app store value chain. But the attitude amongst many visionary CSPs is now not to all-out compete in the content, but to partner with OTTs and provide a dense and powerful cloud-based platform on which they can innovate and create new revenues. To do this effectively, the CSPs must have their house in order.
A platform on which any kind of digital service can be quickly built
The problem that many operators see is that they cannot identify, with any degree of accuracy where the next killer app or high revenue trend will occur. Will it be virtual reality gaming or 3D movies or some kind of post-Twitter social media immersive experience? It is impossible to know, but what CSPs do know is that they can’t force trends to happen. So the only sensible strategy is to build a platform which follows the current revenues but construct it in a way that leaves them with as much flexibility as possible. This is what CSPs mean, when they talk about ‘agility’, but what does it actually mean in practical terms, what does that agile platform look like?
The components of a successful digital strategy for unknown future services and products
We may not know exactly what the big opportunities of the 2020s will look like. It is clear that there will be big revenue opportunities for CSPs in entertainment, industry, automotive and of course connectivity. It is also possible that there will be large opportunities in smart cities, consumer electronics and variety of other tech areas. So, in a cutting edge BSS solution developed as a modular software platform what is essential to strongly engage with current opportunities and ensure that when the new opportunities arise, they are in a position to quickly and competently adapt to seize first-to-market advantage?
Digital customer enablement: Customer channel management, customer journey management, sales and marketing, e-commerce and platform are all essential in providing a new kind of sales interaction and customer experience at the critical customer touchpoints.
Digital business enablement: Many of the first wave of high-revenue services coming from the introduction of NFV/SDN and 5G RAN are B2B services. Customer partner management, product design and management and or course revenue management components are essential to interacting with business clients in a way they might deal with a hyperscale company or cloud IT provider.
Digital operations enablement: It is critical that new business systems align with the OSS and network in a seamless automated fashion, especially in complex multivendor ecosystems. NFV management and orchestration, infrastructure and hybrid resource management and SDN control are key components for network and service level harmonization.
Digital and cloud infrastructure: The digital service era is also the cloud era, engaging with the VNFs service chains and is key to becoming a central player in any digital value chain. This is already evident in SD-WAN and a variety of IoT services and will almost certainly be central to future high-revenue service models.