Displaying items by tag: CSPs
Communications Service Providers need to be thoughtful about their areas of focus, says Accenture’s Gary HeffernanWritten on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 13:22
Speaking at the 2016 Telecom Review Summit, Gary Heffernan, senior managing director for Communications, Media & Technology, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America at Accenture, gave a thoughtful keynote speech about disruption within the Communications industry. He said: “There is no doubt that with the disruption and change that is going on around the industry, consumers have different and changing expectations of Communications Service Providers (CSPs).”
“I think the proliferation and explosion of devices, the explosion of consumption, and the explosion of experiences, creates a massive business upside for them, but only if they start to scale capabilities that will change their game on their customer experience,” said Mr. Heffernan.
“I believe in the need to inject new DNA – being digital capability - in CSPs’ organizations - a change that is absolutely critical as we think about the next generation of telecommunications,” Mr. Heffernan told delegates at the Summit. He added that there is “great opportunity” in what he calls “B2B 2.0”. Around the world, industries are crying out for innovation, and CSPs have the opportunity to empower enterprises with connectivity as the IoT starts becoming reality, he said.
According to Heffernan, the Communications, Media and Technology industries are providing the majority of game-changing technology and innovation. If we’re going to seize the “B2B 2.0” opportunity, he explained – whether that’s in SME’s or large corporates – we need more of the thinking that was highlighted at the Summit.
This includes collaboration with governments, creating the right investment climate, and becoming more pro-active in orchestrating the eco-system, whether that’s with start-ups or whether that’s with new innovators. These factors are “crucial” said Heffernan.
“In relation to the ongoing changes in the Communications industry, you can see that some European CSPs now believe that they’re going to be in the banking business,” Heffernan explained. “You look at companies like Orange, who have announced their intention to be a key player in mobile banking: they have already established “Orange Money” in the Middle East & Africa and now want to take what they’ve done there to other parts of the world.
“I think what’s happening with VOD and OTT is worrying for these industries, but I think CSPs need to be very thoughtful in what areas they’re going to play – and making sure they’ve got the vertical capabilities, the security capabilities, and the aggregator capabilities to be successful in whatever bets they choose.”
Discussing Dubai’s smart city transformation, Heffernan noted that there is clearly a “lot of vision” in the region – particularly with Dubai’s ability to attract talent. Right now, he said, the Communications industry needs leaders, not administrators: “Leaders that are going to have a vision and have the courage to try new things, and the courage to really transform their capabilities.” The capabilities of the last 20-30 years will “not be enough to transform any telecoms operator into a digital visionary.”
It’s absolutely crucial, Heffernan said, for CSPs to make the right investments in training and capability, and create the right environment for investment. “I truly believe that the key driver between success and failure will be talent,” said Heffernan. He also emphasized, “the ability to nurture, retain and unleash talent, even if it means challenging all the fundamental assumptions in your organization.”
The communications space is growing as disruptive internet companies are increasing their dominance. Communications service providers (CSPs) need their own digital strategies and action plans to face the challenge of this changing business environment.
The last decade was quite a challenge for CSPs who experienced diminishing returns due to market saturation, price pressure and consumer demands for increasingly complex mobile services, as well as the rise of over the top (OTT) competitors who are able to provide free communication services over the internet.
On one side, the physical, network-centric world is being disrupted by software-defined, cloud-based network and on-demand micro services, which help to optimize operational costs and bring in IT agility. On the other side, new consumer experiences are getting defined by the internet companies, and customers are no longer content with taking what they are given or accepting a process because it suits the limitations of a CSP’s technology platform. In response, CSPs must now turn to new strategies by removing internal process, organizational and technical barriers to manage growing customer expectations and bring in new services with speed and business model agility and reduced opex.
Have you ever wondered what the implications are of a digital transformation for a CSP’s businesses? The importance of making this transition from a legacy CSP to becoming a proficient digital enterprise must not be understated, given the fate of digital and non-digital companies in other industries. CSPs must consider collaborating with disruptive brands and adopting new digital business and operating models in order to avoid an unfortunate fate. As an example, the fortunes of online and on-demand film and TV site Netflix are soaring; whereas Blockbuster, the physical store for DVD rentals, has gone bankrupt.
CSPs need to anticipate not just what their closest rivals will offer, but also their current relationships and the systems and platforms that currently support them. They must understand that everyone, even disruptive brands, are a potential business partner for forging mutually beneficial commercial relationships with, to deliver the services and experiences that customers will truly value.
Another key part of a digital transformation strategy is commercial transparency. CSPs must combine commercial transparency and a new ecosystem of partners to deliver services that address businesses’ needs, noting that consumers value speed, reliability, agility and innovation.
When it comes to agile technology and automated processes, this will lead to faster service deployments and response times. CSPs will also need to be able to process and compute data on a vast scale. By automating crucial processes such as order capture, fulfillment, billing and payments, CSPs will be able to capture and generate relevant data sets to enable them to operate business with data-driven decisions based on analytics. Machine learning should also be used to learn and respond with event-triggered actions to manage churn, loyalty, personalized offers, monitor order fall-out, network performance and care operations.
Moreover, CSPs will need to ensure that their own architectures, processes and systems are developed to open standards. However, if CSPs want to leverage their existing estates, they need to ensure that they can interface with potential new partners.
As the ecosystem grows, no single organization will be in a position to manage it from end to end. This will increase the need for a common set of standards so that large and small developers and partners can all be part of the ecosystem. It will also ensure that CSPs are not locked into an unending cycle of multi-vendor integration and migration programs.
Virtualization is another enabler for the digital world and one that also addresses CSPs’ need to reduce both CAPEX and OPEX. Virtualizing platforms allows CSPs to pay as they grow for the activation, billing or CRM of new digital services. They can also use the same approach to support their own wholesale and enterprise customers by embracing a new business model that will deliver greater flexibility in cost structures, pricing, and innovation of digital services.
CSPs are keen to adopt virtualized platforms and many have begun to migrate service and application management and revenue management systems to private and hybrid cloud environments. Virtual and cloud-based systems will also be especially important for supporting the Internet of Things (IoT) services in adjacent sectors.
Compared to the traditional telecoms approach, the digital world requires a more expansive and customer-facing interpretation; in summary, there is a strong case for CSPs viewing the digital world as a greenfield project. This approach would leave them free to deploy light, scalable, flexible systems that are cloud-based, without integrating the new legacy systems. If the system is easy and quick to install and operates at web-speed, it will be able to support new digital services and potentially help CSPs to become serious competitors and viable partners for the disruptive brands.
Astellia announced it has joined the HPE OpenNFV Partner Program as an official Application Partner to help CSPs launch new services faster, easier and more cost-effectively through the virtualization of their mobile network functions.
The HPE OpenNFV Program provides an open standard–based network functions virtualization (NFV) reference architecture, offering CSPs ready-to-deploy solutions that can enable the transformation from legacy networks to NFV.
By joining this partner ecosystem, Astellia is able to validate the integration of its monitoring solution in a reference NFV environment and demonstrate the benefits of its new virtual probe. Astellia accompanies CSPs in their transformation journey and provides them monitoring solutions to support this new orchestrated network architecture, combining the monitoring of Virtual Network Functions (VNF) and legacy networks.
"We are delighted to join the HPE OpenNFV Program as an Application Partner, and look forward collaborating closely with the HPE OpenNFV community," said Julien Lecoeuvre, co-founder and chief technology officer at Astellia. "Astellia's monitoring solution for NFV will provide CSPs the service assurance solution needed for mastering QoE within this major network evolution."
"Astellia's vision for helping CSPs realize the potential of NFV environments aligns with the strategy of HPE's OpenNFV Partner Program. Our partnership with Astellia will help CSPs make their full transition to the telco cloud, and will add to our rich partner ecosystem," said Werner Schaefer, VP Sales & GTM, Communications Solutions Business, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.