& cplSiteName &

Demythologizing Multi-Play

Alon Bar
Column
Alon Bar
4/16/2014
50%
50%

We've all watched service providers move from offering a single service to bundles, triple play, quad play and now multi-play. Because we've personally witnessed this evolution, many of us consider ourselves multi-play experts, or at least think we have a pretty solid understanding of the concept.

But what if many of the commonly accepted multi-play tenets are actually wrong? An interesting whitepaper by independent research group Analysys Mason, "IT Infrastructure of Service Providers -- Analysis and Future Direction," contains some interesting conclusions that just might contradict what you think you know about multi-play.

Myth #1: New service types in multi-play packages are solely aimed at attracting new audiences.

Fact: It's true that M2M, for instance, is mostly aimed at new audiences. But Analysys Mason found many instances of existing bundled service being opened and enhanced with additions such as cloud storage, WiFi and over-the-top offerings, such as Netflix. Multi-play packages are great at attracting new audiences, but they also prevent churn and enhance existing customer experience.

"Mature service providers are hindered in using their established systems because they are unable to change them quickly or cheaply enough. Every project is a risk that may impact established services and require customization,” the analysts write.

Myth #2: Bundled services will remain relatively static and are being used mostly in launch campaigns

Fact: Service providers in all parts of the world are implementing multi-play bundles by combining previously separate services into a single offering, with discounts for consumers who take the bundles. Service providers' bundled services not only drive up revenue, but because they are "stickier," customers are less likely to churn. Analysys Mason found service providers increasingly moving beyond traditional quad plays by adding content, including more third-party content, and new services -- such as home networking, home security, SaaS for residential and business, cloud services, and OTT services.

Also, the combination of new devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs -- and advanced, super-fast communication networks and technologies -- is providing consumers with new, endless opportunities to consume any service, on any device, anywhere, anytime. Analysys Mason expects bundled services to continue to grow, helping to counteract falling margins in traditional service offerings.

Myth #3: Mature service providers possess greater convergence due to their strong financial situations and established systems.

Fact: Actually, after analyzing the current and future direction of service providers, Analysys Mason surprisingly found that mature service providers have less convergence than newer ones, for a number of reasons.

To start, established processes are difficult to change and often become cemented into current systems. And the diversity of the underlying network tends to be greater with age.

Another factor is that mature service providers often possess a larger number of service offerings. Diverse service requires a rich set of functions to support them, but these functions are often delivered in projects where short-term goals do not include system transformations to convergent solutions, helping to drive up the use of adjunct systems.

How does convergence directly correlate to multi-play? "When convergent systems are in place at service providers, their ability to launch multi-play and other complex service types quickly is greatly improved," according to Analysys Mason.

Every service provider can benefit from greater convergence, but it's important to remember that there is no one solution that fits all.

Myth #4: Multi-play requirements for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) are the same as for large enterprises.

Fact: Large enterprises possess unique requirements: low volume, highly complex, customized services. The systems needed to meet these requirements have generally remained separate from the higher-volume, fully automated solutions for retail or smaller business requirements. SMB customers are supported with different systems from the large enterprise customers, and have more in common with the requirements of retail customers. Enterprises and SMBs need to make sure they work with a vendor who is experienced in offering multi-play solutions for their specific business requirements.

Myth #5: A thin layer within the CRM system is enough to provide a consolidated experience for customers.

Fact: Systems that support multi-play services must be able to provide a consolidated experience for customers. This is most often done through a thin layer within the CRM, according to Analysys, which doesn't offer deeper convergence. Deeper convergence is needed to create new service offerings faster and cheaper than can be obtained by configuring multiple systems responsible for the different services within a single bundle.

The final multi-play myth
Perhaps the biggest myth of all involves the definition of multi-play. The literal definition is a bundle with additional services beyond the traditional quad play. But that's not enough.

Do service providers' multi-play bundles appear to customers as a single, integrated entity, or a collection of businesses with their own procedures and systems? Are the operations that support these services integrated? Can today's operators provide a single company view along the major customer process touch-points related to multi-play operations? Can operators launch new services and lines of business -- such as home security, SaaS, cloud services, and OTT services -- quickly and easily?

If the answer to any of these four questions is "no," then service providers still have a way to go in order to maximize their multi-play potential.

— Alon Bar, Portfolio and Solutions Marketing, Amdocs

,

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/16/2014 | 8:50:49 PM
Demythologizing Multi-Play
Alon, great information and facts that demyth a lot of misunderstood elements to multi-play and the changing markets.  I believe there is a lot of misunderstanding, especially the fact that it has as much to do with retaining customers as attracting new ones. 

Also, it seems that the seamless convergence capability is going to be a key factor in packaging and competing for customers.  Obviously, the market will continue to change with the new devices, etc.
More Blogs from Column
As the industry looks to aggressively ramp up NFV efforts, it becomes critical for strong and interoperable industry standards to eliminate vendor lock-ins and create a marketplace for best-in-breed services.
Today's telcos and communication service providers are more vulnerable to large-scale DDoS attacks than ever.
But this story will take years to write.
A few myths have emerged about microservices that need to be addressed, says Ciena's Abel Tong.
New and exciting methods of automation – whether virtualization, the cloud, IoT or even best practices like network segmentation – tend to emphasize innovation over visibility. As such, networks develop blind spots that mask network problems and even faulty devices.
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
BT Tech Chief Makes Plea to 5G Chip Vendors
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 6/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.