Light Reading
Not everything you thought you knew about multi-play services is necessarily so.

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
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
Defining SDN realistically will help carriers cut through the hype, says Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's Nuage Networks.
They can go from also-rans to leaders -- if they don't mess up.
The benefits of SDN are hard to grasp because they're so big. But NFV provides a nice, finite-value proposition.
Intensive end-to-end test and measurement is essential to ensure the smooth rollout of new services like VoLTE.
European Union roaming regulations are opening the doorway to an enhanced consumer experience and higher market growth.
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (5) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Orange Tunisia Discusses Multi-Band Antenna With EasyRET Solution

7|4|14   |   2:45   |   (0) comments


As new site acquisition becomes more difficult, Orange Tunisia has requested multi-band antenna to support UMTS and LTE innovation. Some things considered include reducing the cost of antenna maintenance and having high reliability antenna and EasyRET solution.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
The Municipal Menace?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/22/2014
Cisco Puts a Fog Over IoT
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
GM: 10 Car Models on Road With AT&T's LTE
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/18/2014
Apple Earnings: Strong iPhone Sales, iPad Sales Slump, $7.8B Profit
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/22/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed