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.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Column
Operators should leverage their network, QoS, billing and big data to compete against OTT players with both consumer and enterprise offers.
Is it smarter to centralize network intelligence for LTE-Advanced and 5G, or continue the Flat-IP 4G trend of pushing intelligence to the edge?
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
Carriers are being left out of purchases made on mobile phones, but they have the opportunity to get back in the value chain for both physical and virtual buys.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will provide a major challenge for network operators, but SDN and NFV can help.
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Connecticut Cities Crowdsource Gigabit Nets
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/15/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed