Light Reading

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.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Column
The industry is at an inflection point, and one of the looming disruptors is 5G.
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Cable companies still dominate the scene at INTX, the event formerly known as The Cable Show.
What is the best way to support both layer 2 and layer 3 services at the edge of the network that incorporates virtual network functions?
How fast is too fast in terms of communication? Unless our lives and actions start being measured in seconds, do we really need a 43 Tbps connection to fulfill our everyday tasks?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
AT&T Testing Virtualized GPON
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 5/15/2015
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Smarter 'Dumb' TVs Will Drive OTT Adoption
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/18/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones