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B/OSS Transformation Defies IT Budget Cuts

Denise Culver
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Denise Culver, Online Research Director
12/7/2017
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During a time in which telco IT departments are facing increased pressure to reduce transformation budgets, many service providers in Heavy Reading's Thought Leadership Council (TLC) say the exception to those reductions is in business/operations support system (B/OSS) transformation.

IT transformation typically accounts for about 10% of a telco's total capex. But as telcos continue to place increased focus on adding network infrastructure to cope with data traffic growth, IT increasingly has turned to transformation budgets for the necessary funds to do so.

Fifteen service providers with expertise in business support system and operations support system transformation participated in a Q&A forum, the results of which are found in the most recent report based on the Thought Leadership Council (TLC): B/OSS Transformation Focus Group: Hefty Budget Increases Expected Through 2023.

Despite the belt-tightening experienced overall in telco transformation, 60% of providers on the Council say their overall budgets for B/OSS transformation will increase by more than 5% from 2019-2023.

In 2018 alone, an overwhelming majority of service providers in our forum say they will dedicate more than 15% of their IT budget to B/OSS transformation. About half of TLC participants say the most important area of investment for their B/OSS transformation dollars is in business intelligence and analytics, and 20% identify the most important investment area as customer experience management (CEM) platforms.

The report provides additional insight into why these CSPs will continue investing in B/OSS transformation despite pressure to reduce overall transformation budgets. The overwhelming majority of TLC participants in the report say the main driver for B/OSS transformation is to find new customers, product and service offerings. More than 30% of participants say the primary driver is to meet the challenge of new competitors.

Beyond revenue and profit motives, the top goals that CSPs in the Council want to achieve through B/OSS transformation include the ability to increase operational efficiency, as well as improve service agility and/or time to market.

TLC is a Heavy Reading research initiative that consists of panels of CSP experts focused on key areas of telecom development, including B/OSS Transformation, SD-WAN, Internet of Things (IoT), Automation, 5G and Emerging Technologies & Services (Project 2025). Members participate in Q&A forums several times a year, and all information disclosed by Council members remains anonymous.

— Denise Culver, Director of Online Research, Heavy Reading

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A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

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