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Telenor Opts for OSS Transformation

Ray Le Maistre
6/25/2014
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Telenor is reacting to major changes in the telecom services landscape by undertaking a significant transformation of its fixed line operations in Norway, its domestic market.

The operator notes that the demand for its services is changing, and that it needs to be more nimble, so it is "undertaking a long-term effort to modernize and simplify products, processes and related IT systems in the fixed area."

Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN) said in a press announcement that the "complexity of internal processes and IT systems slows us. At the same time we experience reduced customer base for traditional fixed line services, while costs do not fall at the same rate."

In an effort to become more agile, Telenor has handed a multi-year deal to Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS), which is already a Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) partner to Telenor.

As part of the deal, which will run until 2018, TCS will deploy its Hosted OSS/BSS Solution (HOBS), a combination of business process and IT services, pre-integrated hardware and OSS/BSS tools, and data center services.

"This is one of the largest change programs in recent history for Telenor Norway," said Telenor Norway CEO Berit Svendsen in the operator's announcement. "Our aim is to provide customers with better experiences, with improved quality and faster deliveries, while reducing costs."

Why this matters
Telenor is one of the most progressive incumbent operators in the world, and is often a trendsetter when it comes to carrier strategy, so any major move is worth noting.

A revamp of fixed line operations isn't revolutionary, but Telenor's approach is broad and includes a wholesale revamp of its back-office processes and capabilities, including migrating to a hosted OSS and BSS suite developed and managed by a trusted partner.

All incumbent operators will be experiencing the same challenges -- lower traditional fixed line revenues, lower margins and static costs. The operator's first-quarter numbers highlighted the issue, with fixed line voice revenues declining by nearly 15% year-on-year to 624 million Norwegian Krone (US$101.6 million) as 28,000 telephony customers stopped taking the service.

Drastic measures are needed to ensure that fixed line operations do not eat away at mobile and enterprise service profits. Telenor will not be the only operator opting for such a transformation.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/30/2014 | 9:50:02 AM
TCS rises
I was pleasantly surprised to see TCS being the service provider to Telenor. Similar deal is provided to AirTel India by IBM that enabled their rapid expansion throughout Africa. It seems TCS has come a long way in the European SPIT industry as well.
Liz Greenberg
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Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 4:56:42 PM
Re: Devil is in ROI detail
Succinct...I like it!
TomNolle
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TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 4:51:57 PM
Re: Devil is in ROI detail
My view of software design in general has always been "Design for the whole and test against the parts."
Liz Greenberg
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Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 4:41:43 PM
Re: Devil is in ROI detail
It is one of those things where it requires the best minds from all sides of the business to join forces on the requirements ahead of implementation.  Some will be driven by current problems, some by future problems, and the rest by expected future service offerings, costs, etc.  Too often one side or another ends up driving design and implementation leaving gaps for others to deal with later.  Having said that, it is impossible to design for everything so one hopes that by having the best working together, the eventual solution(s) are agile enough to handle anything "missed".
TomNolle
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TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 2:45:36 PM
Re: Devil is in ROI detail
I just saw another survey that had that same ranking--agility was the top goal.  I think that there's a serious underestimation on how much the drive for virtualized services and virtual infrastructure impact OSS/BSS design.  If you create a highly agile service layer without collaterally creating an event-driven OSS/BSS, you either lose the OSS/BSS connection to services or you constrain your agility.
Liz Greenberg
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Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 1:12:04 PM
Re: Devil is in ROI detail
Interesting Tom...so no real agreement even within a Tier One!  Not surprising but as you said, agility is the key to success in the future so hopefully they will agree to that.
TomNolle
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TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 6:35:32 AM
Re: Devil is in ROI detail
There's a lot of interest in next-gen voice strategies and some operators (here in the US for example) have been moving to get regulatory approval to retire copper and POTS where there are viable opportunities for deeper fiber.  It could take years of study, though.  Even if they did, their OSS systems do a lot more than manage the copper these days, and modernizing them might make them even more agile.  But I was at a meeting with a Tier One and the guy sitting next to me wanted to understand how he could evolve OSS/BSS to protect their investment.  The guy sitting next to HIM wanted to trash them and start over!
Liz Greenberg
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Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/25/2014 | 4:24:53 PM
Re: Devil is in ROI detail
@Tom, I agree with you and often wonder how much of the talk is just that - talk.  I think that most carriers know that they need to transform but I wonder if secretly that they are really hoping for eliminating those fixed lines and the OSSes that they depend on in favor of either VoIP and/or mobile services?  What have you experienced?
TomNolle
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TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/25/2014 | 3:08:51 PM
Re: Devil is in ROI detail
I think it's interesting that people talk about OSS transformation as Telenor does, and they also talk about improving service agility with SDN and NFV, both of which also involve OSS transformation, but nobody seems to say what it is that they expect to do to transform an OSS.  Didn't LR run a piece at some point in the past about "event-driven" operations?  That would seem to be the core transformation any OSS would need in order to become more agile and responsive.
Ray@LR
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Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
6/25/2014 | 8:46:47 AM
Devil is in ROI detail
As per usual, no financial details announced. What Telenor has to ensure, of course, is that it doesn't spend more with TCS than it could ever save by going down this route... I bet the terms and conditions of the contract are pretty tight...
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