Light Reading

Biting the BSS Bullet

Light Reading
Light Reading
Repost This

Communications service providers (CSPs) have been talking about the importance of enabling real-time transactions for years, yet little progress has been made in meeting the pent-up demand for instant gratification that has been fueled by increasingly ubiquitous (fixed and mobile) broadband access.

Now, though, it's crunch time for CSPs. A new Heavy Reading report, "Monetizing Data: The Role of BSS in the Digital Revolution," finds that their "real-time issues" are hampering the ability of CSPs to compete effectively and that legacy BSS systems are inhibiting their ability to support the innovative charging schemes that could help generate new services and revenue opportunities.

"Operators will need to adopt software systems that will allow for control and visibility," notes the report's author, senior analyst Ari Banerjee. "Their disparate, siloed back-office systems will not be able to help with their rapidly changing business models," he adds.

The infographic below, built from the results of a recent Heavy Reading survey of 46 unique global operators, shows just how far CSPs are currently from their real-time goals.

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/20/2013 | 10:41:44 AM
Out with the Old
I think the biggest problem with OSS/BSS systems and the associated processes is that they tend to think of services as being created and managed through linear workflows rather than in response to events.  There have been initiatives for years now to change this model (the TMF's GB942 is a strong example) but none of them have really gotten traction.  Operators say that vendors are slow to accommodate new approaches, and vendors say operators are slow to accept them, but as long as we think of provisioning and management as being a slow march, slow they will be.
User Rank: Light Beer
12/18/2013 | 12:56:40 PM
Why it takes so long to change BSS
As you point out, we've been talking for years about the need for carriers to make dramatic improvements in their BSS capabilities. Why are they so stuck? A long and complex answer, but one that anyone hoping to help them out must understand:
  1. They have been well trained to think that their enormous size means that only a tiny handful of vendors can possibly meet their needs. This foundation of FUD enables those incumbent vendors to fend off pretty much all comers especially when coupled with the natural aversion to change and the horrible track record of (those self same vendors) in completing migrations to new versions.
  2. Having invested hundreds of millions in those systems, they really want to believe that there must be a way to 'fix' them.
  3. Despite overwhelming and long running evidence that their existing systems cannot be made to support their business needs, carriers have also not been forced into a place where they really are losing money, allowing them to keep putting things off.
  4. Staff cuts mean that carriers have little in-house ability to actually keep up with what is possible. I have seen this first hand where their technically competent folks are just woefully ignorant of the plethora of options actually available (remember that those self same incumbent vendors often occupy dozens, if not hundreds of those roles for each carrier...).
  5. Now that it is clear that operating costs plus lost opportunity costs are tipping the scales undeniably to Action is Mandatory, some carriers are grasping the nettle and changing their internal procurement processes to find vendors who can meet their needs, now. For example, AT&T's announcement about Domain 2.0 - specifically seeking new vendors with the designed-in flexibility to take them where they must go.

I am cautiously optimistic that the size of the business problem may finally outweigh the fear-of-change. I look forward to continuing this important dialogue with the brave.
Liz Greenberg
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/16/2013 | 2:28:20 PM
Re: Confirmation of concern
I agree Ray.  What is taking these guys so long to update and modernize their BSS?  Today products can almost come and go in one day and they couldn't even activate the service that quickly.  It is imperative that they improve reaction times and allow for the ability to tailor services as required to each customers needs.  Tailoring may actually allow for more revenue growth then all of the fix bundling packages.
User Rank: Blogger
12/16/2013 | 1:09:37 PM
Confirmation of concern
Wow, these numbers do not paint a rosy picture.... I have heard service providers talking for about a decade about how they are becoming reactive and streamlined. If they don't work on actually doing something soon they'll miss the chance forever and cede customer attachment to the OTTs.
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments

US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments

Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (6) comments

Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment

Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment

At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments

Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments

Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments

Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments

Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments

Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments

After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Cisco, Juniper Treating Gear Against Potential Heartbleed
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 4/11/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed