That research also shows that increasing demand for support of third-party services, such as application stores or IPTV, and additional connected devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is actually slowing down new service rollouts.
Of the 125 wireless, telco and cable executives interviewed, 70 percent said the speed of rolling out new services was very important to their business. Only 59 percent said so in 2008, the first time Amdocs commissioned this survey. (Interviews were carried out by independent research firm Coleman Parkes.) But the need for speed hasn't prompted much change. Sixty-five percent of respondents said their companies were able to bring new services to market within six months -- down from 67 percent in 2008.
Cost and complexity are the big hurdles, says Cassandra Millhouse, director of product marketing for Amdocs's OSS division. The challenges listed by respondents read like the typical litany of complaints from companies hamstrung by outdated systems and siloed organizations:
- Complexity of the current technology environment
- Changes that would be required to internal systems and processes
- Organizational alignment
- Project management and control
- BSS/OSS integration
- Data quality
That partly explains why half of the operators said the cost of bringing new services to market has gone up 15 percent just within the last year.
Now here's a shock
Not surprisingly, given its corporate interest, Amdocs is stressing that major changes to BSS/OSS systems can help by streamlining internal processes. (See The Order Management Revolution.)
Millhouse points to survey results that show about one third of service providers are bringing new services out more quickly and at lower cost. Those happen to be the ones that have invested in upgrading and integrating their BSS/OSS systems.
Companies that sped up the deployment of new services attributed their improvement to better project management and control, which included a consolidated view of products, services and resources, and to organizational alignment, BSS/OSS integration and increased investment in appropriate technologies and tools.
So, why aren't all service providers rushing to transform their internal systems and processes?
"They fear that process of change," Millhouse says. The problem isn't the change itself so much as a perception that change has to be a sudden, "big bang" process, she says -- meaning Amdocs and other SPIT vendors will need to show service providers ways to tackle change incrementally.
Amdocs also released research earlier this year showing poor customer service was hurting potential profits from smartphones. (See MWC 2011: Survey Says Smartphone Profits in Peril.)
— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading