BSS (inc. billing, revenue assurance)

How Business Enablement Systems Could Change CSP DNA

Broadband, whether fixed or mobile, and the connectivity it affords, has had a momentous impact on how communications services are consumed and delivered. This is forcing dynamic changes in the market for communications service providers as consumers and organizations demand more personalized services that are available anywhere, at any time and on any device -- often simultaneously. Additionally, customers want to interact with their providers online and have real-time information and control of their services and accounts, using their preferred channels.

This new type of user experience, driven by new consumption patterns, services and user behavior, challenges the traditional business models of most network operators and more importantly, exposes the limitations of their current OSS/BSS infrastructure and signals the necessary shift from the old support system model to a new paradigm -- one that can be labeled the business enablement system (BES).

BES embodies on-demand real-time services that are a key element of digital transformation and require a new type of business support system -- one that is open, agile, automated and intelligent, integrating the functions of OSS/BSS, such as planning, configuration, fulfillment, charging, billing and analytics. The idea is that a BES will create value for customers, carriers and partners, as well as networks, applications and content, by enabling real-time end-to-end capabilities, process automation support, and converged and centralized data analytics.

The BES approach will have very different characteristics than its predecessors. It will need to support online customer channels for millions of customer interactions; a high-performance IT infrastructure to support millions of simultaneous transactions; real-time analytics; and a virtual and elastic infrastructure that is easily scalable and cost efficient. This new platform will also use a layered, modular approach built on open SOA principles and cloud-based infrastructure to drive flexibility, agility and quicker time-to-market. Key benefits of this modular approach are its ability for information and business logic to be rearranged, reused and repurposed as needed as market dynamics continue to change.

BES's modularity will also provide flexible paths for evolving support systems -- whether deployed as an overlay for greenfield services, as an add-on to integrate with the existing systems, a step-wise or incremental approach for partial optimization or as a complete end-to-end transformation. The chosen path should be based on support of new services, business models, and customer segments that will drive tangible business benefits.

BES Evolution Paths

For consumers, this translates to an e-commerce platform that lets them purchase products and services on their terms. For carriers, BES represents a development platform that integrates a CSP's assets such as network, user data, IT infrastructure, etc., to provide enterprise customers and consumers with products and solutions, support new business models as well as open up its network capability to partners via APIs. Finally, for partners, BES represents both a channel for them to sell their products as well as a platform for customized development and systems integration.

Business Enabling Platform

This BES is intended to be a key element to a CSP's transformation into a digital service provider offering innovation, agility, value creation and on-demand experiences that will enable new business models, drive new revenue streams, automate processes and reduce operating expenses.

— Teresa Mastrangelo, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

This blog is sponsored by Huawei.

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