BSS (inc. billing, revenue assurance)

Telus: Billing Systems Must Enable New Apps

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Billing and operations and support systems have to do more to enable telecom service providers to partner and profit in the new world of applications, and not just to trim costs, Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T) CTO Ibrahim Gedeon told the B/OSS Billing and OSS Conference here today.

Telecom service providers are seeing companies such as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) steal their thunder -- and their profits -- and need to be better equipped for competition, Gedeon said. "The billing and OSS systems have to rally around," he said.

Telecom network operators also need to be more open to partnerships and innovation and let go of the notion that they have to deliver every part of a service or application themselves, the Telus CTO said.

The often-outspoken Gedeon didn't hold back on criticisms of some current and past efforts to add value in the telecom space, questioning whether anyone really knows what "cloud" services are and calling IP Multi-Media Subsystems "a waste of seven years" by a wireless industry that was trying to bring its voice service into the IP realm.

"So what is going to be the predominant application for broadband wireless?" he queried. "Data."

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 4:32:43 PM
re: Telus: Billing Systems Must Enable New Apps

I agree that telecom SPs have traditionally been too slow to act - one of Gedeon's points is that they know they need to get faster and they need help from companies like their billing system vendors to help them more quickly turn up services.

There is a definite push on the telco side to get faster and the vendors here at B/OSS are all talking about the way that can happen.

Of course, telcos have been singing that song for decades now, the difference this time around is that they have competition from Web services companies and others that are happy to relegate telcos to dumb pipe status, So instead of yet another industry initiative like IMS (and before tha AIN), individual telcos are getting smarter and hope to get faster.

The other thing they are realizing is that they do need to partner with more nimble and innovative players -- Gedeon mentioned that as well.

acohn 12/5/2012 | 4:32:43 PM
re: Telus: Billing Systems Must Enable New Apps

Service providers need to partner like AT&T has done with Apple and/or other application vendors.  Traditional "monopoly" or even "oligopoly" service providers lack the vision and marketing savvy to market apps on their own.  Even with an OSS infrastructure, the problem is the lack of vision.

One of the core problems is with the way the decisions are made at the Tier 2 (like Telus) and smaller service providers.  Engineering makes the decision on what to buy almost 100% of the time and tells marketing:  "Hey we bought this, now go sell it."  Marketing and Sales were not involved in the decision making process on the purchase, and do not effectively buy in on the selling of the service.

Another core problem is that the Service Providers are often late to market because by the time they send a new product through all their processes and departements, someone else has beaten them to market with the same product or deployed a better one.

Rant all you want about OSS, but without fixing multiple problems, the argument is a moot point.

Good Luck!

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