NSN Preps for New SPIT Sortie

NSN is set to embark on a new assault on the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) sector with the arrival of a new head of its Business Solutions division and a revamped strategy for its telecom software and applications enablement team.

The Business Solutions division, one of NSN's three core lines of business (along with Networks and Services), houses its charging and billing, OSS, subscriber management, service delivery, customer experience and IPTV products, and has been a significant area of development for the vendor during the past few years.

But the division didn't make as much impact as hoped during 2010, so NSN removed Jürgen Walter from his role as head of Business Solutions, revamped the unit and began the search for a new lead executive that ended in April with the appointment of Amiram Mel. (See NSN Revamps SPIT Unit and NSN Appoints New Head of Business Solutions .)

He doesn't start until June 1, so don't expect him to feature at the annual SPIT-fest that is Management World 2011, which takes place in Dublin May 24-26.

But expect to see a ramp in the division's activities once he's on board, because Mel will join a team that already has a new strategy and focus. Business Solutions has slimmed down its portfolio -- it no longer has NSN's VoIP, security and systems integration products and services within its remit -- and is now focused on landing deals with large customers (Tier 1 and 2 operators) that have customer experience management, OSS transformation or BSS transformation projects that require professional services support (thus bringing in another part of the NSN empire).

The division is also branching into new business models. For example, the latest version of its customer experience management product, CEM 2.0, is available as a hosted service, so it can be managed by NSN, the network operator or a third party.

NSN is also helping operators open up their networks to application developers by providing a hosted platform that exposes certain application programming interfaces (APIs) to the developer community. One operator working with NSN on this is PT Indosat Tbk in Indonesia.

While a keener focus, revised strategy and new business model developments all provide Mel with a chance to hit the road running, he will also face challenges and pressures. NSN is still somewhat in limbo in terms of its ability to make substantial investments while it struggles to turn a profit and its parent companies consider its ownership structure. (See NSN Stake Sale Proving Tricky and Signs of Growth at NSN.)

And Mel, of course, needs to be seen to be doing a better job than his predecessor, so the pressure will be on to gain strategic new accounts and increase revenues in the face of fierce competition from NSN's regular vendor rivals and the SPIT sector's specialists.

To achieve those goals will be no mean feat in a market where carrier IT budgets are still under pressure.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 5:04:50 PM
re: NSN Preps for New SPIT Sortie

It's been a few years since the major vendpors started to really encroach on the OSS/BSS world and now they are all over it. NSN has a strong portfolio here -- but can it capitalize on it? 

I get the feeling Ericsson is pumping up its activities in this area, so Mel may need to get it right for NSN because it doesn't want to lose ground in this critical sector to one of its fiercest rivals. 

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