Survey: Telcos Long for SPIT Standards

Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) executives believe the adoption of OSS and BSS industry standards would help them cut costs and become more flexible, according to the results of an industry survey carried out by research firm Vanson Bourne for Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL).

The survey of senior IT executives at communications service providers found that 56 percent of respondents thought they could free up more than 10 percent of their budgets if "existing industry standards for BSS/OSS business processes were widely adopted," while 75 percent believe such adoption would help them cut their systems integration costs.

In addition, 57 percent of the survey's respondents stated that adopting such standards would help them become more responsive to the needs of their businesses, something that would be of significant benefit.

Naturally, Oracle wants to help. "It is clear from this research that industry standards have a very real role to play in making BSS/OSS work for the business. Standards expedite procurement processes for our customers through their use of common terms to describe product and service capabilities, and the ability to identify inefficiencies via comparisons with industry best practices," stated Bhaskar Gorti, head honcho at Oracle's Communications division, in a prepared statement.

But what are these industry standards? Primarily the Frameworx suite developed by industry body the TM Forum . (See TM Forum Unveils Frameworx.)

And it just so happens that Oracle's Rapid Offer Design and Order Delivery (RODOD) solution is the first to get the official stamp under the TM Forum's Frameworx Solution Certification process. (See TM Forum Launches Certification Program.)

Why this matters
It's more a case of being interesting than mattering. Surveys that reveal what service providers are thinking are always worth a look, especially when it's possible to extract supplementary findings from the statistics provided.

For example, it seems that 25 percent of the survey's respondents believe that even if industry standards were widely adopted they still wouldn't be able to cut their systems integration costs, while nearly half (43 percent) believe they wouldn't be able to respond more quickly to demands from their business if industry standards were adopted more widely.

The adoption of standards do more to help than hinder in making processes more efficient and less costly, but when it comes to telecom software it seems clear that developing industry standards and then getting them accepted and adopted is a tough task for industry bodies such as the TM Forum, which has been advocating a more standard approach for years.

What the TM Forum wants, and needs, is for more major vendors to undertake the certification process and for service providers to cite standards in their RFI (request for information) and RFP (request for proposal) documents. It seems some progress is being made, as Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has undertaken a TM Forum Frameworx Implementation Conformance Certification Assessment. (See DT Takes TMF Test.)

But there need to be many more major carrier supporters of such processes and standards before operators can start to enjoy the potential benefits outlined in this survey's results.

For more
Expect to hear more about OSS and BSS standards as the Management World 2011 show (Dublin, May 24-26) approaches. You can get all the pre-event news, and coverage from Dublin once the bars, er, I mean doors open on May 24, at our special Management World 2011 Show Site.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 5:05:31 PM
re: Survey: Telcos Long for SPIT Standards

So just over half of execs think they'll save 10% of the budget with standards - that's a pretty weak endorsement, if you ask me. What will they have to pay to implement new standards-based systems and if they save 10%, how long will it take them to recoup that investment?

About the same number think they could be more responsive to customers with more highly integrated BSS/OSS systems -- again not a ringing endorsement.

For all the industry talk about how legacy systems are holding companies back, slowing new service introduction and costing them big time in terms of linking silos to support new offerings, I would have expected a stronger response.

t.bogataj 12/5/2012 | 5:05:29 PM
re: Survey: Telcos Long for SPIT Standards

The most important criterion when endorsing/embracing/marrying a standard is whether it is usable enough to bring improvements with a positive and significant (or at least non-insignificant) business/financial impact to vendors and providers that decide to endorse/embrace/marry/date a standard.

IMHO, the results of the survey clearly show the level of recognition of usability of TM Forum's papers.

No further comments needed.


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