Industry Research : Telco Groups Look to Centralize BSS
The global operator community has overwhelmingly backed a move towards centralized or standardized Business Support Systems in an independent survey carried out by Telecoms.com Intelligence, the industry research arm of global telecom news service Telecoms.com.
In the survey, more than 85 per cent of those questioned believed that operators should centralize or standardize their BSS, citing key benefits such as reduced operating costs and the ability to introduce consistent products, services and tariffs for international customers.
Furthermore, close to 45 per cent of operators surveyed felt that standardization of BSS was very achievable. Some 35 per cent of respondents also felt that centralization was achievable but this objective also scored highly at the opposite end of the scale with 42 per cent ranking it difficult, and 2 per cent impossible to achieve, citing technical risks and internal challenges as among the main barriers.
The respondents to the survey were clear, however, about the benefits centralization could achieve. Asked to score the benefits of a centralized approach to BSS, more than 68 per cent of operator respondents ticked the boxes that saw reductions in operating expenses as key – the highest scoring answer. This was closely followed by 64 per cent recognising the potential to offer a consistent international service to Enterprise customers.
Some 65 per cent of respondents also believed that a cloud-based approach to BSS centralization would help ease many of the barriers to change.
Commenting on the results, Dr Andy Tiller, Vice President of Product Marketing at AsiaInfo-Linkage, one of the survey’s sponsors, said: "Historically, operator groups have found it difficult to realize the benefits of standardization and centralization, largely because it has involved restricting the flexibility of local operating companies to respond to their own market conditions. However, at AsiaInfo we have seen that modern BSS systems running on centralized private cloud-based platforms, can achieve significant operational improvements while at the same time supporting local requirements through multi-tenancy."
Telecoms.com group editorial director, Mike Hibberd, who commissioned the survey, also recognized a clear shift in operator intent in the results. "Consolidation and standardisation emerged as high priorities for operators across a number of functions," said Hibberd. "Respondents were clear about the potential benefits but the challenges involved were made equally apparent. Operators now need to commit to the transformational process and not be deterred by any pain it may involve."
Tiller added: "We are in no doubt that change will come. Although legacy BSS systems are often very sophisticated, many are expensive to maintain and it takes too long to make the changes now needed for operators to exploit the opportunity of LTE and combat competitive threats in the new digital economy. Given that BSS transformation is going to happen anyway, centralization and standardization present an additional opportunity to simplify operations and create substantial cost savings."
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Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013