Show me the money!
The question we probably hear most consistently from operators – whether they are our existing customers or new logos – is: “Can you help us save money?” The answer, of course, is “yes, we can”.
We bring lots of tools to the table which back us up in answering the question above. We might talk about streamlined interfaces, or automation, virtualization, business transformation, managed services or several other approaches that Amdocs excels at delivering.
From a product perspective, one of the most potent tools we have for reducing the cost of operations is to carefully consider the impact of using the advantages of open source software in lieu of commercial 3rd party packages which our customers must license. As we create new versions of our solution, we ask ourselves whether we can engineer away dependencies on costly third parties, and how we can ensure that we don’t add additional fixed costs unless their benefits clearly outweigh the price tag. To paraphrase the famous quote attributed to Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, “$50k here and $50k there – and pretty soon you’re talking about real money”, we understand that it all adds up. So we try to focus on keeping costs down.
For several of our existing customers, the largest ongoing licensing and maintenance bill comes from the Oracle Corporation. The recurring fees paid for various Oracle applications add up to annual bills that frequently top $1M. As a practical way to address this, a few years back we embarked on a program to certify Amdocs Optima on the latest open source technologies. We ported from Solaris to Linux, from Tuxedo and Weblogic to JBOSS EAP, from IBM MQ Series to JBOSS AMQ and finally – from Oracle RDBMS to PostgreSQL.
In the process of doing so, our customers have seen dramatically reduced maintenance and licensing fees, and higher performance and utilization. In some instances, the entire cost of an upgrade can be justified in reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) within 1-2 years. One customer replaced over $400k of Tuxedo licensing costs with less than $10k of JBOSS EAP while others have been able to retire large SMP Unix systems and replace them with low-cost blades running Linux or move to fully virtualized and cloud deployments for further savings.
The acceptance of open source technologies in operator core system infrastructure deployments has skyrocketed in the last 5-7 years. Where we initially faced skepticism around the use of open source technology in our product, today the expectation is that we are primarily using open source technologies to build, deploy, monitor and operate the solution. Generally, operators still want the security that comes with commercially-supported open source, but even these attitudes are evolving, with increasing acceptance of using community versions to further reduce costs.
We enthusiastically accept the challenge from our customers to use every available technology and technological development, including open source cloud technologies, microservices architecture and DevOps methodologies to shorten their time to value and achieve the most cost-effective operations possible.