CSPs already own the main foundation block, connectivity. They are therefore in a prime position to extend their offerings into this market to take full advantage of these additional revenues, so long as they approach the market with the right skills, solutions, and partnerships.
No one can dispute that connectivity has been the prime domain of network and communication service providers (CSPs) for decades and it is as vital to our society today as other utilities. We cannot envisage anymore a world without connectivity and yet what society really cares about - and it is willing to pay premium for - is not the connectivity, but the services that ride on it.
This should not be surprising to anyone; it is not different to say electricity. With all its greatness, it is the vast array of home and office devices electricity enables that really makes a difference to our lives, not the electricity itself.
By equal measure, it should not come as a surprise to find that society expects connectivity to work as reliably as electricity. Most of us privileged enough to live in developed countries have grown used to, barring some exceptional circumstances, electricity flowing through our houses and business seamlessly and without variations of flow or quality. CSPs understand that consumers expect the same level of quality of service from connectivity and that is why they continue to invest heavily in their systems and operations. However, this level of investment coupled with a decreasing willingness from consumers to pay more solely for connectivity, is pushing them to expand into the territory of over-the-top services to improve their revenues.
Now, if one searches for the meaning of “over-the-top beyond connectivity” services, the number of answers is endless. Most of which revolve around the concept of CSPs offering ‘services’ to Consumers or Enterprises in addition to their traditional wireless or wireline communications offering. Of course, in this context, ‘services’ can be a very elastic term depending on who is defining it. As such, this can include anything from gaming to robotics, AR/VR, V2X, IoT, SD-WAN, Edge, e-commerce, digital payments, and the list goes on and on.
From this, it would not be unreasonable to surmise that whatever the agreed definition is, it is potentially highly complex, yet can also potentially reap extremely high revenues for those who can get it right.
As expected, several of these often-called digital offerings have been in the market for nearly a decade and CSPs offer them today reliably. However, more complex services often require industry knowledge plus a broad range of skills, partners, and technical solutions (Cellular Private Networks, Wi-Fi, edge, security, applications, and more). The complexity that these solutions entail, is pushing CSPs’ organizational structures, people, and platforms in ways that were not originally designed for, threatening deals and profitability.
Despite these hurdles, the potential for monetizing their existing connectivity assets and upselling other services is too great for them to overlook and the risk of disintermediation is too high to dismiss. If the economics stack up, Enterprises will buy these services to stay ahead of their competition and will do so with or without the help of CSPs. If the CSPs fall short on consumers’ expectations, the competition from the wider eco-system is fierce and extremely fast-paced. There is no room for error.
Therefore, whether the services and simple or complex, it is undeniable that without the right automation strategy and modern systems to deliver these services, CSPs will not succeed. They will either not meet the agreed SLAs or supply the services profitably and competitively or all the above.
Amdocs has been working with CSPs for years and we understand their pain points and the organizational and eco-system challenges they face. We have worked closely with them in automating their service delivery processes for years and we know what it takes to help CSPs succeed.
Fig.1: Amdocs Beyond Connectivity
We have developed a tailored, yet modular offering to help them deliver in this market, including:
- Support for building new commercial solutions
A challenge for the industry, in general, is to find a profitable and reliable way to build, test and certify repeatable, commercially viable offerings across a wide partner ecosystem. Amdocs has built the following capabilities to address this:
- Range of labs with supporting services and platforms to ensure successful outcomes.
- Amdocs Design Studio for developing, integrating, and testing new offers to launch into the market.
- Partner eco-system already installed in our labs to support innovative solutions or proof of concepts
- Sales process support
Another frequent problem for CSPs derives from cumbersome, long sales cycles with iterative negotiations often resulting in lost deals, because of challenges in understanding the Enterprise’s problems and the eco-system they operate in. We support CSPs in this process with:
- Business consulting services to generate new business
- Pricing and commercial support to work through the entire solution ecosystem to define the right business and pricing model (CAPEX, OPEX, or SaaS)
- Integrated Lead to Order solution to simplify the complexity of ordering and reduce pre-sales times
- Deployment services and platforms
As discussed earlier, delivering these services can be complex, with long deployment times and platforms that do not meet innovative service requirements. Additionally, CSPs need to break away from the current ‘business as usual’ over-reliance monetization achieved primarily by access and usage fees of connectivity alone.
Our cloud-native, TMF (TM Forum) standards-compliant platforms include:
- Comprehensive inventory solution for supporting all network layers and services. Vendor agnostic and with multi-technology support. It provides a state-of-the-art UI and federation capabilities to integrate to 3rd party inventories
- Network and Service Orchestrator to automate the rollout of network and services and manage their lifecycle. All in a modern platform catalog-based, policy-driven, and with dynamic decision-making based on Inventory status
- Service activation for any LOB (Line of Business) and service type. With support for mass, and bulk activation, and with activation packs for easy deployment
- Intent-driven, close-loop, intelligent assurance. Supporting multi-vendor and multi-domain environments
- Exposure platform, to enable OOT services to use the network capabilities for CSPs that will unleash revenues beyond connectivity alone for CSPs.
Finally, it is imperative to address the challenges of limited visibility across partner systems with the resulting compromised customer SLAs. To this effect, Amdocs provides:
- Amdocs Management Portal for deployment automation and AI-enabled operations solutions, leading to improved operational efficiency and customer experience
- Combined with 24/7 global support services, delivering zero wait time, zero-touch, zero trouble services to your customers
Fig.2: Amdocs NaaS/API Gateway Services Portfolio