Operators are already participating in digital ecosystems but they are finding some aspects of it rather challenging. In order to enable and integrate new digital services to enhance their offerings they need to adopt new business models that are both relevant and personalized for their customers.
By doing this they aim to improve customer experience and drive business value whilst creating new revenue streams. Their customers are also expecting more control and increased security, and a seamless experience with cross-channel services.
At the same time, they need to partner with other service providers to offer faster onboarding, more integrated products and services and quickly manage revenues aimed at attracting a larger customer base and benefits to all parties. In other words, they will need to provide an open digital platform that allows efficient and personalized, context-aware delivery of digital engagement.
For customers this will mean being able to enjoy digital services with the well-established reliability, confidence and guardianship that have become synonymous with communication service providers extending to a single bill, single point of contact and the benefit of a fully-integrated, seamless service experience.
However, this creates a series of technical challenges that will require an innovative approach in order to integrate with digital service providers often with multiple operating businesses; using cloud based distributed order management; multi-tenant BSS and user lifecycle management capabilities.
Solving these challenges is the aim of a TM Forum project titled Digital experience platform Catalyst. Catalysts are rapid fire, member-driven proof-of-concept projects which both inform and leverage TM Forum best practices and standards, connecting service providers, technology suppliers, and global enterprises to create innovative solutions to common industry challenges.
There are two main roles in each Catalyst – Champions (usually an organization seeking a solution to a problem) and Participants (organizations contributing to solving the problem). Here the champion is: Téléfonica. Participants include: Infosys (a global player in consulting, technology, and outsourcing and next-generation services); UXP Systems (specializing in User Lifecycle Management for operators); TCS (a global player in IT services, digital and business solutions); and Infonova (providers of technology and business-oriented solutions and services to telecommunications, media, utility and convergent industries).
The Catalyst is introducing new capabilities including:
- the Context Delivery Platform that has ability to collect, aggregate data from different applications and generate customer/user context (who, where, how and what) to drive the customer experience;
- the User Life-cycle Management Platform that goes beyond customers and addresses needs of users of digital services by providing them seamless access to different digital services;
- the Distributed Order Management application that provides the ability to manage orders consisting of traditional and digital services by enabling efficient integration across different digital service providers and multiple operating businesses;
- the cloud-based customer and order management platform enabling delivery of multiple business models.
The Catalyst will demonstrate how service providers can simplify integration and reduce complexity by adopting a micro-services approach. The end-to-end solution is built using a set of business services that are designed, built and deployed completely independently. The communication between those services is via light-weight APIs.
The end-to-end solution requires composition and orchestration of services provided by different platforms. The catalyst will demonstrate how service providers can exploit cloud based integration platforms to achieve agility, flexibility and simplicity, best described as Integration platform as a service (PaaS).
The Digital experience platform Catalyst was demonstrated at TM Forum Live! 2016 in Nice, where it showed how cloud based deployment can reduce the time to market as well as simplify the deployment. All the components used by the Catalyst were deployed on different private and public clouds.