Asian telcos lead adoption of unified OSS

Joseph Waring
Billing and OSS Asia

With stronger competitive pressure from internet players, telecom operators are giving more attention to the option of transformation through unified operations support systems over the best of breed approach.

For Clarity International CEO Tony Kalcina, much of the push is from the web players' successes in OSS and billing, which ironically take off from the achievements of the telcos themselves.

These new entrants like Google and Facebook come from a completely different mindset in terms of billing and OSS -- they just plug the system in, it's easier to charge for, and the speed is hours and days, not months and years like for telecom.

“What these players have done is that they focus on the real problems and not the symptoms,” Kalcina said. “They've gone top-down and, to a large extent, they are riding on the achievements of the telco industry in terms of the ability to make this happen.”

But with telcos’ legacy OSS and BSS platforms, how  do they compete with the agile newcomers?

The internet players “are in their honeymoon period when there aren't so many users and customers don't pay for services so they are not as demanding,” Kalcina said. “The quality of delivery and the engineering put into the delivery of those services are probably not as high as they are in the telecom industry.”

Telcos, he said, have learned that although it is important to have processes, quality and predictability, it is far more important to understand the actual customers and deliver solutions to them.

“The telcos are talking about transformation – having personalized services, providing a better brand, benchmarking, all sorts of engaging with the hip nature of the end-users that they target,” Kalcina said. “At the same time, the focus is on streamlining and automating so they can become a reliable and dependable service delivery engine.”

More formalized approach

Many operators putting major resources behind this movement and have started to formalize the process, securing buying from their boards. This he said is because transformation takes time, as it is now a far more holistic than just a network or NGN transformation.

“They are transforming because the landscape is changing,” Kalcina said. “These telcos believe they will obviously be out of business if they don't change the way they interact with and provide solutions to their customers.”

Still, telcos need to be careful of trying to ramp up quality in their entire structures, some of which may not be necessary in terms of what is being delivered to the customer.

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