Be agile, take many partners

Petter Järtby
Ericsson

The Networked Society is introducing entirely new challenges in supporting the demands of an always-connected, instantaneous, online lifestyle. Partner ecosystems and value chains are increasingly complex, and with the smartphone and Internet of Things trends creating tens of billions of connections that need to be managed.

To succeed in this type of environment, operators must keep their products from becoming a commodity. But success will mean partnering. Operators will need to open up their network and service capabilities — including their OSS and BSS – to many different players, from developers and over-the-top (OTT) players to consumers themselves.

Recent research from Ericsson ConsumerLabs shows that subscribers perceive the value of their experience based on the sum of all of the components in the package, regardless of who supplies it or whether it relates to connectivity, applications or content.

Collaboration with partners outside the telecom domain is destined to yield unbounded benefits. With vision and the proper tools, operators can create unimaginable business opportunities by collaborating with a range of partners, including operators, OTT players, content owners, banks, healthcare providers and more.

For example, an operator could create a new healthcare-driven mobile service that runs over on their own network by partnering with a health monitoring alert provider to collect, monitor and act upon a patient’s biometric readings after a hospital discharge.

Partners can provide specialized and personalized innovation for an increased reach to new subscribers. To capitalize on this, operators need to expose more of their unique network assets and commercial terms through their OSS/BSS systems.

In addition to messaging and payments capabilities, they need to allow access to subscriber information, order management workflows, fulfillment and assurance systems, and network policy control.

On the business side, operator flexibility that supports different and complex financial and charging models is key. This includes advertising-supported offers, two-sided deals, upgrade and downgrade offers, weekly, hourly or volume discounts and bundles and offers to optimize yield management of network resources.

For instance, an operator could work with a streaming video provider to create differentiated offerings based on alternative service quality levels.

This transition is enabled through the multiparty ecosystem, since it links the value chains with the value networks that exist between players.

A layered value architecture approach to business strategy and problem solving can help operators become more agile. This provides maximum system flexibility and reuse while avoiding overlapping or duplicate functions and information.

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