Domenico Convertino, worldwide OSS Business lead for HPE, discusses the impact of digital services on telco OSSs, HPE’s recipe for a digital-services-ready OSS and the revenue opportunities for the CSPs who get it right
B/OSS Insights: What are the trends in Asia driving the push towards digital services?
Domenico Convertino: As telcos move from being CSPs to being DSPs - that is, from ‘Connectivity’ to ‘Digital Service Providers’ - the industry is undergoing major transitions, especially in Asia.
B/OSS Insights May 2016
From the Internet of Content (YouTube to Netflix), to the Internet of People (Facebook to Weibo), to the Internet of Services (Flipkart to Alibaba) and now to the Internet of Things (Smart Communities), HPE believes ‘digitalization’ is imperative, since it’s driven from the highest political levels to the social grassroots of the tech-savvy populations of Asia, who we like to call ‘digizens’.
Take the rapid urbanization in India - where the Smart Cities Mission is digitizing over 100 cities - the deregulation of the utility industries in Japan creating Smart Utilities, Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative and Australia’s Innovation Agenda. It’s everywhere. Asia is set to lead the growth of IoT spending with more than 40% of the worldwide spend - around $280 billion - coming from this region, with growth rates of 17% CAGR.
What’s different about digital services that puts pressure on the OSS to keep up?
Digital services, driven by greater personalization, end-to-end user control, and the expectations of instant gratification and an omni-channel experience are blurring the lines between OSS, BSS and marketplace platforms, while decades of legacy processes and stovepipe application stacks inhibit the move from CSP to DSP.
It means that processes, services and products have to be more responsive to meet heightened customer and regulatory expectations. OSS systems must not only cope but orchestrate service and network fulfilment and assurance across complex product bundles, legacy processes, and hybrid virtual and physical legacy platforms with high degrees of continuously optimized automation capability.
This adaption is apparent in industry initiatives to support SDN, NFV and IoT such as the TM Forum’s ZOOM [zero-touch orchestration, operations and management] where the role of inventory is shifting from a simple pre-delivery control point to a real-time service-enablement function.
OSS systems will increasingly play a role in the functioning of smart city lighting, waste management, smart logistics, fleet tracking and e-governance services. No one could have imagined that 20 or 30 years ago, when many systems were first installed! To abstract this complexity, while delivering great customer experience, OSS systems themselves need to be incrementally simplified, modernized and adapted.
How ready are service providers’ OSS to handle the advent of IoT and what are the key factors to determine readiness?
Readiness lies in making adaption to diversity a simpler matter. OSS cannot remain isolated, monolithic, complex and costly. OSS must cope with much greater diversity. These include, the diverse people-or enterprise owned devices/sensors, a multitude of private, shared or overlay network types, protocols, and company or user data and services - physical or virtual.
Leaders in telecoms turn to their existing OSS systems to cope with M2M/IoT and other digital services - mainly because they want to reuse their investments and want the “telco-hardened” reliability of their OSS and BSS systems.
We are observing forward thinking service providers adopt capabilities that improve their ability to adapt to diverse technology and market opportunities. So if a CSP wishes to couple OSS subscriber data with Google Maps location info and an online transaction result to guide a delivery person to the right house, they should be able to without undertaking major system and process changes.
OSS operability for IOT requires focus standardization and interoperability - for partner-onboarding, southbound with devices, and northbound with applications - without compromising data monetization or security. OSS systems can expose their services as an API allow IOT application developers to translate their brilliant ideas into revenue earning applications. In order to support these, the CSP or DSP will need to provide an open, common platform to incent open, creative communities. This is not about one killer app, but about a killer platform.
At HPE, our view is that OSS systems can be pragmatically modernized to provide unified service assurance and fulfillment for all kind of network and digital services from a common OSS platform. The service providers we work with support such holistic approaches for IoT monetization and OSS adaption.