Smart pipe strategy puts new services in value chain

Smart pipe strategy puts new services in value chain

Keith Willetts, TM Forum  |   June 03, 2010
CSPs are forced to spend thousands or millions of dollars to upgrade their bandwidth and network infrastructure, with no certainty that customers will actually pay for it.
This disparity is leading to a serious revenue crunch across the board. But even as providers shell out the money for bandwidth and severely cut back their operating costs, they are still keeping a close watch on opportunities that might lead to new telecom services revenue trickling in.
One strategy is to continually develop new services, many of which are no longer strictly coming out of the network.
Instead, service providers are working closely with different suppliers and partners to insert themselves into the value chain as more of a smart pipe to ensure that they are not left out of the latest and greatest ideas.
A lot of these new telecom services, whether high-quality voice, IPTV, mobile money or others, may not turn around the fortunes of service providers overnight, but if they help the providers hang onto existing customers and maybe bring in a small amount of new business, they are worth the time and effort.
To help providers and their partners facilitate the creation of new services, TM Forum has created a project specifically to address the management of these new services by looking at the standards that are needed in this area. We've been working closely with service delivery platforms and value chains for a while, so by bringing them together in a more structured way, we're much better able to make this business-to-business (B2B) trading environment successful.
Not far from the concept of new services is the industry buzzword of the year, cloud computing services. But rather than just being about hype and what's hot, a cloud environment is a method for one party to provide a capability to another. This is what we're dealing with on the new services side, where many pieces of the service exist in the cloud and are brought together to create something that customers will happily pay for.

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