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Don't miss the 5G monetization flight: why CSPs should embrace industry standards for BSS/OSS

  • Implementing custom OSS/BSS solutions in a rush to monetize 5G investments may lead to technical debt and a complex ecosystem.
  • Standards in OSS/BSS help create synergies and enable plug-and-play business, innovative business models, and data monetization.
  • Working with standards, such as those from TM Forum, can lead to a flexible, scalable, and interoperable ecosystem for 5G monetization.

Domain Sales Manager, Cloud Software and Services, Market Area South East Oceania & India

Domain Sales Support Manager, Cloud Software and Services, Market Area South East Oceania & India

Domain Sales Manager, Cloud Software and Services, Market Area South East Oceania & India

Embracing industry standards for BSS/OSS

Domain Sales Manager, Cloud Software and Services, Market Area South East Oceania & India

Domain Sales Support Manager, Cloud Software and Services, Market Area South East Oceania & India

Domain Sales Manager, Cloud Software and Services, Market Area South East Oceania & India

Domain Sales Manager, Cloud Software and Services, Market Area South East Oceania & India

Contributor (+2)

Domain Sales Support Manager, Cloud Software and Services, Market Area South East Oceania & India

Domain Sales Manager, Cloud Software and Services, Market Area South East Oceania & India

In the eagerness to monetize 5G investments quickly, some communication service providers (CSPs) opt for implementing custom OSS/BSS solutions, assuming they will expedite the process. However, this approach runs the risk of creating technical debt and a more complex monetization ecosystem. Let’s explore how industry standards de-risk and enable future proof monetization.

Let me tell you a story about why standards are important in many aspects of our lives.

Recently, while traveling from the far-end of the city towards the airport, my cab driver thought that he knew better than the navigation apps and asked me if he could take another route which was “faster and rarely had any traffic”. I was running late so I decided to rely on his expertise; we ended up getting stuck in narrow lanes and reached the airport an hour later than we would have if we followed the route suggested by navigation apps. Consequently, I missed my flight and had to purchase another ticket. If we had taken the standard route, it would have taken a predictable amount of time and cost to reach our destination, which was not the case when I followed my driver’s instincts. Instead, as navigation apps rely on inputs from multiple users, and multiple sources of data, they provide the best possible standard path and the approximate time of journey.

Current Business and Operations Support System ecosystems of most communication service providers (CSPs) face a comparable situation, with CSPs eager to monetize and manage their investments at the fastest pace and lowest cost. This often results in a technical debt of customized OSS/BSS solutions that meet immediate and short-term needs but end up creating a complex ecosystem. Eventually, along with the creation of operational overheads, it also leads to delays and longer time-to-market when it comes to rolling out both simple and complex offerings. With 5G, market needs and demands are changing on a day-to-day basis and, when it comes to meeting these demands, a complex ecosystem risks “missing the flight”.

This is where standardization in OSS/BSS helps in creating synergies. OSS/BSS is the go-to toolset for the business and planning teams of CSPs. To meet these increasing demands to ideate, prototype, create, introduce, use, and manage market offerings at a rapid pace, our advice is to be guided by key standards.

Standards - Enabling OSS/BSS ecosystem

There are many important bodies focused on several areas of standardization for OSS/BSS ecosystem. Here I would like to focus on TM Forum which takes inputs from various CSPs as well as OSS/BSS software and services providers to ascertain the best possible path of designing, operating and evolving OSS/BSS ecosystems.

The alignment of OSS/BSS architecture with these standards becomes critical for enabling this ecosystem in three ways:

  • Plug and play business
  • Innovate business models
  • Unlock data monetization

Let’s understand more about these value-pillars and how TMF Standards help in enabling them:

OSS/BSS Ecosystem enablement

Figure 1: OSS/BSS Ecosystem enablement Source: Ericsson

Plug and play business: CSPs need OSS/BSS solutions which help them create new innovative offerings at a rapid pace. This can only be achieved if the appropriate building blocks are established in the OSS/BSS architecture as the baseline and they work in synergy with defined processes. Ericsson’s OSS and BSS portfolio driven by Ericsson Catalog Manager and Digital Experience Platform, enable CSPs to seamlessly achieve quick time to market for new offerings, and target the right customers using AI/ML segmentation for selling and upselling these offerings.

Innovate business models: End users need to get a simple and consistent experience while consuming the products and services of the CSP as well as while managing them. This becomes more challenging when end-users use different devices and different channels for engagement. Now with 5G, as more and more enterprise monetization needs are evolving, there is a greater need for simplified and contextual experience both for B2B and B2B2X offerings. Innovation in these business models can become a reality if they can be implemented end-to-end seamlessly. This starts with contextual experience (enabled by Ericsson Digital Experience Platform) to monetization (enabled by Ericsson Charging and Billing). Further, with 5G data offerings are going to be tailored using dynamic network slicing for different business models to the B2B and B2B2X partners. The close integration between OSS and BSS is increasingly critical to unlock the true potential of 5G networks. Service orchestration allows CSPs to dynamically create, manage and optimize end-to-end network slices, tailored to the unique needs of different use cases and industries.

Unlock data monetization: Exponentially growing amounts of data that is generated throughout these digital interactions with different users and well as systems, need to be processed and fed back to OSS/BSS to generate business intelligence for taking smart decisions and ensuring meaningful interactions with end-users. This is enabled by Ericsson’s Data and Analytics offerings which provide customer-centric network analytics focusing on service quality, customer experience insights, batch, online and stream mediation, as well as AI based applications powered with data-driven architecture.

Standards in action

With Ericsson OSS/BSS, we help our customers to build, manage and maintain the ecosystem partnerships they need to adapt to dynamic market forces with agility, and steer towards optimal business outcomes.

We do that through three main actions:

  1. Implementing open APIs: With Open APIs, we are taking a step wise, business use-case based approach to TMF. This helps us to create a system that is flexible, scalable, and interoperable with our customers. (We recently achieved TMF gold status with 10 certified TMF APIs and 27 TMF aligned)
  2. Building a partner ecosystem: Encouraging partnerships and collaborations between different participants within the ecosystem increases growth, scale and fosters innovation.
  3. With an increasing number and variety of partners being onboarded, the amount of data that CSPs need to analyze is increasing. Using stream mediation, which involves processing and transforming data in real-time as it is being generated, can help ensure data consistency and accuracy, enabling CSPs to monetize the huge amount of data they own and process for further analytical purposes.

Standards – The right choice, here and now

In conclusion, 5G monetization is underpinned by innovative use cases – every CSP is chasing an emptying hourglass to make quick returns on their 5G investments. While this race is shining bright with unique consumer and enterprise use cases, it is important to be mindful of the longer-term impacts of utilizing custom non-standard OSS/BSS solutions stacks.

We can say with certainty that working with standards is the wiser short cut; they have been making our lives easier and safer for decades, helping in many different areas we do not even notice from the houses we live in, the cars we drive and the energy we consume to the food we buy. It is now the time for OSS/BSS to take advantage of relevant standards. TM Forum has collaborated with its members to release comprehensive standards which cover the full digital cycle across the OSS/BSS landscape of CSPs. While Ericsson OSS/BSS has a high degree of conformance to each of these standards, it also breaks the silos across domains by providing close integration between them to ensure that the CSP’s monetization journey can be taken to the next wave of 5G and network slice activation and monetization.

Open api certificte - logo

Source: TM Forum /Open API Conformance

Ericsson is committed to this standardization journey and is an active member in driving API standardization journey with TM Forum. We have recently obtained the Gold Badge in TM Forum Open API Conformance.

Ericsson’s vision is aligned with TM Forum's Open API program to evolve beyond traditional integration methods working towards standardized approaches which fully support flexible business processes.

Source: Ericsson

 

My API Story: Reducing risk inherent in facilitating new complex interactions discusses reducing risk in facilitating new, complex interactions through APIs and Ericsson’s belief in TM Forum's Open API program. The article provides practical insights on how to balance innovation and risk reduction when implementing APIs. It discusses reducing risk in facilitating new, complex interactions through APIs and Ericsson belief in TM Forum's Open API program.

Ericsson’s customers are already benefiting from our standardized solutions. A case in point is the six Telia operating companies in the Nordics and Baltics who, partnering with Ericsson on key BSS and OSS transformation, have been using TM Forum assets to fully automate the B2B and B2C order-to- activation process.

 

5G is here! And to monetize its full potential of 5G, business and operations support systems must be agile, feature-rich and conforming to standards. This creates a future-proof monetization system for business users, product managers, operations users, and partners, ultimately enabling superior experiences for end-users.

Don’t miss your flight - explore how Ericsson Business and Operations Support Systems can help you in this journey.

Related links:

Read My API Story: Reducing risk inherent in facilitating new complex interactions

Read the Telia BSS/OSS for automated 5G digital service delivery case study

Explore OSS/BSS

Read more about core commerce for superior telecom customer experience

Read more about service orchestration for better service quality

Read more about 5G monetization to improve top line revenue capture

Read more about transforming data into action with Data and analytics

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