In an SDN/NFV era, modern BSS solutions need to address the partnership angle
A virtualised environment will require an innovative BSS solution that is flexible but also programmable and able to immediately capture any type of chargeable event or trigger. Modern BSS systems should be able to respond in real time and accommodate new types of billing events. It also needs to anticipate and support a wide range of charging and rating scenarios, such as usage-based consumption regardless of metric; chargeback; end-to-end subscriber management and more.
The billing system will need to evolve as rapidly as new software-defined service templates are applied in the network and will have to flexibly bill for any event that can be captured. This will allow operators to future proof their networks and maximise revenue potential from more intelligent service delivery. This in turn will enable them to drive efficiency, creativity, customisation and ultimately profitability more effectively than they can execute today, says Ari Banerjee, senior director of Strategy, NetCracker.
For example, a business customer could use a self-service portal to request new VPN service or modify the parameters of existing service, which in both cases would be automatically provisioned and delivered. But if the billing system can’t identify this event and charge for it accurately and in real time, the operator loses revenue and, by extension, negates the whole value proposition of moving to a virtualised environment.
Operators will also be able to create new service models in partnership with third-party vendors, which include over-the-top (OTT) content providers. However, with these new service mash-ups, operators will need a system that can accommodate multi-party compensation and settlement and that can allow them to play roles as consumers as well as providers. Also, because virtual functions will come from a variety of providers, including many offerings that will involve several functions working in tandem in a service chaining scenario, strong partner management becomes vital, including the ability to:
- Streamline every aspect of partner relationships with advanced self-service capabilities and process automation tools;
- Create highly flexible collaborative environments for partners through open platforms;
- Reduce the risk of revenue leakage by tracking partner reliability and performance;
- Generate new revenue by monetising lucrative OTT content and application partner relationships;
- Provide partner management products as a service through a cloud business model.
A strong centralised partner management offering gives operators the ability to maximise their revenue potential across the digital value chain regardless of where services are coming from and how they are delivered to customers. Without the benefit of a modernised, next-generation BSS, it will be impossible for service providers to monetise new services and applications and by extension operationalise SDN and NFV. To get there, operators will need to work with a true partner that understands the full network stack – from the infrastructure to orchestration all the way up to BSS functions. Without this high level of expertise and knowledge, operators will be unable to fully leverage the true benefits of virtualisation.
The author of this blog is Ari Banerjee, senior director of Strategy, NetCracker.
About the author:
Ari Banerjee works for NEC/NetCracker as senior director of Strategy, responsible for strategic direction of the company enabling the company to exploit the changing market and technology opportunities. Ari interfaces with the CTO and CIOs at customers and prospects to ensure alignment of technology, products and services and provide strategic input to CTO office, product management, R&D. In his role Ari has to interface with industry organizations, standards bodies, media and analysts and run marketing and strategic partner programs for NetCracker.
Before joining NetCracker Ari led Heavy Reading’s Service Provider IT (SPIT) practice which included all aspects of telecom software research. In his role Ari examined the breadth of software used by communications service providers in customer, business, service and infrastructure management. His area of focus included all aspects of BSS, OSS, SDP, API exposure, policy management, digital commerce, revenue assurance, service assurance and elements that span both the infrastructure and network software markets, such as data warehousing, analytics and business intelligence. He was actively involved in operator cloud strategy research and evaluating the impact of SDN and NFV on operator’s IT systems. Prior to joining Heavy Reading, Ari was the vice president of next generation software systems at Yankee Group, leading and overseeing all aspects of their telecom software research.
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