NTT Group chooses BearingPoint at digital transformation tipping point
Japanese operator NTT is continuing to execute on its strategy to promote the business-to-business-to-x (B2B2X) model with its selection of Bearing Point//Beyond to provide its Infonova digital business platform to modernise, simplify and unify its business support systems to better serve its customers, increase operational efficiency and grow new revenue, writes George Malim.
The move is part of NTT Group’s wider strategy to bring its customers – and by extension their own customers – additional value through 5G and new services that are better tailored to individual customer needs. The strategy is designed to support its customers in their digital transformations by using B2B2X models and providing a rich set of value-added ICT services including IoT and artificial intelligence (AI).
The strategy is one of the five major pillars of initiatives that NTT Group announced last year. The B2B2X model is not a service that NTT Group provides directly to customers, but rather, is a model in which NTT Group, by providing service providers a variety of ICT tools, such as AI and IoT, helps service providers to provide their customers various value-added services.
NTT Group has worked on the B2B2X model with several partner businesses and local governments to date, but has committed to further acceleration of these efforts to promote a model that utilises digital services and data management. Through these types of initiatives, the operator has said it will expand the number of projects that are established as B2B2X model business from 13 in the current fiscal year to 100 by the fiscal year ending 31 March 2022.
The Infonova platform will be used as part of the Japanese operator’s wider digital transformation strategy in two main ways. First, it will be used to enable partnerships and support B2B2X business models to create and bring to market new services intended to support enterprise customers’ digital transformation efforts. In addition it will be utilised to accelerate NTT Group’s own digital transformation by boosting its capability to experiment, make use of new technologies, and introduce new business models and services: and to also automate certain process and improve operating efficiencies.
NTT COMWARE, NTT Group’s wholly-owned systems integration provider will implement, operate and manage what will be termed the New IT Program, which will run the BearingPoint//Beyond platform as a global cloud native SaaS solution. NTT COMWARE intends to use the platform across NTT’s Japanese subsidiaries. This approach enables each NTT subsidiary to act as a separate, independent tenant on the BearingPoint//Beyond platform with the ability to add its own ecosystem partners, add sales channels and bring enterprise customers onto the platform as tenants, all within a fully frictionless and automated B2B2x model for maximum efficiency and to transact globally.
The BearingPoint//Beyond platform will provide service management, CRM and contract management, catalogue and order management, fulfilment and partner orchestration. It will also support the monetisation of existing and future B2C, B2B, SMB, Wholesale and B2B2X requirements as well as dynamic new industry marketplaces. NTT Group will also use the platform to manage its product and service configuration process, including offers and bundles.
“What we’re seeing the market place is that classic IT transformation projects that take three-to-five years are changing,” said Angus Ward, the chief executive of Bearing Point//Beyond. “The tier one operators are chasing growth and the question of how to grow revenue is a primary challenge.”
“What’s unique about NTT’s strategy is that it includes B2B2X within the new model and targets forming new relationships with enterprise customers,” he added. “[The deployment] is not about us spending the next ten years replacing what NTT has already, it’s about integrating a range of products. Capabilities will extend into new customers they can buy enterprise products and enable them to trade in a frictionless way and create new products.”
“It’s a real tipping point we’re reaching now,” said Ward. “We see differentiation between tier one operators in mature markets, those who have the revenue generating challenges and want to push into the enterprise market, and the more traditional end of the telecoms software market that is far more B2C-driven. Those two markets are pulling apart.”
“With NTT, the strategy is about how to grow revenues,” he adds. “If you’re adding a lot of partners – it’s not quad-play – it’s hundreds of partners you need the ability to do multi-party orchestration. But to do that you need to be able to do that in a frictionless way. You can only have more sophisticated products if you have greater flexibility online. I’ve just been to the AWS Reinvent event and they’ve reported 1,800 product launches in the last year. That’s the speed of innovation and research and development that I think telecoms needs to embrace.”