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How to Implement a Digital BSS in 18 Weeks

By October 24, 2019 No Comments

18 weeks – I’ve been involved in RFP processes that have gone for longer. In some cases, much, much longer. Yet in Telkomsel, Openet and our partners implemented a Digital BSS suite in that time. This covered full implementation from the initial day we sat down for high level design to full commercial launch. Telkomsel is the largest operator in Indonesia which is one of the largest and most competitive mobile markets in the world. As a company Telkomsel is visionary. Their mission is “providing mobile digital services and solutions that exceed users’ expectations, create more value for shareholders and support the nation’s economic growth”. I think the key word in this mission statement is digital.

To be a digital service provider requires non-traditional telco thinking. It means not being weighed down by legacy systems and processes. From the vendors’ side being able to support an operator in this transformation requires a partnership based approach that is driving towards a common goal. For the majority of vendors this requires a totally new way of thinking on how the develop and implement systems.

The system we implemented at Telkomsel is Openet DBP (Digital Business Platform). This is built on Openet’s microservices based real-time charging and policy control systems. It also contained the customer management software from our partner 6d Technologies. DBP was developed to provide a new approach to how Digital BSS suites could be implemented. This approach is built on a number of key foundations. These include:

Focus on Customers’ Digital Journeys

Openet designed DBP with one primary focus – a platform which rapidly delivers intuitive, empowering, digital user journeys for great customer experiences. With  DBP we are able to provide the set of user journeys centred on the customer experience the operator wants to offer their customer base – all natively within the platform. These journeys include seamless self on boarding (building and setting up personalised offers), loyalty schemes and community forums. Agile deployments mean that new journeys can be quickly set up.

Pre-integration of Systems and Collaborative Teams

Because DBP is pre-integrated, the services delivery focus in the configuration of offers and integration to the network. This pre-integration is vital in delivering the full end to end project in 18 weeks. By working closely with the customer in a collaborative fashion (one team) we are able to ensure that the overall project was a complete success – not just the Openet part of it – but the full project. This collaborative approach with common goals is key.

Repeatability, Reusability and Consistency

In the old legacy BSS world some solutions were custom built for operators. This was slow and expensive. And it’s the polar opposite to how Digital BSS should be.

The Vision of DBP was to create repeatability, reusability and consistency in the deployments facilitating ease of delivery and maintenance. We strive to have one single code baseline being used for all the Openet products (Policy and Charging Control – the control and revenue management core of the solution) which is completely independent of embedded partner products.

Use of Digital Cloud Studio on AWS

We pre-build solutions using a Digital Cloud Studio which is our cloud native platform deployed in AWS.  The Digital Cloud Studio is a lab set in Amazon’s cloud where we have installed all our products and our partners’ products. Here we perform pre-integration to facilitate the delivery of a selection of end-to-end customer journeys. Openet’s Digital API Gateway provides a secure highly scalable interface which acts as an intelligent protocol convertor between different interfaces with configurable routing capabilities.

This facilitates partner collaboration, natively supports an ever increasing customer user journeys that significantly reduces deployment timelines. For the initial deployment of DBP, the professional services effort is focused on configuration, ecosystem integration and solution readiness – even the testing flows are embedded.

Minimum Viable Product

One of the easiest ways to mess up a BSS implementation is to invite scope creep to the party. This is where new features and functions creep into requirements after the implementation has started. In order to deliver to 18 week timelines then the opposite needs to apply. A Minimum Viable Product needs to be identified and agreed upon at the onset. This is easier when all vendors, SIs and the customer are working as a collaborative team. Minimum Viable Product involves the selection of a minimum set of user journeys that would enable a rapid time to deploy while still providing an innovative experience to the consumer. Once the system is proven and delivering value further user journeys are added continuously.

As the product owner for Openet DBP, seeing DBP go live in Telkomsel in 18 weeks was extremely rewarding and testimony to the vision, attitude and spirt of all the teams, working as one, on this project.