It’s November. The shops are taking down their Halloween decorations and Christmas adverts are starting to appear. I’m also getting emails from publishers about 2018 predictions articles. In the past such prediction articles were easy enough to write. The pace of change (or lack of it) was such that these articles involved changing the date, a bit of cutting and pasting from the previous year’s article, some new buzz words and you’re done. This year though, most 2018 prediction articles will need to be written from scratch. The reason – in 2017 the industry change is actually happening. A Pandora’s Box of options for service providers has been opened. The service provider has the channels, they have the paying customers, increasingly they have the partners, and some even now have their own content. What will they become – entertainment companies, banks, utility providers, all the above, or for some they may be happy to be wholesale connectivity providers?
This change is filtering down into the vendors who partner with service providers. A year ago Openet produced a guidebook on 75 use cases. This year we’ve just published an updated version that contains 101 business focused use cases. These aren’t just use cases that we in marketing made up on a Friday afternoon after a long lunch. The vast majority of these use cases are live and in use with service providers today. This shows how Digital BSS has gone beyond a monetisation and control tool. Now, it’s a key business enabler for many parts of a service provider’s business. We could have gone on way past 101 use cases. Every week we see service providers coming out with new offers and fresh ideas for customer engagement.
- The guidebook is split into eight main sections. They contain use cases related to:
- Reducing churn and growing life-time value
- Boosting data usage and ARPU
- Growing your subscriber base
- Network optimisation
- Fixed line
It’s interesting to see how the increase in number of business use cases will impact BSS. There’s always been an ‘interesting relationship’ between marketing and IT in service providers. Marketing want new features in BSS so they can launch and charge for new offers. They want to explore new business models and to use webscale parlance they want to ‘fail fast and learn fast’. This isn’t going to happen if they’re stuck with a monolithic BSS vendor who still operates on an inflexible strategy of long project delivery and has a fixation with change requests to bleed more revenue from the service provider. The challenge for vendors and service providers alike is to be able to quickly implement solutions at individual use case level and have these solutions operable in existing BSS in a matter of weeks. As we can see from the guidebook the number of use cases is increasing as is the value that Digital BSS can deliver. A key part of the value realised will not be just in getting the use case implemented – it will be the speed in making it happen.