Normally these reports indicate new areas of functionality or new systems, but in the next year one of the main areas that operators are investing in is a technology that can change the fundamental way in which OSS / BSS platforms delivers business benefits. What started out as a move to enable more efficient networks is now making its way to the IT departments in operators as network functions virtualization (NFV) is being applied to BSS solutions.
According to Current Analysis, operators are “using virtualization to drive innovative service creation, especially the creation of services and apps that require time to market intervals of only days, even hours. Many operators view NFV as a key ingredient in their OSS/BSS transformation objectives, offering an escape from the legacy 12-24 month service creation cycles that handicap their long-term competitiveness”.
This is significant and underlines the transformation that BSS needs to go through. The reason for this change is that operators themselves need to transform. They need to grow their business in light of pressures to reduce costs, grow revenues and develop new business models in an environment where the only constant is change. Looking back three years – Blackberry and Nokia were doing well…….. Looking ahead, what will operators look like in three years’ time? No one can say for certain, but it’s fair to say that we’ll see some changes that no-one could anticipate. This is why the move to virtualization of BSS is so important. As operators transform and need to rapidly deal with change they must be supported by business systems that will enable them to do so. The Current Analysis illustration of service creation moving to days or even hours, from legacy months and years, is a good example of how virtualized BSS can help operators transform and succeed in the new digital economy.
However, virtualized BSS on its own is not enough. It’s not just a case of having a system that enables transformation. Operators need to work with vendors that can enable them to ‘learn fast’ and accelerate innovation by utilizing the vendor’s domain expertise and library of tested use cases. Virtaulization on its own is technology – having this technology backed up by people who are experts in their fields and who constantly develop the latest and most innovative use cases for many of the most innovative operators in the world is what will make the difference and provide the foundation for transformation.