Connecting IT and Network Views

October 21, 2010 - Openet

If you're going to move infrastructure, software and platforms into the cloud, it makes sense to introduce attractive, customer-friendly billing models and payment mechanisms. Being able to charge for cloud-based services and applications according to their value, and then to report on what customers and networks experience as the services are consumed, requires real-time control, rating, and charging, as well as different pricing capabilities. For operators to address, in a horizontal way, the pricing, monitoring and billing of services in a cloud environment, flexibility will be key.

“Monetization of services will require cloud infrastructure which supports the fairly basic needs of today in terms of cloud services, but also tomorrow if operators are to migrate consumer services into the cloud—particularly an intelligent cloud, which means one that allows for pricing, paying and transparency that are more sophisticated than has been traditionally possible,” said Openet’s Jonathan Downey , director of product marketing.

To that end, IBM and Openet announced they’d collaborate to deliver Cloud Services to CSPs. This combination of an IT giant and a specialist in subscriber optimization software (SOS) could prove to be a good blend for service providers seeking companies with the size and scope to guarantee broader scalability and reliability in solutions, as well as more targeted capabilities for improving customer experience, managing networks and bandwidth.

In this partnership, Openet can leverage IBM’s platforms to deliver SOS-based solutions, as well as increase its footprint globally. IBM, conversely, can leverage Openet’s strengths in mediation, charging and policy platforms and products. The synergies exist in the network and IT domains, where IT functions cross networks, and where OSS capabilities feed records from the network for downstream systems and data warehouses. This partnership could serve to improve analytics and BI capabilities in products such as IBM Cognos and IBM SPSS, which can wring more value from data warehouses fed by Openet with data that is fit for purpose with usage-based and subscriber-based intelligence.

This convergence of capabilities will fall under the auspices of IBM’s cloud services solution architecture, which Scott Stainken, general manager, IBM’s Global Telecom Industry defined as “a cloud services platform to help CSPs capitalize on the public cloud services market.” He predicts this market will increase to somewhere between $89 billion and $100 billion by 2015. The two companies will join to offer hardware, software and consulting.

Riz Khaliq , global telecom industry expert at IBM added, “The network is the core of anything ‘smarter and connected,’” as he pointed out that CSPs are in unique position. Of course, IBM’s “Smarter planet” push ties into that belief. Openet, with its subscriber data management (SDM), policy and analytics products, might prove a solid complement for IBM.

Along with IBM’s cloud initiative, the collaboration includes Openet's utilization of IBM software and hardware capabilities to deploy solutions directly to service providers, and a variety of joint marketing activities.

Openet has also been certified as a vendor within IBM's Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE). This certification validates that Openet interoperates with key elements of the IBM telecom software solution stack. SPDE enables operators to bring new, innovative, revenue-generating multimedia, data and content services to market faster, easier and at a minimal cost.

Openet and IBM have been working together for more than a year, completing technology integration and certifications, and creating joint marketing programs.


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