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  • Connecting to a Better Future

    Featuring research from

    Reimagining the Telecom Value Chain

    Connecting to a Better Future: Reimagining the Telecom Value Chain

    From the Gartner Files: Changing Market Dynamics Drive Priorities for Communications Service Provider IT

    About TCS

    Issue 12

    9

    15

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    Connecting to a Better Future: Reimagining the Telecom Value Chain

    The Internet of Things (IoT), mobility, social media, and alternative channels of communication and engagement are driving dramatic changes across businesses. In the telecom industry, Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are already making a strategic shift towards becoming true horizontal service providers in order to leverage the ICT opportunity and drive growth beyond communication infrastructure. CSPs are also realizing the importance of monetizing data and information capabilities to counter the stagnation in core products and services.

    These changes didnt happen overnight: they are the result of a widespread technology transition that began in 2001 and continues even today. During the first phase of transition in 2001-10, CSPs unified and rationalized their infrastructure to an all-IP network through combinations of 3G, long-term evolution (LTE), fiber, and other technologies. The second and current phase of the transformation is about monetizing the all-IP infrastructure and leveraging data through investments in cloud, mobility, Big Data, and IoT. All of these changes, while challenging at one level, give CSPs an opportunity to leverage their capabilities in completely new ways and enhance their revenue potential across the value chain.

    New infrastructure and business models allow CSPs to collaborate with suppliers and partners to move up the value chain and explore new markets and revenue streams. The formation of multiple consortiums for global mobility, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, and over-the-top (OTT) services also points towards a more collaborative and open value chain. Governments and policy makers across the globe are empowering the telecom industry to enable and leverage digitization for social and national growth. Some initiatives in this direction include the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Australia, Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) in India, and the ban on roaming charges in Europe.

    Digital Reimagination for communication service providers

    Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recently conducted a survey of over 800 companies around the world to understand the impact of digital technologies on their strategies, investments, and future plans. The survey revealed that most companies across industries are placing greater priority on digital initiatives. The success of these initiatives will hinge on their ability to leverage the digital forces across various aspects of the business. For CSPs, Digital Reimagination involves leveraging the digital five forces mobility and pervasive computing, cloud, Big Data, artificial intelligence and robotics, and social media to address the changing dynamics of the telecom industry. TCS offers platforms and solutions to help CSPs rethink their strategies across business models, products and services, customer segments, channels, business processes, and workplaces to make the most of their digital investments.

    Digital Reimagination fundamentally changes the traditional ways of doing business, existing processes, and of course managerial wisdom. TCS has embarked on a journey to create platforms and IPs to help CSPs and enterprises reimagine their businesses and have a positive impact on the six areas mentioned above. Our approach to platformization disrupts the traditional view of products available in the market. For instance, it uses mobility to change from the traditional pricing models based on capital expenditure (capex) to operational expenditure (opex) based models, and also offers an outcome-based engagement model rather than a silo-ed products and services approach. By leveraging cloud and multi-tenancy, our platforms enable stakeholders across the CSP ecosystem to collaborate for greater success. Two such platforms for CSPs are:

    TCS Hosted OSS/BSS Solutions (HOBS): This flexible and agile platform addresses CSPs need to simplify and standardize operations. It consists of a pre-integrated suite of operations support system (OSS) and business support system (BSS) applications with pre-modeled processes. The platform is designed to support CSPs in launching new services and products quickly and cost effectively, as well as transforming and extending legacy IT.

    Benefits of Digital Reimagination for CSPs

    Customer experience: Culture of customer centricity

    Operational effectiveness: Simplification of products, processes, and systems

    Revenue enhancement: Incremental framework and solutions for targeted revenue enhancement across multiple industries

    1The Road to Reimagination: The State and High Stakes of Digital Initiatives, TCS Global Trend Study July 2014, http://sites tcs.com/stateofdigital/

    http://sites.tcs.com/stateofdigital/

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    TCS Connected Devices Management (CDM) Platform: With this solution, CSPs and enterprises can automate operational processes and enhance customer experience. The solution supports secure, policy-driven, and personalized remote provisioning, activation, management, and diagnostics for smart homes, modern enterprises, network operators, and CSPs.

    Our platformization approach and its key principles bring in significant benefits in terms of time, cost, and usability through the use of open-source technologies, cloud and multi-tenancy, agile development models, and automation across processes. It also helps us deliver lean, highly configurable, interoperable, and ready-to-use solutions. Figure 1 summarizes the key characteristics of our platforms.

    These platforms can host revenue generating products and services, such as mobile banking and ICT platforms for small and medium businesses. TCS platforms also support organizational change social platforms, knowledge management tools, and the latest collaboration technologies. Gartner has also recommended that CSPs instill agile processes and open platforms to improve flexibility and time to market, and to enhance the ability to adapt to market needs.1

    From legacy modernization to transformation into a digital telco

    Telecom service providers across the globe are aspiring to expand their core telecommunications business by transforming themselves from telcos to digital telcos. They are looking for new revenue-generating opportunities in adjacent industries such as financial services, eHealth, M2M, cloud computing, safety, video and digital homes, applications, and advertising. At the same time, optimizing investments in legacy services and improving margins are also high on their priority list.

    The key difference between traditional telco and digital telco services lies in the solution tenants. On one end of the spectrum, CSPs are looking at simplified and standardized BSS/OSS solutions for supporting traditional telco services. On the other end, there is a growing need for flexible, adaptable, and extendible solutions for digital telco services, due to the evolving nature of service models and partner ecosystems.

    In order to support the growing maturity of existing services and enable the next generation of digital services, telcos need pre-integrated, flexible, and adaptable platforms that adhere to industry standards. Satisfying the requirements of both traditional and digital telco services successfully also depends on an ecosystem which is willing to invest and co-create solutions

    Source: TCS

    FIGURE 1 Key characteristics of TCS platformization approach

    1Gartner Inc., Four Ways CSPs Can Achieve Platform Efficiencies When Offering Enterprise Digital Services, G00261965, 4 September 2014

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    to meet continuously evolving business needs. Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) and time to market with an evolving partner eco-system will be the key to success in the coming years.

    As shown in Figure 2, TCS categorizes the solution tenants under two segments fit for growth for digital telcos and fit for purpose to address the needs of traditional telco services and business models.

    Platformization of business and operations support

    TCS pre-integrated HOBS solution meets both the fit for purpose and fit for growth objectives of traditional telcos and digital telco services respectively. The solution was built based on our experience of working with numerous telecom service providers across the globe to address challenges such as interminable system integration programs, rapid technology obsolescence, limited capex for investment, and the need to launch new products and services quickly.

    With the emergence of sell-with, sell-for, and sell-through partnerships, TCS HOBS provides the necessary solution to enable success in the evolving partner ecosystem. It also supports end-to-end life cycle management, starting from on-boarding partners and defining partner products and services, to revenue management and collections.

    The HOBS platform also supports next-generation digital business needs and provides a 360-degree view to revolutionize the concept of managing

    FIGURE 2 Solution tenants for traditional and digital telco services

    and knowing your customer (MYKC). The entire application is built on an eTOM SID model (that is, an Enhanced Telecom Operations Map Shared Information Data model) with more than 350 pre-modeled business process. It is based on TM Forum standards and a complete multi-tenanted architecture for converting an IT asset into a potential revenue generator. HOBS uses enterprise grade open sourc