What is the real importance of BSS/OSS to operators in a world of LTE data? In this interview we get the views of Ahsan Aziz Khan, EVP BSS and ESS Applications, PTCL, who is speaking on the subject of BSS/OSS on Day One of the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 23rd-25th September 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore —and taking part in the Operator Mindshare in the morning of Day Two.
What kind of business model changes do you expect with LTE?
The promise of LTE is high-speed data and even voice over data (VoLTE). There is a tremendous growth already happening in the use of data and more is expected over the coming days as LTE adoption increases. According to research, video will generate the most traffic in the future. As we already know and have observed, there is not much revenue growth for Telcos vis-à-vis the growth in data usage and the demand for bandwidth. This essentially means Telcos need to find new ways of earning money and monetizing data.
Lots of changes are already happening on various fronts related to our industry that can be summed as a SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) stack and the growing demand of digital services in the form of IoT and M2M. These changes are also affecting customer behavior and expectations.
A new eco-system of technologies and services is evolving. The situation is demanding a serious change of thoughts for the Telcos in terms of business model. These new business models are all about embracing digital services and partnerships with OTT players and other industry verticals. Telcos have to transform everything from soup to nuts, be it the network, be it the IT, be it the organization structure, or be it the business processes. They also have to react quickly otherwise you get the ‘boiling frog’ phenomena, which has started to happen.
How will the IT BSS/OSS architecture be affected by these business models changes?
Business needs a well knitted infrastructure of network, IT and business. Old fashioned silos, disparate, inflexible systems are not going to serve purpose. Current industry demands the overall IT and BSS/OSS has to be agile, lean, nimble, customizable, adaptable, configurable, and plug and play.
BSS/OSS architecture will be greatly affected as it has to accommodate the requirements of the new business models. First of all it has to enable the partnerships across all other players including the OTTs and other industries as well, including the utilities, transportation, retail, finance and also the government. Then there has to be more focus on APIs and web services, where the services are exposed to third parties.
Then there is a strong need to have a very solid policy management to enable businesses to launch innovative offers, control over usage and most important QoS. Another element which has grown importance is big data and analytics. In my view, BSS/OSS should be able to handle the huge streams of data coming from customer usage habits and trends, which enables business to enhance the customer experience.
How will these changes in BSS/OSS benefit the operators and what impact could it have if an operator’s BSS/OSS is not well equipped to handle these changes?
BSS/OSS architecture is the key to success. It is a business model enabler. Operators will be able to seamlessly launch new services quickly, make partnerships and give visibility to the all ranks of management. That objective cannot be achieved without the required BSS/OSS changes. They will be missing opportunities, and their bottom lines will suffer. Therefore, it is essential for their survival that their BSS/OSS architecture exactly matches what is needed.
What impact do you hope the LTE Asia conference will have on your business?
LTE Asia is a great opportunity to mingle, interact and share with so many industry experts around. More than 1,000 attendees, 175+ speakers, exhibitors and networking sessions provide the ideal platform for that. I particularly like the idea of the Operator Mindshare, which will enable informal discussions of industry issues where we can learn from each other’s experiences. I am looking forward to this event and very excited to be part of it.