There is good news, and there is bad news for digital and communications service providers. Although they have more monetisation opportunities at their fingertips than ever before, time is not on their side.
Today’s B2C and B2B customers want to see operators immediately and personally respond to their individual demands, forcing digital and communications service providers to have to think on their feet. Unfortunately, many are not agile enough to do so well or are not properly equipped to customise offers onthe- fly for Generation Cloud.
What can digital and communications service providers do to turn this situation around? In short, they need to tear down their legacy business and operational support systems (BSS / OSS) that prevents them from moving to Nexterday.
Within many organisations, the complexity of their technology and offer design tools is overwhelming. Patchworked architectures and siloed policy control and charging are holding operators back – the traditional PCRF approach to deploying policy, rating and balance management in a fragmented environment can significantly slow the offer design and launch process, because having separate systems, toolsets and databases requires integration and a synchronised way of managing complexity.
Policy control and charging software needs to be able to adapt to upgrades in mobile network technology like IMS and Voice over LTE (VoLTE). It should also be NFV-compliant, so that digital and communications service providers can support service agility and flexibility and ensure fast offer configuration. Any complexity spurring from these domains shouldn’t impact offer design for the worse – but for the better such as improving total cost of ownership (TCO)!
The graphic on the right shows an example of the complex policy and charging settings necessary to support one offer. Standardisation has benefits, but this approach is not sustainable if digital and communications service providers want to attract Generation Cloud, whose expectations are developing in a direction towards greater flexibility, not less. If a customer is limited to choose between predefined S, M, L and XL packages, it’s quite likely that none of them suits that customer’s particular needs, and he or she will buy their communications or infotainment services elsewhere. And, that could potentially leave quite a big hole in digital and communications service providers’ businesses – according to consumer research conducted by Comptel in January 2015, 65% of respondents agreed that they struggle to find a mobile data package that fully meets their needs.