Service Delivery Platforms: Driving Interoperability to Maximize Telecom Network Value (H1)
October 17, 2020 Business
Today, we take for granted the myriad of ways wireless devices and applications have made daily life much simpler, such as how many smartphone apps nowadays can make all kinds of payments, and receive and send data anywhere in the world. It’s thanks to global technology standards that not only power a wide range of systems and devices but also bring many benefits to the broader digital ecosystem.
However, we still see many isolated data siloes and slow steps being taken towards full-scale digital transformation across the telecom industry. To continuously deliver the most up-to-date solutions to enable customer value creation, stakeholders in the telecom industry must collaborate with tech companies to build a robust service delivery platform (SDP) and develop a digital ecosystem that can address changing market demands.
Why Interoperability Matters for Service Delivery Platforms (H2)
Despite the differences that every mobile operator faces – i.e., the customers they serve, the geography, the segment, or the demographics – it is a valid statement that the fundamental requirements of an SDP to support the digital services that most customers demand are the same. These include data collection, storage, governance, and cross-domain data analysis, frictionless handling and delivery of content and service, accurate billing, payment settlement, and many more.
Of course, no single platform can satisfy all these different requirements, but these are better served by a vibrant ecosystem gravitated towards the platform – especially if it aligns with a platform’s capability to enable, to certify, to support, to incentivize, and so on. When it comes to incentives to attract more partners to the ecosystem, SDPs allow different revenue sharing schemes to be implemented.
A distinguishing factor that has separated tech companies from conventional mobile operators is that tech companies would continuously undergo frequent delivery of new features and functions while mobile operators’ networks and services remained quite static. This needs service delivery platform to change if mobile operators’ digital transformation is to catch up. Using software-based SDPs to host service components and support advanced service creation techniques can allow mobile operators to close the gap and improve the speed at which their services are deployed through their networks.
With the right SDP, a developing platform ecosystem can bring clear benefits for consumers, mobile operators, and the digital platform provider. Opportunities for the telecom industry to grow are assured through these platform-enabled aspects:
- Ensure system interoperability while enabling product differentiation.
- Create new markets and expand addressable markets of existing products
- Reduce market risk, especially in areas that require considerable investment
- Improve the reliability of customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
- Inspire participation, collaboration, and competition from a diverse set of companies to enhance the technology
Laying the Foundation for Service Differentiation (H2)
Knowing the customer in great detail is a major part of maximizing average revenue per user (ARPU) and is therefore a business goal. Today, mobile operators have critical information about their users, the relationship between users and their communications services, the status of users on each available channel, and so on.
Since all of it is a unique property of the user’s relationship to the mobile operator, all of this information can be used to make services more relevant and unlock service value differentiation. The most valuable differentiators are likely to be discovered from creating symbiosis among the services. Not only can SDPs that support the framework for the key common service elements of identity, location, and demographics exploit these to create differentiated services, they can use the common framework of service creation and orchestration to combine elements of multiple services into a single cohesive service framework.