Digital transformation: Where to start?

What is necessary to start operator business transformation.


Digital transformation is a top priority for most telecom operators today. The changes it can lead to are expected to allow a telco to fend off growing competition from OTT players with new service launches and to inject greater flexibility into the management of its processes, products and projects.

Unlocking synergies between telecoms, IT and digital technology is key to success in digital transformation. Operators, who have always been focused on developing competencies in telecoms, should concentrate their attention on digital technology and IT.

In most cases, unwillingness to invest more in the IT infrastructure combined with a determination to develop digital products and services undermines the efforts of operators stepping on the path to digital transformation. They lose their strategic market advantage and fail to introduce brand-new services, which are the only way they can compete against their OTT rivals.

A stronger IT backbone is an essential aspect of digital transformation.

The three major factors that can drive IT infrastructure development include OSS/BSS transformation, IoT platform launch and MVNE platform introduction. All three involve big data analytics as a means of ensuring continuous efficiency improvements.

OSS and BSS transformation is the shortest path to building a proper IT infrastructure. New-generation BSS systems open up a host of new opportunities, such as multi-tenancy, new efficient partnership arrangements, DevOps and Agile adoption for faster product development, flexible and centralized management of billing, roaming and interconnect processes, etc.

With an IoT platform, telcos become digital aggregators for dozens of third-party services, ranging from smart homes and smart cities to various IoT services in manufacturing, medicine and retail. It builds upon the foundation created by the convergence between telecoms (M2M infrastructure), IT (a platform solution and open interfaces) and digital technology (online process management, friendly UIs, full compatibility with third-party digital services).

An MVNE platform is what telcos need to ensure a rapid expansion of their pools of virtual operators. It is based on a component model for a full-scale operator BSS system. The multi-tenancy capability of MVNE platforms enables dozens of MVNOs to share the same network and IT infrastructure. The options that an online charging system (OCS) offers allow each virtual operator within the platform to create its own unique business model and build a solid relationship with the MNO.

While digital companies, encouraged by the digical (digital + physical) ideology, are increasingly shifting towards implementing their own physical infrastructure projects, telecom operators and other traditional businesses are moving in the opposite direction, from physical to digital. The industry will ultimately enter an era of end-to-end convergence, when every real service will have a digital dimension.

For a telecom operator, telecoms, IT and digital convergence means a better chance to succeed in the fight for subscribers against competitors and digital disruptors, expand into new markets and find a solution to the problem of core services commoditization. Transformation into a digital company increases the market value of an operator’s business and makes it more attractive for customers, partners and investors.

Anyway, strengthening the IT part of the business is still the first step on the path to digital transformation for a telco. And only after it is completed successfully should the telco consider entering the digital segment, leveraging the expertise and technologies it has acquired in IT and telecoms.

Peter-Service offers telecom operators support in all three areas related to their IT infrastructure development efforts, including BSS transformationIoT platform launch and MVNE platform introduction. To help operators analyze their products and services in an efficient manner, we have developed a range of Big Data offerings. Finally, we provide ready-to use options, such as Mobile Commerce, to facilitate fast launch of digital services based on a transformed IT infrastructure.

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