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Accenture helps Euskaltel drive toward high performance with a rapid launch of its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) business.
Accenture helped reengineer existing business support systems (BSS) and operations support systems (OSS) prior to the launch. Migration to the new BSS and OSS systems has positioned Euskaltel to provide excellent customer service even during periods of rapid growth.
Euskaltel is a global telecommunications operator in the Basque region of Spain, offering fixed and mobile telephone services, as well as Internet and television services. It is the top broadband operator in the Basque autonomous region. Euskaltel has deployed a next-generation fiber-optic network in the Basque Country with an investment of €1,600 million—€700 per citizen—the largest network investment per inhabitant in Spain.
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From its position in the late 1990s as a new entrant in the Basque telecommunications marketplace, Euskaltel quickly rose to a dominant position through aggressive expansion in a full offering of convergent services: from fixed-line and mobile telephony to broadband and cable television. Euskaltel's success and rapid growth soon placed high demands on its support systems. Because of the need to integrate systems capabilities across the full range of the company's convergent services, Euskaltel was challenged initially to migrate its legacy systems to a more open platform. Such a migration would help the company provide excellent customer service even during periods of rapid growth.
More recently, Euskaltel has been challenged to ensure that its network, business support systems and operations support systems could be reengineered prior to its launch as an MVNO. Previously, Euskaltel's mobile business was enabled under an arrangement where it acted as a reseller of Amena (now Orange) mobile services, with a marketplace restricted to the Basque country. In June 2006, however, Euskaltel signed a new agreement with Vodafone, becoming Spain's first full mobile virtual network operator. A full MVNO retains its own core network, leasing only the access network from other operators and then selling it on to customers. For an MVNO, a rapid and effective launch is essential to realizing its entire business case. If an MVNO cannot effectively bill and serve customers, for example, its path to high performance will be severely restricted. Euskaltel was strongly committed to the future of its MVNO business, announcing that it would invest €50 million in the development of new network and systems capabilities.
To help ensure a smooth transition and launch for its MVNO business, Euskaltel turned to Accenture. Accenture had helped create the company's existing BSS and OSS capabilities as a mobile reseller. Now, however, the applications and systems would need to be redesigned and its customers would have to be migrated to a new platform. Deeply skilled and experienced in MVNO launches and in the underlying systems and technologies to support convergent communications services, Accenture was an important choice to team with Euskaltel to help the company achieve high performance as an MVNO and as a convergent provider.
In Euskaltel's previous role as a mobile services reseller, Accenture had been the company's solutions provider and integrator for its primary support systems, including a customer relationship management (CRM) solution based on Vantive and Arbor/ BP using Sybase as the database management system (DBMS). Accenture worked closely with Euskaltel to customize the basic offering to fulfill its specific telecom requirements. Thus, Accenture already had a deep understanding of Euskaltel's business and its technology requirements. During an initial phase of work, Euskaltel asked Accenture to migrate its Vantive-based legacy systems to an open Microsoft .NET platform. To accomplish this rapidly and cost-effectively, Accenture leveraged the Avanade Connected Architecture for .NET (ACA.NET), a proven framework upon which developers can more quickly build XML Web services and applications. The technical architecture created by Accenture for Euskaltel is based on multiple marketplace standards and includes new features that cover the main architectural capabilities previously provided by the Vantive-based solution.
A particularly innovative aspect of the work at this point was Accenture's development of a set of standard tools, facilities and techniques to reengineer the Vantive system into the .NET environment. By simplifying and streamlining the process, Accenture helped Euskaltel reduce migration time by 50 percent.
Following the signing of the new agreement between Euskaltel and Vodafone, Accenture then worked with Euskaltel to further enhance the company's CRM and billing systems to support the new MVNO business model. In only three months, Accenture was able to successfully reconfigure and extend the capabilities of Euskaltel's systems, continuing the company's momentum toward high performance as an MVNO and convergent provider.
In addition, the new systems also support the business of Telecable, a Spanish telecommunications provider whose IT capabilities are enabled by Euskaltel. So the Accenture solution now supports not only the 450,000 Euskaltel subscribers, but also the 150,000 subscribers of Telecable.
The distinctive benefits delivered by Accenture for Euskaltel all come down to the business essentials of an MVNO and convergent communications service provider: speed to delivery, increased customer loyalty and cost effectiveness.
One key to Accenture's ability to deliver new IT capabilities at speed is the CRM asset, jointly developed by Euskaltel and Accenture, which provides a flexible solution to help communications providers achieve high performance more quickly by migrating their supporting systems to convergent models. Differentiated CRM capabilities are essential for Euskaltel, as MVNOs compete in part on the basis of excellent customer service. Providers can move toward the open platform provided by .NET, lowering total cost of ownership for BSS and OSS.
“Our new IT solution is truly a convergent solution,” says Manuel Arco, CIO for Euskaltel. “We have effectively leveraged our experience, as well as Accenture's experience with next-generation, convergent BSS and OSS solutions, to develop a unique capability in the marketplace. By putting in place the technologies to support our entire range of services—fixed, mobile, broadband and television—as well as our entire base of subscribers, whether prepaid or postpaid, Accenture and Euskaltel have created an innovative solution that gives us a longer-term competitive edge.”
As the competition to acquire and retain customers grows more intense in Spain, Euskaltel now has the capabilities that can keep it one step ahead in the race for high performance.
“Accenture has been a trusted partner with us for many years, providing the business and technology expertise that has supported our rapid expansion in the marketplace. When we had an urgent need to upgrade and extend our information systems for our company and our client, Accenture was able to design and implement a solution in just a few months. They have been an important part of realizing the business case for our new communications services and business model.” —Manuel Arco, CIO for Euskaltel.
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