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BSS Digital operating model transformation

During the last decade Telcos have transformed their Information Technology and Business Support Systems (BSS) landscapes, focusing on convergence, operational efficiency and cost reduction. They have followed diverse paths—green field transformation, evolutionary transition, overlay approaches—but with similar challenges.

Overview

These have included managing multi-year transformation programs, long business transitions with customer impacts, complex data migration and difficulty decommissioning old systems—sometimes with an uncertain business case. Meanwhile, digital transformation has arrived:

  • Consumption patterns are changing

  • Ability to influence and enhance customer experience in real time is a competitive advantage

  • New business models are popping up with a need to monetize new revenue streams of all kinds

Although telecom and cable operators have benefitted greatly from the explosive adoption and utilization of mobile services, digital is enabling new entrants to disrupt services that operators have traditionally monetized. There is an urgent call to action for operators to rethink their business models and approach, to attack and succeed in the digital wave, with the following challenges:

  • It requires moving from an engineering culture to a service-oriented culture with a strong customer focus, where the customer is the center of the universe

  • Companies must understand change as a continuous process, rather than a series of discrete projects

  • A whole new business model is needed to survive in the digital marketplace.

Background

To make the shift from telecom or cable operator to digital service provider, there must be a much higher level of customer interaction at a much lower service cost. To accelerate their digital operating model transformation, telcos are considering a new way to transition BSS. They are branching away from the engineering roots from which they grew, opting instead for a service-oriented culture. These changes include:

Implementing a differentiating digital transformation strategy

  • Investing in building a differentiating new customer digital experience: lean, agile, fast Time to Market high value potential

  • Minimizing and rationalizing non-differentiating layers, including BSS legacy systems

  • Building an industry hub with an integration layer to plug the distribution layer to the production layer

  • Combining product catalog rationalization with simplified, lean business processes

  • Setting up a digital capability road map, ROI-driven, to progressively implement the to-be capabilities

Outsourcing or moving to lightweight cloud replacement standalone solutions, including roaming settlement, partner management, fraud analysis, churn analysis, workforce management, commissioning and trouble ticketing

Leveraging SaaS technologies to build the differentiating layer or to implement agile and fast cloud-based BSS to support adjacent markets or new business models

Building virtualized software-based operational stacks bringing business, IT and network organization and systems to work across a single real-time IT infrastructure

Adopting a completely new culture of transformation. The most profound shift for industries, such as telecommunications, is in understanding change as a continuous process, rather than a series of discrete projects. Adoption comes from comprehensive cultural change, such as the integration of “design thinking” into product development and a strong focus on customer feedback.

Key Findings

Ten telcos in Europe and APAC have discussed their transformation strategies with Accenture. Digital transformation is still in its early stage, but the majority of them have ongoing digital transformation agendas with a key focus on customer experience renewal and simplification.

Overall, for telcos the digital transformation is still in its early stage. Beyond the convergence of the BSS platform, which is an ongoing process or objective for half of the queried companies also driven by the wave of M&A in the operator’s sector, there still are disparate ways to manage customers across channels. The good news is that the majority of the queried telcos have ongoing digital transformation agendas to build a multi-channel or omnichannel capability, along with concrete plans to simplify business processes “and rationalize product catalog,” The big question mark is the ability to move a plan to execution while getting the funding and the business case.

Recommendations

We believe operators must strive to become key actors in the digital value chain: Integrated Digital Service Providers. IDSPs are operators that are standing up infrastructure capabilities, operations and offerings to pursue digital as a business: Digital Infrastructure Core, Digital Business Operations and Capabilities and Digital offerings.

Becoming an IDSP will enable an operator to offer a new set of solutions. To enable this model, operators are called to rethink and innovate their customer operations and inherent BSS landscapes beyond the required core capabilities, including:

  • Digital Channel and Self-Service UX

  • Order Entry and Validate

  • Customer Interaction

  • Campaign Management

  • Charging & Billing

  • Order Fulfillment

Operators need to adopt strategic capabilities in the service market:

  • Integrated Policy Management & Control and real time charging

  • Collaboration

  • Social Sentiment Analysis

  • Next Best Action/Unified marketing

  • Omni-channel experience management

  • Single online product catalog and single order entry function common to all sales channels

  • Partner enablement (API access to key business functions, multi-tenancy), and partner value distribution across roaming, wholesale, reseller, content, Over the Top, M2M partners

  • A single, dynamic and shared set of customer profiles.

Driven by varying customer needs, there is an increasing need for data intelligence to turn Big Data into “right now” data. For most value, the data need to be integrated with an analytics engine, decision support system and campaign management system to trigger context-aware events in real time. We believe that BSS transformations must leverage extensively on real time and analytics. The value realization outcome of the BSS transformation should be analytics based, tracked and enabled.

The BSS transformation journey needs to become a continuous process where required digital capabilities and features will come progressively on top of the existing legacy systems.

Authors
Ines Guzman is the Global Managing Director of Accenture Digital Customer Service

Jean-Marie Pierron is the Managing Director—Technology Lead of Accenture Communications/Media/High Technology, France and Global Billing Lead