1 BSS Applications Managed Services for CSPs November 2012
2 BSS Applications Managed Services for CSPs This research programme analyzed the BSS managed-services market, exploring applicationsled services targeted at communications service providers (CSPs). The research has a particular focus on application development and management (ADM) and application operations (AO) trends and looks at a broad area encompassing billing, mediation, CRM, ordering, self service, revenue assurance, fraud management and partner management. The report evaluates CSP requirements for BSS managed services and provides an analysis of global market drivers and managed services trends, with a particular focus on Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. Research for the report included an online survey of 120 senior executives within CSPs as well as in-depth interviews with over 30 companies including CSPs and managed services providers (MSPs). Because of the sensitive nature of the information, the identity of the CSPs has been kept anonymous. The MSPs profiled in-depth include: Accenture, Amdocs, Atos, Ericsson, HP, Huawei, IBM, Infosys and Tech Mahindra. The report includes a competitive vendor landscape study and analysis of individual MSP s market positioning, SWOT analysis and differentiators.
3 CSPs Develop Appetite for BSS Managed Services Managed service model grows in popularity: In a global online survey conducted by ITM, 87% of respondents said that they already work with or intend to work with a managed services provider (MSP) in the next three years; 46% of respondents are already in an active relationship with an MSP for BSS. There is more to managed services than cost cutting: Cost reduction and management of capex and opex, of course, are important market drivers for CSPs using the managed service model. But service quality, innovation, domain expertise and the experience and understanding of the CSP business is as important as cost-related drivers. Managed service providers as partners, not suppliers: CSPs need to see their MSPs as trustworthy, transparent and flexible so as to create a holistic and agile approach to their application and product development. But responsiveness is also important the ability to respond with speed to competitive action or negative customer feedback is vital for CSPs. CSPs prefer to work with an MSP that is able to act as prime to manage multi-vendor relationships: Growing perception of CSPs that it is important for an MSP to be able to manage the relationship of several vendors and be responsible for their selection.
4 Testing the demand for CSP appetite of BSS managed services Online survey of CSP requirements for BSS managed services, May respondents Split of respondents, by company type Split of respondents, by job type Source: Informa Telecoms & Media Profile of CSP interviews, June/July 2012 Region Asia Pacific Europe Americas Rest of the World No of CSP interviews and countries Five: Malaysia; Indonesia; India; Bangladesh Seven: Germany; UK; Netherlands; Switzerland; Finland Six: USA, Brazil, Chile Two: Israel; South Africa
5 Key themes from CSP interviews Your mess for less is a principle of the past. Domain expertise and an understanding of the CSP business are now as important to CSPs as cost. A mature MS market has to be built on a partnership approach, which, in turn, is built on trust. Result of partnership must be development of roadmap. More to managed services than simple cost reduction Trust, partnership and transparency are pivotal to CSP-MSP relationship Growing perception of CSPs that no one supplier will deliver best-of-breed in everything and they generally accept the management of multiple relationships. A place for best of breed solutions as well as integrated supplier deals Managed service demands have evolved and matured Cost, quality and speed need to be considered together, and not in isolation. 5
6 Regional differences in CSP attitudes North America Europe Asia Pacific CSP maturity in use of MS and IT environment Understanding of CSP-MSP partnership approach and how this can develop joint application development, testing and implementation Greater flexibility in funding models, development speeds and product lifecycles Use of MS has been more about drive for efficiency Culture that remains nervous/ suspicious of an MS approach with customer data too valuable to outsource Perception that use of MS can hold back differentiation Use of MS is still widespread, and it is up to MSPs to show they can be responsive and act as a flexible partner rather than a supplier to change this perception More aggressive attitude to MS is more likely in this region where legacy systems care often less mature CSPs have appetite for MS so that they can concentrate on core business issues, i.e., strategy/marketing Intense competition across the region, and especially south Asia, means there is a need for CSPs to reduce costs while maintaining quality and, most importantly, speed to market Enthusiasm for working with a single integrated MSP to work with best-of-breed suppliers Latin America CSPs held back by risks involved in major transformation programs because of legacy systems Culture is to keep operations in-house, but this is changing as CSPs consider new business models and services In order to fulfill the above, there are signs that CSPs realize they require more agility within their IT and BSS 6
7 Survey findings on managed service drivers Do you currently outsource or use managed services providers for any of the following areas of BSS? In which areas of BSS are you most likely to work with an MSP in the next three years? Question: Using the two statements below, can you describe which best fits your company s approach to managed services? Source: Informa Telecoms & Media 7
8 View from Malaysia There must be more emphasis on service quality improvement and less on cost reduction. Managed services market has played its part in operator growth: Improved billing system Segmented marketing strategy Focus on mobile broadband Partnering with MVNOs Investment in IT infrastructure is pivotal to the above. Why work with a MSP? 1. Allows CSP to focus on core business 2. Improve IT operations with help of best practice experience and expertise 3. Economies of scale MSP must have the following skills: 1. Vendor management skills 2. Risk sharing commercial model 3. Long-term strategic partnership We would like to shift as much to a managed services provider as possible and focus instead on marketing and strategy. The CSP would like to outsource more BSS operations and shift more internal resource towards marketing and strategy. A typical requirement of a Tier 3 operator. The CSP would prefer to work with a single partner to help streamline its BSS processes and reduce time spent on partner management, but the reality is that it works with multiple partners because vendors vary markedly in terms of their strengths. Why work with a MSP? 1. Allows CSP to focus on core business 2. Dynamism of technology evolution means enhancing IT operations is an important market driver 3. Working with an effective MSP should help to control capex management A relationship purely driven by cost reduction is less likely to deliver service quality improvements.
9 View from UK During a business transformation, if you go down the managed services route, you will not transform the business. We work with vendors that have a partner attitude. If the relationship helps to save money and helps the customer experience, then there is value in a managed services relationship. Questions CSP should ask itself before entering into MSP relationship: 1. How strategic is the service that is being outsourced? 2. How useful would it be for CSP to retain control? General view: this CSP is largely against MSP relationships as it wants to protect its differentiation. Service delivery is important in terms of providing the best platform for services and the best content; this group feels working with an MSP can affect this differentiation. Managed services can lead to standardized solutions and platforms, which is in direct contrast to the group s goal of differentiation. Managed services works better with Tier 2 CSPs that need to catch up with market leaders, or greenfield operators. This quad-play operator had a culture that was once opposed to outsourcing. This view changed as it became clear for the need to respond to market changes quickly became vital, which drove a company-wide automation and efficiency initiative. During this transition, managed services became widely used as it became clear for the need of a holistic approach to IT projects. Requirements of an MSP: 1. Flexibility is crucial: There is not always a rigid formula to application development and management. 2. Success of managed services is not simply about time to market: Responsiveness to market is more important. 3. MSPs must be flexible around pricing: Would an MSP respond to an extra year on contract for a lower annual fee?
10 View from USA When it comes to operations, job management, billing cycles and management of customer databases, we treat MSP staff as our employees. At the moment there is a tendency towards bringing processes in-house, mainly because of the very strict SLAs around availability to which vendors are unwilling to sign. This CSP is a heavy user of managed services. Its use of managed services does not follow a rigid policy: each project is evaluated at the outset and the best approach to the development cycle is assessed. This might mean the project is developed and run by a managed services provider, developed in-house and handed off to a managed services provider or developed and run in-house. The operator s IT environment is very mature and it is this maturity that makes a holistic approach possible. That said, detailed oversight of any such relationship is vital: however much the provider may be trusted, vendors may make different decisions from operators. Middleware is and will be kept in-house in this CSP s highlyintegrated environment where a best-of-breed attitude is prevalent. In order to support the flexibility that is now needed as part of a company s strategy, contracts are being renegotiated early in order to build this in. Five-year contracts are difficult to justify in the current uncertain climate. Cost reduction is the main managed services driver. But the relationship between CSP and MSP will only work if there is trust. The reason trust is so important is because, if a service has been outsourced, it makes it very difficult to move or bring that process back in-house. The only areas for which the CSP would not currently consider using an MSP are revenue assurance and fraud management. These areas are deemed to be too close to home. A managed service solution should always feature a roadmap for every development and management cycle.
11 View from Brazil The ability to be agile and the existence of proven project management expertise across many different types of markets are key differentiators for any MSP. This CSP has started to work with MSPs on CRM and OSS; CRM solution to support fibre network recently became first of the group s IT service to be outsourced. As the business evolves, it is likely that it will implement MS across other functionalities. Brazil is an ultra-competitive market and all interviewees referred to the importance in improving time to market for new products and services as an important driver for MS. Other main drivers include cost reduction and enhancing IT operations through the use of best practice and the domain expertise of the MSP. Working with an MSP can lead to the fragmentation of the CSP s IT infrastructure with different solutions, platforms and vendors creating a difficult legacy process to transform. But it must be transformed to something that is more agile the question is whether CSPs should leave it to third parties to lead this transformation. Increasingly, the ability for an operator to be agile will become paramount to its success...there is an opportunity for MSPs to help telcos evolve and meet changing consumer demands. CSP is aware that if it is to be more technically competitive, transformation of architecture is necessary, and especially if it is to enhance customer experience. However, this will not happen without C-level support: problem is whether C-level will support this transformation. As a policy on managed services, this CSP prefers a single supplier for ease of negotiation and management. Cost reduction is important to managed service contract but only if it also delivers value in terms of service enhancement. It must be evident early in negotiation with an MSP that the vendor truly understands the nature of the CSP s business and its particular objectives and challenges. It is important that MSPs are global with the knowledge and global presence to base its agility, project management expertise and IT services knowledge.
12 CSP trends in summary BSS managed service model becoming more popular with CSPs: 46% of SPs work with an MSP for BSS. The most common applications are CRM, billing and mediation; self service has strong growth potential. There is more to BSS managed services than cost cutting: service quality, innovation, domain expertise and the experience and understanding of the CSP business are as important as cost-related drivers Knowledge MSPs are partners, not suppliers: trustworthiness, transparency and flexibility are all important MSP traits but responsiveness is key. Ability to respond with speed to competitive action or negative customer feedback is vital for CSPs Single integrated solution may be ideal, but general perception that best of breed is a more realistic approach: CSPs becoming flexible as to what is outsourced and what stays in-house, and whether to move to unified solution or best of breed.
13 Market drivers The emergence of BSS applications managed services has to be seen in the wider context of network and service management, mirroring trends in the network domain where operators, faced with increasingly complex infrastructure and the need to control investment spending, began looking to the network equipment vendors (NEVs) to manage their network hardware. Recent developments, such as all-ip networks and the rollout of LTE in particular, have created similar pressures within the service domain; however, the range of potential outsourcing suppliers is more diverse than it ever was in the network domain. Technical complexity and cost control and the investment required to build a new BSS infrastructure are major considerations for operators looking for differentiation in saturated markets. In addition, the uncertainty that services supported by these new systems will actually prove profitable adds further weight to the attractiveness of the BSS managed-service model in terms of risk reduction. The new market for managed BSS services is not just about managing platforms, however. The need to incorporate legacy systems as well as develop and roll out bespoke services has given rise to the concept of application development and management (ADM) and application operations (AO), both of which are becoming increasingly important capabilities in vendor offerings.
14 BSS managed services market definition Informa s definition of BSS managed services for the purposes of this report excludes both BPO and IT infrastructurerelated managed services, including data center services, data management and delivery systems such as service delivery platforms, and hosted telecoms enterprise apps. Informa s definition of BSS managed services includes not only ADM and AO but also some associated planning, consulting and integration. BSS managed services business is predominantly made up of ADM and AO but also includes some closely associated planning, consulting and integration business. Stand-alone consulting and SI revenues are not included. Categories of BSS Service included: -Billing -Charging -CRM -Ordering -Self service -Partner management BSS Managed Services definition excludes: - BPO - IT infrastructure services - Data center services - data management/delivery systems (service delivery platforms etc) - hosted telecoms enterprise apps (eg workforce management, supply chain etc)
15 The rise of ADM and AO Application development and management (ADM) and application operations (AO) are concepts which many although not all MSPs use and recognize as key parameters. Amongst CSPs there is a greater propensity to use MSPs for ADM in most categories of BSS although the variance is not large other than with billing. CRM an exception where CSPs keener on AO than ADM BSS Applications managed services Currently use MSP provider for Application operations (AO) ADM All non-operational activities related to management & maintenance of BSS applications, including: - Design - Development - Testing - Support - Training - Migration/conversion AO IT-oriented operational activities related to the management of BSS, including: - Monitoring and control of IT systems - Ongoing IT support
16 Applications managed services focus Within the Managed Service Provider (MSP) community ADM and AO are particularly popular as concepts where an MSP is application-led but less so where the MSP is chiefly concerned with systems integration or consulting. The rough proportion of revenues derived from ADM and AO indicates the extent to which each player is application-led or services-led While this can only give an indication of the focus of a given player, it is useful as a guide to the style of operation and also to the positioning of the MSP. On this basis, the application-led managed services providers include companies such as Amdocs, Tech Mahindra, Infosys and, to some extent, Wipro and Tata Consulting. On the other hand services-led managed services providers include companies such a Accenture, IBM, Atos and HP. All of the above MSPs are profiled in the report.
17 MSPs moving away from traditional model of platform-specific management Increasingly, BSS MS are moving away from the concept of outsourcing a single entity (such as a billing system or CRM) Instead moving towards developing and managing applications which extend the capabilities of those platforms and support a variety of different services + improve customer experience and enable interaction with customers in real time The range of MSP outsourcing suppliers in OSS/BSS space more diverse than in the network outsourcing domain: Telecoms IT players building on dominant position in billing, CRM and fulfilment systems Network vendors, hardware vendors strengthening OSS/BSS positioning Pure IT & services companies repurposing existing IT expertise Consultancies & SIs capitalizing on lack of clear standards for interoperability This partly reflects CSP preference for a single supplier with an integrated solution although in a mature MS environment a mixed approach is also popular
18 Big Beasts dominate the BSS MS space A small number of players account for a large proportion of BSS MS revenues: The BSS software market may be fragmented but, from a MS perspective it is dominated by small number of players Some MSPs are telecoms industry-focused such as Amdocs or Ericsson. Others are SI and IT generalists such as Accenture, IBM or HP 2 main approaches: Solution-driven strategies: where a suppliers platform is the starting point for a broader MS offering. Familiarity with the platform & product lifecycle are a plus but potential issues around application responsibility or vendor lock-in Consulting-led approach: where apps development is part of strategy-level rolling process aimed at transformation. Has advantage of starting from a vendor-agnostic standpoint but: i) potential lack of specialist knowledge, ii) impact on efficiency of integrating point solutions, iii) difficult for client to influence the development roadmap In the BSS space the functionality of software has rarely been the be-all and end-all: much of the value of a typical contract has always resided in integration and product support rather than the software itself, hence importance of global reach, telecoms sector expertise and service flexibility.
19 MSP trends in summary MSPs move away from traditional model of platform-specific management: Increasingly, BSS MS are moving away from the concept of outsourcing a single entity, such as a billing system or CRM, to developing and managing applications which extend the capabilities of those platforms and support a variety of different services, as well as improving customer experience and enabling interaction with customers in real time. The rise of ADM and AO: Application development and management (ADM) and application operations (AO) are concepts which many although not all MSPs use and recognize as key parameters. They are particularly popular where an MSP is application-led but less so where the MSP is chiefly concerned with systems integration or consulting. Two main MSP strategies predominate in the sector: Solution-driven strategies where a suppliers platform is typically the starting point for a broader MS offering and a Consulting-led approach where apps development is part of strategy-level rolling process aimed at a broader transformation. Big Beasts are best positioned to dominate BSS MS space: A small number of players account for a large proportion of BSS MS revenues. The BSS software market may be fragmented but, from a managed services perspective, it is dominated by a small number of players. Some are focused on the communications industry, such as Amdocs and Ericsson, or are SI and IT generalists, such as Accenture, IBM or HP.
20 Thank you For further information: Informa UK Limited All rights reserved. The contents of this publication are protected by international copyright laws, database rights and other intellectual property rights. The owner of these rights is Informa UK Limited, our affiliates or other third party licensors. All product and company names and logos contained within or appearing on this publication are the trade marks, service marks or trading names of their respective owners, including Informa UK Limited. This publication may not be:- (a) copied or reproduced; or (b) lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any way or form without the prior permission of Informa UK Limited. Whilst reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information and content of this publication was correct as at the date of first publication, neither Informa UK Limited nor any person engaged or employed by Informa UK Limited accepts any liability for any errors, omissions or other inaccuracies. Readers should independently verify any facts and figures as no liability can be accepted in this regard - readers assume full responsibility and risk accordingly for their use of such information and content. Any views and/or opinions expressed in this publication by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Informa UK Limited.
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