1 CASE STUDY
2 Bell Aliant Case Study GROWING AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT ABOUT BELL ALIANT Bell Aliant was purchased by Bell in Bell is Canada s largest communications company, providing a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband communications and content services to consumer, residential business and government customers in Canada. BY DEPLOYING A 100 PERCENT FIBRE-TO-THE-HOME NETWORK, CUSTOMERS ARE NOW ABLE TO EXPERIENCE INTERNET AND TV SERVICES TO THEIR FULL POTENTIAL, WITH THE FASTEST INTERNET UPLOAD AND DOWNLOAD SPEEDS AND BEST IN-MARKET TV PRODUCT AVAILABLE TO CUSTOMERS THROUGHOUT OUR REGION. IVAN TONER, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER BELL ALIANT Executive Summary BUSINESS DRIVERS Need to offer higher bandwidth services Opportunity to leverage our unique cost characteristics Need to reduce network complexity Need to reduce operating costs In 2010, Bell Aliant (now Bell) announced its new FibreOp project, a full fibre to the home (FTTH) network. With this major undertaking, this Canadian service provider was challenged to scale the deployment of VoIP, ultra-broadband and IPTV services, along with customizable bundles over a new network infrastructure. To satisfy an aggressive deployment timeline, Bell Aliant relied on Sigma Systems to provide next-generation service fulfillment support, augmenting its legacy OSS architecture. Service transformation was a necessity to ensure automated order fulfillment and service activation to seamlessly deliver new operational processes.
3 Business Challenges PROBLEMS THAT NEED SOLVING Traditional telco service providers in North America have faced increasing challenges from cable operators who provide bundled triple-play services at attractive price points. The competition is increasing further with consumers rapidly changing expectations of video. Internet-based video platforms like Youtube, Netflix and Hulu are offering content and personalization features that cater to customers, with much content provided free of charge. In order to meet this competition, the telco service providers must regain their competitive edge by delivering a video experience that matches or exceeds the services provided by cable operators or OTT providers. Telco services providers must upgrade their network infrastructure to support the new services. Bell Aliant recognized this need and opted to upgrade to the new FTTH architecture. This FTTH network would support the following: Need to offer higher bandwidth services Opportunity to leverage our unique cost characteristics Need to reduce network complexity Need to reduce operating costs. A key element in the strategy to Grow Broadband was the introduction of a new IPTV platform base on Microsoft Mediaroom. This strategy was designed to improve the customer experience and depended on a robust network and an infrastructure that would ensure reliability and performance. The delivery of the IPTV service was essential in that it would allow for a more interactive TV experience with multi-screen applications over TV, mobile devices and laptops. Next-generation operators, like Bell, have realized the market for IPTV has grown and this provides the potential for a new revenue stream, increased consumer satisfaction and loyalty. However, these operators will face service fulfillment challenges in deploying these offerings, such as integration with other services for customizable bundles and control of operational costs. BELL ALIANT IS SECOND IN DEPLOYMENT OF FTTH ONLY TO VERSION IN NORTH AMERICA, AND FIRST IN PACE - IVAN TONER, CTO BELL ALIANT
5 Implementation Hurdles Back-office integration challenges rank high among the chief hurdles that telecom service providers face. In the hybrid environment that is expected to predominate for the next few years, providers must be able to convert their existing customers over to the more advanced IP delivery method and premium entertainment services without disrupting their current suite of services. Text BoxBack-office systems must be upgraded to support, provision, activate and authorize far more video services, devices and platforms than ever before. And the older legacy billing systems must be updated to capture and process orders for multiple video services, delivered over multiple platforms, supplied by multiple equipment vendors. New challenges have emerged as providers offer IPTV and other next-generations services. The new infrastructure must be able to: Support multiple next-generation multimedia services delivered by multiple content delivery platforms, not just linear digital video platforms Manage and activate new IP set-tops, home gateways and other IP-enabled devices in the home Integrate the new video platforms into their existing back-office systems. To successfully navigate the transformation to new architectures that support IPTV and other services, Sigma Systems recommends the following steps: Consider replacing their outmoded BSS systems to cope with the far greater operational burdens of next-gen video services Add new OSS service layer between their existing BSS layer and the network elements to insulate the billing systems from the complexities of the new services Depend on an integrated OSS service layer to manage customer entitlements effectively across all of the video delivery platforms and support activation of new video, voice and data services. The supporting service management infrastructure is essential to manage of the complexities of the new next-generation environment, and ensure that interdependent service bundles can be managed and delivered. The introduction of a new service manage layer will allow the service provider to manage the migration to new technology platforms while minimizing the impact on existing BSS systems. ALL OF THIS WILL TRANSLATE INTO IMPROVEMENTS IN THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND FASTER TIME TO REVENUE.
6 THE ROLLOUT PLAN Bell Aliant serves residential and business customers in six Canadian provinces, including Ontario and Quebec. The fibre project covers the three maritime Canadian provinces New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia (including its capital city of Halifax). With the project s completion at the end of 2012, Bell Aliant will address one-third of its serving area. Associated with FibreOp for ultra-broadband Internet service, Bell Aliant offers Aliant TV including over 200 digital TV channels, HD-TV and PVR services. Bell Aliant also bundles triple play services, which includes Home Phone VoIP service. As Bell Aliant extended the fibre network to new cities, they realized the need to transform their back-office to an architecture that was both reliable and scalable with a growing customer base. Bell Aliant selected Sigma Systems Telco Services Accelerator and Sigma Device Provisioning for provisioning, activation and management of its services for the FibreOp network. With the Sigma Systems platform, Bell Aliant would be able to eliminate service silos, enabling the delivery of residential triple play bundles and SIP services from a single OSS service fulfillment system.
7 THE SERVICE TRANSFORMATION Prior to deploying the Telco Services Accelerator solution, broadband data services to residential consumers were provisioned and activated with a script-based solution developed in-house. With the expected up-take of service and operational scale requirements, the in-house solution been replaced with the Sigma Systems Service Management Platform to reduce manual activities, and improve reliability and performance. A key component in the service transformation project included the migration to a new IPTV support platform. Bell Aliant replaced their existing IPTV platform with Microsoft Mediaroom as an enhanced digital video service offering - launched in 2011 along with the Telco Services Accelerator. The net result of the service transformation project is that both data and IPTV service fulfillment processes are 100 percent automated. Service order-to-cash processes are now fully integrated with the Sigma Service Management Platform now connected to Bell s CRM and billing system. The Telco Services Accelerator offers Bell Aliant substantial operational cost savings by fully automating order management, provisioning and activation, including the provisioning of FTTH broadband access equipment, VoIP softswitches and IPTV middleware. This back-office transformation has given Bell Aliant the ability to go to market faster, roll out the triple-play bundle, and effectively scale their IT operations inline with consumer up-take. Leading industry vendors supported by the Telco Services Accelerator solution include integration to Alcatel-Lucent (with FTTx- GPON), GENBAND (with VoIP) and Microsoft (with IPTV). The next phase of this deployment will include automated OSS fulfillment support for SIP trunking services. Sigma Device Provisioning provides Bell Aliant a robust, automated device provisioning platform that goes well beyond basic device provisioning. This advanced device provisioning solution incorporates flexible service creation templates while providing scalable performance, robust security, superior reliability and a distributed architecture that provides centralized views and control of all SIP/IP Phone devices.
8 The business benefits As of August 2011, Bell s FibreOp network passed 294,000 homes and businesses and is on track to reaching 600,000 by the end of New subscribers are added in each quarter. This expanded customer base is providing increased revenues and profits and this in turn is allowing for future growth. The deployment of Sigma s solutions now provides a strong platform for future growth with: Built-in support for Alcatel-Lucent ONTs, GENBAND softswitches and Microsoft Mediaroom for IPTV, reducing your time to market Fully integrated service order-to-activation processes, with integration with existing CRM and billing system Compliance with the TM Forum s standards for Order Management in a next-generation OSS framework, enabling faster time to market through improved OSS to BSS interoperability Greatly reducing the complexity of provisioning and managing multiple types of SIP and IP phones for future business VoIP services. With the capabilities of a full FTTH network, Bell Aliant is now offering the fastest Internet in their serving area with maximum speeds of 170 MBps down and 30 MBps up, including in their most competitive urban market of Halifax. In addition, customers are being offered more advanced services than before, including IPTV services and associated HD content for the first time. Bell Aliant now effectively competes with a major cable operator in its serving area that crosses many provinces. CONCLUSION Service providers, like Bell, must continue to invest the delivery of enhanced video services, in order to survive in the increasingly competitive multi-screen universe. The wiser service providers can get to market quicker with a lower total cost of ownership with lower business risks by engaging with Sigma as a customer enablement partner. Sigma has the software platform, the relevant domain experience and a strong professional services team to help drive your business plans to market. Give us a call, today.
9 ABOUT US Sigma Systems is the pioneer in real-time catalog-driven products for communications, media and high tech companies. Our BSS/OSS product portfolio spans product & service catalog, configure price quote, order management, service provisioning, service inventory, cloud brokerage, device management, and active mediation, letting you easily create, sell and deliver new