Next Generation Telecom Billing - SIs role
Till recently Telecom Billing Implementations, Transformations have had a decent share of the pie with SIs. However technological advancements like LTE advanced/direct, NFV & SDN, Cloud enablement to service the current (digitization, omni channel, content sharing) and new wave of services (mobile broadband, internet of everything, contextual services, mission critical services) are witnessing changes in the Telecom Billing applications to cater to the growing stakeholders and evolving business, charging models. Cloud and Convergence has never been so much in focus as now. Market is huge for billing. Evolution of Billing applications to cater to these changes has necessitated not only Billing Product Vendors but also Network Vendors to plunge and have a pie of the share.
Network Vendors have evolved themselves to provide E2E B/OSS Solutions in addendum to the latest network deployments. The B/OSS Solution offering being pre-integrated with their network has made the whole proposition for a CSP highly cost effective with single accountability. With next generation necessitating the new network rollouts, B/OSS solutions is primarily now being delivered by Network vendors globally. Key Tier 1 Billing Product vendors in the recent past have spread their wings globally by acquiring other product vendors e.g. a product vendor dominating in the North America market after acquiring an another product vendor dominating in LATAM, APAC have now presence in the markets that they earlier did not reach out. There has been a growth in billing product vendors serving Tier 1 and Tier 2 recently, which rests the market more in hands of the product vendors. Together network and product vendors have had and are positioned for a huge pie of the market share. This complemented by solutions being cloud enabled, professional services units being set up to roll out and implement product solutions is narrowing down the scope of SIs.
So do SIs like Infosys have a role to play in enabling billing for the next generation services and getting ourselves associated in the value chain? Is there anything that we bring in this value chain? Let's first take a look at the growing value chain of telecom billing. The key stakeholders for billing would extend from current Service Providers, OTT Players, 3rd Party Content Providers, wholesale providers to the world of everyone in Internet of Everything like Autonomous Vehicles, M-health, Devices giving Contextual Services, Virtual Networks being billed for services aligned to the devices and the list is pretty long. This throws open a new set of user community to be billed, a high potential for SIs. Secondly, what we bring as a value to the table? We bring Strong knowledge of Processes, Domain and Delivery. We carry with us rich transformational experience, experience of having worked in multiple geographies, knowing pitfalls to avoid. We bring with us the thought leadership served in one market to be cross leveraged in another geographies. We put on table the rich cloud, integration and Big Data experience. More importantly, for Stakeholders the key advisory role to help them get where they want to, suggesting what would work best for them both in terms of Strategy and Technology.
However, in all of the above, what we need to be abreast is Technology, advancements being made in their billing apps. This would necessitate both with Network Vendors and Product Vendors
- Partnering, Investing and cross-skilling
- Build and Sustain excellent partner relationship. Sustenance is key
- Co-develop. We can augment their billing apps by helping them develop their functionalities, API gateways for customer empowerment, partnership enablement.
- Complement billing implementation on cloud, offering Billing as a Service
- Complement on the surround applications like Big Data and its integration
There is a potential for symbiotic relationship to be built and leveraged. All it needs is the first step, which SIs will need to take this time. SIs would need to identify the target markets and the vendors they want to partner with, build specific go-to-market solutions in a short time frame and reach out to the market aggressively. SIs are bound to stay and have the potential to earn a big pie of the market, provided they take the first step.