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Telecommunications as a Service

New Zealand is one of the most scenic countries in the world. It also has a government that is focused on improving the delivery of citizen centric services.


Under the Information and Communications Technology act (ICT), the government has launched Telecommunications as a Service (TaaS) initiative. Key features of TaaS are as follows:


• Provides a range of cross-government telecommunications and managed security services that allow various government departments and agencies to easily connect with each other and with their customers.
• Services are provided "as a service". Services are priced using flexible methods like per user per month. Agencies can easily scale up and scale down the services based on their requirements.
• These services do not require significant upfront capital expenditure. So agencies do not need to go through long and expensive procurement processes.
• Ongoing maintenance of the infrastructure and solutions will be done by the Telcos, thereby making the latest technology available for the agencies.
• Agencies can select individual services from a variety of providers. The services are expected work together seamlessly across providers and agencies creating a sort of internet for the government.
• Agencies can leverage data and information that is collected by their peer agencies as appropriate security policies would be put in place by the Telco providers.

The whole approach is very different from some of the other government programs that we have executed in other countries where the particular agency/department goes through a lengthy procurement cycle for infrastructure, hardware, software and professional services. Not to mention the significant cost and effort expended to maintain these solutions on an ongoing basis.


What does this mean for the Telcos?
The Telcos in New Zealand need to have their systems and processes in place in order to deliver to the requirements of TaaS. Conventional IT and network solutions will not be sufficient. The BSS/OSS systems of the Telcos would need to support the digital oriented experience that the government agencies expect.


Let me illustrate this with an example
Assume a scenario where a government agency already has a connectivity service and wishes to add other services to their existing sites.


Capability Needed

Solution Component

The user from the agency should be able to view their current connectivity details and request for the new services easily.

Digital  Channels

The system should automatically do a pre-qualification (availability and serviceability checks) to provide information on whether the requested service can be provided at the given site. The system can possibly make recommendations to the user for the optimal configuration that he/she can choose.

Digital   channels with inputs from BSS/OSS systems

The user should be able to provide the necessary configuration inputs and place an order for the new connectivity.

Digital  channels integrated with downstream BSS/OSS systems

Once the order is received, it can go through two scenarios

  • Service can be automatically fulfilled
  • Manual intervention is needed eg: Site visit to confirm design or install equipment. The manual tasks should get scheduled with customer confirmation and the process should follow due course.

BSS/OSS systems

Post fulfillment, the customer should be notified and should be able to view their new services. The customer billing should be updated based on their contract with the Telco.

Digital  channels integrated with downstream BSS/OSS systems


While the above seems logical, the existing landscape of the Telco can pose a number of challenges
• Siloed IT solutions - Automated fulfillment of services may be a challenge in an environment where there are different IT stacks to fulfill different kind of services.
• Manual processes - Manual hand offs lead to delays, data integrity issues and non-standardized fulfillment patterns. 
• Outdated network and IT solutions - Unless the Telco has kept their own networks and infrastructure current, it would be difficult for them to deliver the TaaS capabilities to their government clients.

The compliance to TaaS requires the Telcos to ensure that their own systems and processes are enabled to deliver the flexibility and seamless experience that the government expects. This is driving solution upgrades, consolidation and innovation within the Telco's own landscape.  The net result will be better quality of services to citizens and possibly to existing customers of the Telcos.

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