By Sukant Sharma, Senior Product Marketing Manager,
Optiva • July 25, 2022
Sukant’s career spans more than 13 years in the telecom industry, during which he has evangelized Cloud, Network, Business Support Systems, and Charging Solutions. He has been a trusted advisor to global CSPs, MVNO/Es, and enterprise CXOs, helping them learn how cloud-based solutions can simplify business operations while being efficient. At Optiva, Sukant focuses on the business value of cloud-native monetization solutions to enable service providers and MVNO/Es to harness new opportunities. He holds a master’s degree in business administration and bachelor’s in engineering.
Telecom BSS is the epicenter for creating value for customers. In a quest to become the digital service provider of choice and fulfill customer expectations, telcos are embarking on a journey to modernize their BSS. As a result, they are adopting next-generation, feature-rich, cloud-native BSS. However, managing BSS operations involves configuration complexities and operational expenditure, which can deviate a service provider’s sharp focus from monetizing customer needs to operational activities. Let’s see how.
Service providers are struggling to recruit and manage skilled professionals who ensure quality services. Training and retaining these professionals in a highly competitive environment is challenging and requires additional operational investment.
The absence of clearly defined processes, reliance on manual operations, and a lack of cognitive understanding cause delayed resolution of customer complaints. It hampers customer experience and impacts the productivity of customer service professionals, increasing revenue leakage.
Service disruption in the Covid-19 era taught service providers the importance of service availability and business continuity. Therefore, it is paramount to have the ability to launch new offerings fast to align with customers’ changing needs. So, service provider’s CXOs are concerned about the round-the-clock availability of quality services being delivered to customers and agile operations.
Considering these operational challenges, service providers are increasingly searching for a new efficient approach. While managed services have always been a good alternative, today, they seek a partner who can provide resources and more. They desire relevant expertise, BSS-specific experience and tooling, and shared responsibilities for managing their day-to-day operations. Such a partner allows them to focus on their core business to accelerate time to revenue and ensure superior customer experience to drive loyalty.
Following this approach, service providers can gain additional value and a competitive edge, including improved time to market for new services and features, overcoming configurations and testing complexities, and faster resolution of customer issues.
Today’s digital customer demands uninterrupted, 24/7 glitch-free telecom services. Hence, service providers must contain service outages with proactive identification and resolution of operational issues before customers raise them. Adopting managed services to run their BSS operations can significantly help service providers with this feat. It is also beneficial for a service provider to have a team of skilled professionals perform round-the-clock monitoring of their mission-critical BSS application and associated IT environments, e.g., operating system, database, Kubernetes etc. The team can decipher alerts and incidents and leverage automated, well-defined processes with minimal human interaction and tools such as Grafana, ELK, etc., to resolve them.
It is essential to ensure the managed services include a fully automated and well-defined process that covers the complete ticket lifecycle. It would start with automatically raising tickets based on an incident, assigning the correct severity, troubleshooting them, timely escalation to the right team for accelerated resolution, etc. That will lead to a dramatic reduction in downtime and result in zero impact on service.
For more complex business scenarios, managed services experts should leverage proven end-to-end change management processes to run continuous business operations when new changes are incorporated. Additionally, applying automation-driven continuous proactive health checks and housekeeping activities will reduce system load, ensure optimum performance, and reduce overall outage risk.
With the introduction of cloud-native software, skilled professionals are required to manage day-to-day operational activities. The cloud technology expertise should combine deep telecom industry knowledge and experience in smoothly running and managing complex next-generation cloud-native BSS platforms. With experts, it’s easy for service providers to efficiently reap the benefits of new cloud methodologies (e.g., CI/CD, DevOps, etc.), automation, the latest frameworks and tools for testing, and proven practices that accelerate time to market.
Therefore, rolling out a new feature or offer, building a new product, or developing a new test case becomes easier and faster. For example, if a service provider wants to launch a new promotional offer, without experts. Configuring BSS to create, test, launch, and manage new offers is time-consuming, complex, may take weeks instead of days, and can lead to loss of opportunities.
Consider another scenario that involves configuring a change to resolve an issue. Again, leveraging experts and automation driven test cases for configuring a change will be highly beneficial. For example, by leveraging automation, experts can fix bugs and ensure they don’t reappear; assure that previously deployed configurations remain unaffected as new ones are deployed; and ensure that configurations that were tested on a testbed before deployment behave similarly in the production environment.
A stellar offering that delivers excellent value is not enough to compete to fulfill customer experience expectations. Service providers need to have a well-architected support structure focused on driving an incredible customer experience without significantly impacting operational expenses.
Centrally managed, round-the-clock, automation-driven cloud support models allow service providers to drive superb customer experience while balancing and optimizing cost and agility. Managed services immediately level up your customer experience game with a 24/7 available team of well-trained telecom support professionals.
With proven processes and tools to handle customer complaints, support teams can quickly address issues raised by customers (service providers) and end users. By leveraging automation to handle common customer complaints, it is possible to resolve an issue before the customer even knows they have one. It also helps significantly reduce the number of trouble tickets raised and accelerate resolutions, ultimately leading to greater customer delight.
It is critical for service providers to meet performance pressures, operational expectations of the business, and keep costs under control. CXOs don’t want to end up in situations where they are asked:
Experienced domain professionals equipped with the right tools and methodologies can easily gauge the performance of BSS applications. For example, they can identify trends on the application, IT resource usage (e.g., VMs, DB), traffic patterns, and software limitations. By identifying patterns, reasons for deviations, and expected system behaviors early, appropriate process-driven logic and actions can be applied to stabilize the system’s performance before a major problem occurs.
Furthermore, experts can predict upcoming IT resource usage requirements by analyzing IT resource usage and trends from multiple systems implementations. With these insights, a service provider can provision additional IT resources capacity in a timely manner to ensure uninterrupted and optimum business operations and cost containment.
Experienced domain-specific managed services are a proven strategy to enable business to be always on, resilient, and cost predictable. It also complements service providers’ existing staff and frees them from mundane and repetitive day-to-day operational activities. Instead, they can focus on the strategic and wider business goals of delivering innovative services and staying ahead of the competition. A managed services approach offers the best of both worlds, including:
The immediate business outcomes of Optiva’s managed BSS services, which are powered by our managed services Center of Excellence, include a:
Optiva has 20+ years of proven experience deploying mission-critical BSS for hundreds of global telcos. Our 24/7 operations management includes configuring and launching new offers, testing operational changes,and handling customer engagements. Optiva enables you to deliver disruption-free services, utilizing our highly skilled domain-specific professionals and a centralized telco BSS operations know-how repository. As a result, Optiva accelerates the resolution of customer issues, ensuring an excellent customer experience while putting your business on a growth path.
Want to know more about Optiva’s 5G-ready proven BSS that powers brands globally? Request a presentation.
Have feedback or questions for the author? Contact Sukant Sharma, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Optiva
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