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Digital Convergence Solutions

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Infosys white paper outlines a model for CSPs to avoid blind spots and leverage globalization to provide digital convergence solutions & services. …

Infosys white paper outlines a model for CSPs to avoid blind spots and leverage globalization to provide digital convergence solutions & services.

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  • 1. Blind Spots on the Roads to DigitalConvergenceSubhash DharConvergence is driving Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to investtheir future in building next-generation IP networks to compete head to headwith voice, video, data, and content providers.The flat world has cleared the way for CSPs to embrace convergence as itglobalizes access to technology and erodes economic barriers. Yet most CSPshave overlooked one of the most important opportunities opened up by theflat world: the chance to globalize their operational model.This paper discusses the synergy between globalization and convergence, andprovides a blueprint on how CSPs can fully leverage globalization to win in aconverged services marketplace.For more information, please contact: csp@infosys.com Mar 2007
  • 2. Does your flat world strategy have a missing link?IP technology has helped flatten your world. Eliminating the need for dedicated connections, IP networks are always on.Enabling multiple services to coexist side by side, IP networks are eroding the technology barriers that traditionally separatedvoice, video, and data carriers.Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are mounting a variety of strategies for launching converged services. In the U.S.,cable providers were the first to upgrade their infrastructure for broadband services. Now, telcos like BT and AT&T arejoining in by building their own fiber distribution networks, while players like Verizon leapfrogging with fiber all the way tothe premises to clear the way for services like video on demand.The result? Your organization is branching out – and drawing new competition. No longer split into narrow telephony andcable niche markets, your organization is morphing into a broader-based “Communications Service Provider” whose objectiveis transitioning from low-margin legacy services to a new generation of higher margin content and services starting withvoice/video/data “triple plays.”Eroding trading barriers have similarly flattened your world. CSPs are competing in a playing field where yesterday’s regionaland national carriers are expanding into global, diversified service providers who are being challenged by a new breed ofproviders capable of competing with lower cost structures.For CSPs, the flat world has clearly expanded prospects on the revenue building side.Yet, most CSPs have yet to understand the other side of the flat world equation. In a world where technology innovation andderegulation has globalized and converged the market for communications services, it is also providing new opportunities forglobalizing the underlying operational model. Yet most CSPs are still operating based on localized models that are bound byrigid, high-cost organizational structures.For CSPs, globalized operations are the missing link in their flat world strategy. As a result, they are missing hugeopportunities to: • Tap innovation wherever it originates • Reduce their cost structure • Bolster agility • Accelerate time to market • Gain the ability to compete with anyone, anywhere, at the right price.The flat world has transformed your market, providing the ability to reach new segments with expanded triple play services.And it has also provided the opportunity to tap the efficiencies of a global workforce that can help lower your costs andincrease your agility.Given the rapid pace of change in converged services, the winners will be those who can profit from both sides of the flatworld equation. Can your company afford to ignore the benefits that a globalized operational model can provide?Globalization – The Critical Ingredient of the Flat WorldIn his book The World is Flat, Tom Friedman argued how developments in communications technologies have effectivelyleveled the playing field across the globe. Friedman listed ten flattening technologies that have built the foundations forglobal collaboration.The result is what Friedman terms a “triple convergence” where all ten flattening technologies are melding together,transforming the workplace to a horizontal, more inclusive environment that has enabled 3 billion new digital workers to jointhe global economy.For CSPs, the flat world is a doubled-sided opportunity. Having created the technology foundation for offering advancedconverged services, CSPs have the opportunity to serve established and emerging markets alike. The flipside is that the verymarkets targeted for new services are also primed for supplying a new workforce that is eager to become part of your valuechain.The result is a wider array of operational choices for matching the right ideas, skills, expertise, and wage scales to the rightareas of the business. Taking advantage of lower wage scales or overhead to become the low cost provider is just one of the2 | Infosys – View Point
  • 3. advantages of globalizing your operational strategy. By making the world your workplace, your organization gains access tonovel ideas wherever they originate, and it gains newfound agility.Consequently, globalizing operations is not simply a matter of exporting jobs from one region to the next. It involves pairingthe right portions of the business with the right skillsets, knowledge, and ideas at a sustainable price.For instance, when it comes to maintaining legacy services with low margins, CSPs must find a way for serving existingsegments. Rather than shrink margins, CSPs can use the flat world to rationalize legacy operations and dedicatedinfrastructure, engaging low cost providers to maintain core operational and back office systems, and delivering customersupport to maintain the profitability of the business.Conversely, if your organization is developing a new, a high margin service that leverages convergence, your go to marketstrategy requires the knitting together of a value chain that integrates world-class expertise with low cost providers.For instance, market researchers in your Atlanta office identify a new opportunity to deliver a network-based socialapplication to adolescents that requires a combination of hardware, software, firmware, and content. You then engagedesigners in Palo Alto and Bangalore to architect the service; firmware engineers in Beijing to design special video and GPSextensions, developers in Chennai and Kiev; and user experience experts in New York, London, or Tokyo; and encryptionspecialists in Moscow. To provide content, you contract with game authors in Dublin, which may be supplemented withentertainment content from Hollywood and Bollywood. Finally, you contract with manufacturers in Vietnam and contractlogistics providers based in Singapore to manage the supply chain and deliver the product to retail.Filling the Missing LinkOnce your organization has fully embraced the flat world to globalize its operations strategy, it grows more agile, lowers itscost structure, and improves time to market.The challenge is that while most CSPs are aiming for broader markets, they are still operating with the traditional, localizedmodels based on legacy organizational structures that carry high cost and resist innovation.How can your company fill the last gap in your flat world strategy?It starts with creating a flexible operating model based on automation and globalization that enables: • Rapid Go-to-Market capability. Mobilizing the skills and technologies to deliver innovative products, services, and content ahead of competitors requires the ability to conduct parallel build and test processes. • Better Pricing Leverage through Automation. The path to low-cost delivery starts with simple, routine service elements. It is backed by customer service teams with access to 360-degree view of customer touch points and history. And it requires the ability to swap out obsolete service features with new one. • Capability to manage complex service configurations for high value customers. CSPs earn their best margins through their ability to service large customers whose communications needs may require a unique mix of services. • 24 x 7 customer service. Round the clock support is essential because IP services will have high appeal to global customers. Furthermore, emerging integrated multimedia communications and mobility services are becoming so essential that round-the-clock customer service is becoming a requirement.Executing a successful flat world operational model requires: • Sophisticated knowledge management capability, including systems and tools that help share and analyze unstructured information fed from stakeholders inside the organization, its partners, and customers • Ability to redesign end-to-end business processes in modular fashion, facilitating on-demand aggregation and disaggregation of the parts. • Ability to hire, retain, and motivate creative and high-touch customer service professionals, managing the most critical touch points with customers to supplement automated customer service portals • Identifying and recruiting global partners, who invest in building expertise and knowledge of specific links of the value chain that complement the core competency of the communications service provider • Ability to collaborate with globally distributed teams and partners, taking advantage of state-of-the-art communications and collaboration tools that enable virtual teams to reduce cost and lead time to innovation Infosys – View Point | 3
  • 4. EpilogueCSPs that build flexible globally connected value chains will be better equipped to complete in the Converged future thatthey are aiming to build. What Convergence means to CSPs’ business model, Globalization means that to their operatingmodels. About the Author: Subhash Dhar is Vice President and head of Communications Service Providers (CSP) Business Unit at Infosys. Subhash has more than 15 years of Information and Communication Technology experience. At Infosys, he has been involved in IT services in the US and European markets. He is a member of Infosys Management Council and also of the Board of Infosys Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Infosys. Subhash was selected to the Young Global Leaders group of the World Economic Forum in January 2007 for his contribution to the WEF task force on “Global Digital Ecosystem 2015”. He also sits on the Executive Board of “Connect the World” initiative of the International Telecommunications Union of United Nations. He holds a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from BIT, Ranchi and a post-graduate degree in management from IIM, Bangalore.About Infosys CSP Practice:The Infosys Communication Service Providers (CSP) practice delivers business solutions to global telecommunication playersoffering their services in Wireline, Wireless and Cable & Broadband segments. Infosys believes that companies shouldchange their operational priorities to win in a business world being flattened by globalization, demographics, technology andregulation. Infosys is helping leading global communications service providers to effectively transform their legacy systemsand process and profitably launch new converged services based on VoIP, IPTV, IP Multi-media Subsystem (IMS), ScenarioBased Customer Service, among others.http://www.infosys.com/industries/communication/ http://www.infosysblogs.com/livewire/ http://www.infosys.com/industries/communication/default.asp/ http://www.infosys.com/voip/ http://www.infosys.com/convergence/

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