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[transform] [digital] [business]




                                                                          2010/11



...
Do you see
                      a challenge
                            or an
                          opportunity?



W...
Perspectives
           [ transform ] [ digital ] [ business ]




TM Forum Yearbook, 2010/11                             ...
We keep a close watch on your
network and services.
Successfully managing complex broadband network and ser-           asp...
Contents




Contents
9    Making time to sharpen the axe                                  32   Why real-time is the real ...
Contents




  57   Raising the standard in network security management             77   When access is like oxygen
      ...
Foreword




Making time to
sharpen the axe
       A VERY WARM WELCOME                much data). This begs the         ti...
Foreword




  is to do the same in Aus-         networks (see page 80), but                               tion of our sta...
Introduction




                                  2010:
                                  the next odyssey
              ...
Introduction




     TM Forum has been paying                                 Managing customer experi-       as everyone...
Network issues have
you losiNg your cool?
     iNtelligeNtly maNage the coNfiguratioN
         aNd iNtegrity of Next geNer...
EVERYTHING YOU NEED
TO SUCCEED IN THE WORLD OF DIGITAL SERVICES




           Benchmarking     Frameworx       Standards ...
Introduction




                       Triple play is a
                       long game
IT’S A GREAT PLEASURE           ...
■   Proven blend of experience & expertise

	   ■   Global customer footprint – 40+
        installations in 20+ countries...
Introduction




The year of
thinking differently
THIS YEAR, 2010, IS AN             differently, and we want it in     er...
Assur
                                                                                                                    ...
The New Standard                                     Based on the ITU-T Y.156sam standard,
                               ...
Global Snapshots




Where are
we now?                                              IN 2010, WORLD GROWTH             10 p...
Global Snapshots




     The growth of wireless
  services in emerging mar-           "3G networks and
  kets will compen...
Global Snapshots




invested heavily in 3G and are     loyalty to network providers,     to know where to sign up.       ...
READY FOR THE FUTURE?




 IMPROVE YOUR CONNECTIONS
                                Ascom‘s Business Unit Systems & Soluti...
Global Snapshots




                      by Wireless Intelligence that     Middle East and Africa            revenues, a...
Customer Experience Management




 Commitment at the
 top impacts the
 bottom line
  A small percent improvement in custo...
Customer Experience Management




our services,” says Ron             service groups during the                          ...
Customer Experience Management




  cost of providing service,”        ence management and define       its Customer Expe...
Webinar Title:
Reliability, Scalability, Increased Revenue:
Monitoring Ethernet Backhaul Services
Revenue Management Initiative




 Why real-time
 is the real thing
  Breaking down the old back office barriers has been ...
Revenue Management Initiative




of the Global Billing Asso-        eters could be as simple as       Business benchmarki...
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  1. 1. [transform] [digital] [business] 2010/11 Apps And Ads reshApe mobile Federated services and Top 10 innovations that will Cloud Computing needs solid networks are the future transform communications standards and security to fly
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  3. 3. Perspectives [ transform ] [ digital ] [ business ] TM Forum Yearbook, 2010/11 Contributors Editor Annie Turner Priscilla Awde is an established freelance journalist specializing in Copy Editor Nick Gordon telecoms, although she also reports on other industries. She writes for Design The Page Design Consultancy Ltd the Financial Times and the business-to-business press. www.thepagedesign.co.uk Production Management Tim Richards Dawn Bushaus has covered the communications industry for over 20 Commercial Sales Mark Bradbury - mbradbury@tmforum.org years. She works as a freelance journalist and is based near Chicago. Client Services Caroline Taylor - ctaylor@tmforum.org Head of Publications and Research, TM Forum Ankush Chibber is a Mumbai-based journalist who has been covering Rebecca Henderson - rhenderson@tmforum.org banking, technology and entrepreneurship in the Asia Pacific region for VP, Communications, TM Forum seven years. His work has appeared in the U.S., Europe and South East Nik Willetts - nwilletts@tmforum.org Asia. Published by: Tonia Graham has been the manager of the TM Forum Business TM Forum Benchmarking Program since its inception in 2004. She has over 240 Headquarters Plaza 30 years’ experience in the telecom management, networking and East Tower, 10th Floor computer industries. She also serves as Chairman of the TM Forum Morristown, NJ 07960-6628 Advisory Board and is CEO of e*Tezeract. USA www.tmforum.org Richard Handford is a highly experienced freelance writer for Phone: +1 973 944 5100 publications such as Informa Telecoms and Media’s Mobile Handset Fax: +1 973 944 5110 Analysis and is a contributor to The Economist’s Technology Quarterly. Printed by William Gibbons & Sons Ltd Alun Lewis is a freelance writer and consultant who has specialized in convergence technologies in marcoms, PR and journalism for over 20 years. This edition of Perspectives is dedicated to Lynd Morley, who was the first editor of the TM Forum George Malim is a freelance journalist who contributes regularly yearbook, between 2006 and 2008. As a journalist she to Global Telecoms Business, Capacity, Mobile, VanillaPlus and was always generous with her time and reporting, and Communications News. He was editor of Stream, Europe’s first became a much valued member of the Forum family. magazine on mobile content. He has also worked for Silicon.com. She had interest in and well informed views on a huge range of subjects, from horse paddocks (which we Tony Poulos is the head of revenue management sector, TM Forum. discussed often), to human rights and myriad aspects of the communications industry. She was well connected and very well Robert J. (Rob) Rich is MD of TM Forum’s Insights Research. He has liked, not least for her irreverent sense of humor. We, and others who more than 16 years’ experience in market research and consulting, knew her, miss her personally and professionally. including 11 years as executive VP of communications & networking at the Yankee Group. Before that, he spent 17 years in the computing and Keith Willetts, Chairman and CEO, TM Forum networking industry. Susana Schwarz served as editor with TM Forum’s Research & Publications and currently is a freelance journalist specializing in back office and emerging technologies. Karen E. Thuermer has over 25 years of experience as a journalist specializing in economic development, international business, and logistics. She has written for many publications including Forbes, Boston Globe and Washington Business Journal. She is based in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. © 2010. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in Annie Turner started her career as communications journalist in the 1980s a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means: electronic, and hasn’t been bored since. As well as editing Perspectives, she is mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission editor of Payments Cards and Mobile, and ICT for Education magazines. of the publisher, TeleManagement Forum. The views and opinions expressed by independent authors and contributors in this publication are provided in the John Williamson edits the yearbook Jane’s Military Communications, writers’ personal capacities and are their sole responsibility. Their publication Convergence World magazine and the Global Startups, a newsletter for does not imply that they represent the views or opinions of TeleManagement Forum and must neither be regarded as constituting advice on any matter venture capitalists. He is a regular contributor to telecomredux.com. whatsoever, nor be interpreted as such. The reproduction of advertisements and Previously he worked for Telephony, Telecommunications, and sponsored features in this publication does not in any way imply endorsement by Microwave Journal. He has also written for publications from Computer TeleManagement Forum or of products or services referred to therein. Weekly to the Wall Street Journal. www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 3
  4. 4. We keep a close watch on your network and services. Successfully managing complex broadband network and ser- aspect of your broadband network and services: from KPIs and vice infrastructures requires an eye for detail. NEXUS TELECOM protocol details, to CDRs and User Plane data. With NEXUS has the monitoring tools and know-how to investigate the TELECOM, you gain the insight you need to improve your custo- activity in your network and the quality of your services down mers’ experience. Let us give you the edge. NEXUS TELECOM: to the very last detail. Our solutions examine every element and your choice for network and service investigations. Visit us at www.nexustelecom.com
  5. 5. Contents Contents 9 Making time to sharpen the axe 32 Why real-time is the real thing Foreword by Keith Willetts, Chairman & CEO, TM Forum Tony Poulos and Tonia Graham The reluctance among network operators to transform The future of revenue management is about handling their back office as growth stalls, core revenues fall and transactions almost instantly – and being able to tell how mobile data surges is like the woodcutter who’s too busy well you’re doing it. The most effective way of doing this to sharpen his axe. is to benchmark key areas of performance against peers to prioritize and maximize investment. Introductions 36 Catalogs critical as industry enters new lifecycle 13 2010: The next odyssey in communications By George Malim Martin Creaner, President, TM Forum Product lifecycle management moves center stage in the As we start to emerge from the global recession, there is communications industry, as it has already done in so a profusion of threats and opportunities. Communications many other sectors, as time to market becomes critical. players need to make up their minds how and where they want to compete. 41 Get faster results by spending less time and money By Alun Lewis 17 Triple play is a long game The communications industry, which has contributed so Engineer Akil Beshir, Chairman, Telecom Egypt much to globalization, is seeing its own borders eroded. Tariffs have dropped to an alarming level in the Middle Service oriented principles can turn this situation into a East, hampering network investment. This is a time of win for communications service providers. consolidation in the region, and of building for the future. 46 Exposing assets to enable new services 19 The year of thinking differently By George Malim Ben Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent One of the key processes needed to enable two-sided There are many options open to communications service business models and other roles in the value chain is providers to go and grow with customers’ needs, none of migrating data from multiple sources. The need for which is about simply providing a pipe. standardized principles and best practices to do so efficiently is becoming urgent. Familiar Themes, New Twists 23 Where are we now? 50 Balancing bandwidth supply, demand and price By Annie Turner By Richard Handford Snapshots from around the globe question how fast 4G and fixed mobile convergence demand new business India’s mobile market is really growing and why prepaid and operational models. The bad news is this needs to is making big inroads in developed economies that has happen fast. The good news is they present operators nothing to do with recession. with the chance to develop new, revenue-generating services. 28 Commitment at the top impacts the bottom line By Dawn Bushaus 52 Waiting on the platform Managing the customer experience: a small percent By Susana Schwarz and Annie Turner improvement in customer loyalty can generate a big Confusion surrounds service delivery platforms, which increase in profits – what greater incentive is there to make is why TM Forum is developing its Service Delivery it happen? How will network neutrality affect services? Framework – after all, look what happened to IMS. www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 5
  6. 6. Contents 57 Raising the standard in network security management 77 When access is like oxygen By John Williamson By Annie Turner Securing all-IP networks is work in progress, with much Future shock: why federated networks and services are achieved already and some clear ideas about what we the key to success when the entertainment, information need to do in the short and longer term. and communications industries’ business models are being destroyed by native web companies. 60 The toughest juggling act ever Cultural and business transformation is difficult to achieve, 80 When ads are apps the game changes but there is little choice for operators as core margins By Annie Turner are squeezed. Help is at hand, though, in the shape of Battle lines are being drawn in the fight for the massive, Frameworx. emerging mobile advertising market. As apps continue to grab headlines, how can the operators make money from New Horizons the new mobile ecosystem? 63 Seeing through the clouds 85 Avoiding the dumb pipe dilemma By Rob Rich By Rob Rich Cloud services are full of promise, but there’s lots to Adapting to market conditions and adopting new business do to release their potential – particularly concerning models is of course the short answer, but there are many interoperability, common standards, security and grasping factors to take into account and perhaps some unexpected a whole new business paradigm. outcomes. 66 Who goes there and there goes who? 88 The next 10 big things starting now By John Williamson By Karen E. Thuermer Identity management – controlling access to ICT systems Innovations that will have a big influence on our lives in – is big business, and growing fast as access to the the next five years, all around the globe, from clouds and Internet and myriad systems pervades more and more webs, to being online when offline, mobile payments and aspects of our lives. taking the tablet. 71 Cable blasts into telecoms 92 TM Forum Annual Report 2010/11 By Priscilla Awde The essential guide to what’s going on in TM Forum, There’s still great scope for growth in residential, small from the successor of NGOSS, Frameworx, to multi- companies and enterprise markets – and cablecos are on lingual training and events around the world, exclusive it, surging into what was the telecom heartland. in-depth and fast-take reports, benchmarking against peer organizations (anonymously, of course), major 74 Still standing at the crossroads collaborations between members from all over the globe By Ankush Cibber and our progress in new sectors including cable and IPTV and mobile TV searches are searching for viable defense. And much more. business models in the face of competition from over-the- top players. Much better marketing would be a good start. 98 Index of Advertisers 6 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
  7. 7. Foreword Making time to sharpen the axe A VERY WARM WELCOME much data). This begs the tipping point. It simply cannot to Perspectives, the TM billion dollar question, “What go on as it is. The rollercoast- Forum’s yearbook for 2010. happens when smartphones er that was started 20 years Since I wrote the introduc- are owned by the major- ago by a combination of liber- tion to last year’s edition, the ity?”. Android handsets are alization and the birth of mass year has flown by; I said then beginning to gain traction as market mobile is speeding up, it would be challenging, and many more models hit the making what has gone before it was. networks, including Google’s look pedestrian. In general the industry held own Nexus One, and there Consolidation in the up well in the face of global is much talk about dramati- industry is inevitable. Bharti economic crisis, but as most cally lowering the cost of Airtel has long been looking parts of the world emerge smartphones by the likes of for acquisitions outside its from the downturn, it is the Huawei, to make them more native India and, as we went over-the-top players who are affordable in developed and to press, it had bid $9 billion accelerating out of it, having developing markets. for Zain’s African proper- already shown an extraor- All of which has huge im- ties. Other groups that are dinary turn of speed during plications for core transport, likely to grow by acquisition the recession. For commu- backhaul and the radio net- include China Mobile, Qtel, nications service providers work, which will need huge Telefónica (which has many (CSPs), a lot of markets are investment to cope. In the businesses in Latin America saturating; there is little or meantime, it is Apple, Google and Europe), Telenor (which no growth (IDC is predicting et al who are monetizing the is very active in Asia) and growth of less than 2 percent mobile web, with Google in Vodafone to deliver share- in the coming year), tariffs particular storming into the holder value. are continuing to fall and, to mobile advertising market. Cost cutting is another cap it all, there is massive The anticipated revenues obvious approach and there growth in mobile data traffic. from location-based services, are some intelligent moves, A startling example is that MMS and mobile content such as O2 UK recently an- AT&T has experienced a have failed to materialize for nouncing it will outsource the 5,000-fold rise in data traf- CSPs, and the temporary ad- running of its network to BT. fic in the last three years, vantage gained by those who Across Europe, O2 and Voda- although only 40 percent got exclusive rights to the fone have said they will share of its subscriber base has iPhone will soon disappear. network sites where it makes smartphones (and by no It is clear that the commu- economic and operational means all of them generate nications industry is nearing a sense to do so and Vodafone www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 9
  8. 8. Foreword is to do the same in Aus- networks (see page 80), but tion of our standards, better tralia. All of which is in the it is only part of the picture supporting their implementa- “This back office spirit of cooperation, in sharp and very early days too. tion, training, advice and help comparison to the corporate Nevertheless, as the paralysis among through our Communications raiding that went on just over need to find new revenues operators is like the Resource Center. 10 years ago. becomes ever more urgent woodcutter saying, Our recently announced This will add impetus to the and the obligation to invest ‘I’ve got all these Frameworx integrated busi- move among equipment sup- heavily in networks draws trees to cut down, ness architecture is another pliers to consolidate further. closer, it is not uncommon major step forward. Built on but no time to Already the likes of Oracle, to find the attitude that the solid foundation of the Amdocs, HP, Telcordia and transforming the back office sharpen my axe’.” industry’s leading NGOSS IBM are winning contracts (from an unwieldy collection platform, Frameworx is across the entire operator of disparate systems into a designed around service ori- groups as CSPs move away standardized set-up, which is ented principles and aligned from cumbersome bespoke cheaper and massively more to major IT standards such back office systems. There efficient to run and provision as Information Technology is broad recognition that new services on) is an unwel- Infrastructure Library. It is today’s market conditions do come distraction in a time of also compatible with recog- not allow the ‘luxury’ of time impending crisis. nised enterprise architecture or budget for building highly This back office paralysis methodologies such as Open customized approaches or among operators is like the Group Architecture Frame- supporting typical software woodcutter saying, “I’ve got work (TOGAF). Frameworx cost ratios of around 5: 1 all these trees to cut down unifies the existing Business between customization costs but no time to sharpen my Process (eTOM), Information and software license costs. axe”. (SID) and Application (TAM) Overall there is a great Agility, standardization and frameworks into integrated deal more fluidity than there flexibility in the back office target business architec- ever was previously about are key to CSPs being able to ture for 21st century digital what is done in-house and prosper – particularly across services. bought ‘off the shelf’. Exactly groups that grow by merger As the tipping point draws what the optimum balance is and acquisition, are mov- nearer, TM Forum’s primary remains to be seen. ing towards network shar- mission is to help its mem- TM Forum also welcomes ing, structural separation or bers restructure, transform the formation of a consortium outsourcing. Otherwise the and rebalance their busi- by 24 mobile operators plus underlying problem is just nesses, to ensure they come leading suppliers, the Whole- multiplied and the economies down on the winning side. sale Applications Commu- and efficiencies of scale can- nity. Their aim is to provide not be realized. developers with one-stop ac- In response to market cess to getting their apps to conditions and the needs of market by creating a single, our members, TM Forum uniform apps platform. This has been focusing on making kind of federated approach is implementation simpler and Keith Willetts key to operators overcoming more effective. We’re doing Chairman & CEO the geographic limits of their this by improving the integra- TM Forum 10 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
  9. 9. Introduction 2010: the next odyssey in communications TO SAY THE PAST 18 MONTHS it: Most have been unable to or mobile broadband connec- has led to soaring demand have been challenging would generate fresh revenue from tion fee. for more bandwidth. Serious be a gross understatement. new services. So on the one hand CSPs questions will, of course, Communications along with There have been a lot of have to develop and launch remain concerning handsets’ everyone else has suffered trials of new services. Many innovative services that will compatibility, backhaul re- from the deep recession, have been successful from delight and retain their own quirements and standards. although compared to some a user volume perspective, customers, and churn cus- TM Forum will be playing industries it held up well. The few if any have made the tomers from their competi- its part by defining some of perception of communications breakthrough into generating tors. On the other hand they the key standards for how the services as vital to everyday serious revenue. have to find business models new network equipment is life has largely spared our The staggering ‘success’ that coax their customers to to be managed – most likely industry from the blows that of the iPhone has generated expand their overall spending in a hybrid 2G, 3G, and 4G have been dealt to banking, a massive amount of data on communications services environment. Many CSPs are automotive, retail, travel and traffic, but very little revenue – particularly the ones that put planning to roll out commer- other market sectors. for the CSPs or most of the most strain on the networks. cial services in the back-half Now as we climb out of application developers. The At the same time, they have of 2010, and while some of this slump, the profusion of vast majority of the billions of to navigate the regulatory and these will slip into the next threats and opportunities applications that have been philosophical challenges that year, I expect to see some means that every commu- downloaded are free, and are tied up with the issue of a impressive launches. nications player has to think the consequent huge data neutral or non-neutral net. Another area that will broadly and rapidly about growth has been accom- Network neutrality is com- doubtless continue to be high where they plan to compete modated by fixed price plans plex and the single biggest on the hype meter is cloud in the changing communica- thereby creating serious issue facing the industry since computing or cloud services tions value chain. network issues for the CSPs, deregulation. I’m confident in (see article on page 63). While Surviving such extreme but little additional revenue. It predicting that it will not be some might dismiss cloud as economic conditions is an certainly is a conundrum. solved in 2010, but over the simply the second coming of achievement, but sharehold- Where does it leave the coming 12 months I expect the application service pro- ers expect their investments industry for the coming year? to see some very interesting vider model, I think this time to thrive. For communication The public is becoming more developments. around it’ll be much more service providers (CSPs) thriv- enamored of the fixed and relevant and will take off a lot ing means generating large mobile Internet, and more What’s hot for 2010? faster. Of course, there will streams of new revenue to demanding of their commu- In the mobile space, 4G (LTE be security concerns among replace the inexorable slide nications connections and and WiMAX – see article on large enterprises that are of voice revenue and margin. devices. Unfortunately, this is page 50) holds a lot of prom- nervous about parting with This is where the real chal- allied to an entrenched belief ise for large parts of the world their data, but most of these lenge is, and recent years that most of these services that either don’t yet have a 3G issues are ones of perception have shown that CSPs have should be free to use – bun- infrastructure or where the rather than technology and so singularly failed to address dled as part of a modest fixed proliferation of smartphones can be addressed. www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 13
  10. 10. Introduction TM Forum has been paying Managing customer experi- as everyone attempts to find very close attention to cloud “I won’t predict ence is as old as telecom the sweet spot in this area. services, and during Man- itself, and has developed a Some companies, such as which approach agement World Americas in bad reputation as the topic Blyk, adopt a model where December 2009 we kicked off works best, but it that CSPs talk about most, the advertising is targeted the Enterprise Cloud Buyers is clear to me that but do least about. But this based on a user-defined Council (ECBC), an industry- the winner will be time I think the interest and profile. Others develop a wide organization whose aim the one that leaves concern is real, and I expect dynamic user profile built by is to remove impediments to the recipient of the investment dollars to fol- mining data from the users’ cloud technology adoption low this topic. browsing, calling and texting and the growth of commercial advertising viewing With the advent of more activity. I won’t predict which cloud services. The ECBC it as content rather and more complex services, approach works best, but it will initially be working on than spam.” distribution methods and is clear to me that the winner defining common terminol- value chain partnerships, will be the one that leaves ogy, governance models and operators have come to the recipient of advertising service level agreements for realize the strong correlation viewing it as content rather the procurement and delivery between customer experi- than spam. of cloud services. ence and profitability. They What makes cloud really are putting measures in place A front row seat interesting is that many TM to ensure customers are get- TM Forum plans to be there Forum members have a ting the services they paid for, every step of the way as the dual interest in it. Like any at the right price, without any industry navigates its way out enterprise, these companies hiccups. Allied to this is an of the recession and turns to can see the potential cost and emerging set of approaches standards, frameworks and efficiency benefits of using using policy-based manage- other supporting solutions cloud services, but many have ment and embedded probes, to reduce costs and risk, in- woken up to the fact that which allow a much more crease revenues and become they could be cloud service systematic and scientific ap- more profitable. providers too, providing infra- proach proactively to manag- Stick with us as we con- structure, solution platforms ing customer experience. tinue on the leading edge of or software as a service. This My final hot topic for 2010 all aspects of communications double-edged aspect means is mobile advertising (see – whether mobile, fixed line or that cloud computing will be- page 80 and also TM Forum cable – and newer areas such come a main plank of Forum Monetizing Mobile: When Ads as defense and government. strategy over the coming year. are Apps Quick Insights Re- No matter where you fall in Another key area for the port). With the level of invest- the value chain and what your coming year will be manag- ment being made currently by role is, TM Forum is the place ing customer experience (see key industry players such as to turn to keep you moving article on page 28). During an Microsoft, Google and Apple forward. attendee poll at Management in acquiring players in this World Americas, I was not space, we can be certain of surprised to find customer fireworks as each of these, experience at the top of many and many others, look to gain people’s list of concerns and a return on their investments. Martin Creaner issues that need to be in the I expect to see multiple busi- President spotlight. ness models being tried out TM Forum 14 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
  11. 11. Network issues have you losiNg your cool? iNtelligeNtly maNage the coNfiguratioN aNd iNtegrity of Next geNeratioN Networks with NakiNa. BriNg it oN. NothiNg stops NakiNa www.nakinasystems.com
  12. 12. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SUCCEED IN THE WORLD OF DIGITAL SERVICES Benchmarking Frameworx Standards Best Practices Thought Conferences Webinars Revenue Leadership Management Collaboration Community Catalyst Awards Training Certification Research Publications ENABLING THE DIGITAL SERVICES REVOLUTION www.tmforum.org
  13. 13. Introduction Triple play is a long game IT’S A GREAT PLEASURE across the Middle East, but problems with quality of to write a short opening movies alone are not enough. service caused by operators’ article welcoming you to TM The other big area is sports inability to invest in upgrading Forum’s Perspectives. The coverage, especially soccer. their networks. Middle East and Egypt have (In February 2010, Egypt won I also expect to see yet to see the end of the the Africa Cup of Nations and consolidation in the region financial crisis. At the macro set many new records on through mergers and acquisi- level, pre-crisis the region its way to victory.) We also tions. Some service provid- was booming, but now in need to Arabise content from ers simply won’t be able to Egypt we expect a growth elsewhere. survive on their own due to rate in gross domestic So content provision will increased competition and product (GDP) of 5 percent become our core business. also the crisis has made in June 2010, the end of our We won’t develop and create banks more difficult about fiscal year. it ourselves (a few operators providing lines of credit. In absolute terms this is a such as France Telecom have This is not bad news for good result and would be a attempted this), but we will the region, and certainly we real achievement for many work through partnerships expect there will be opportuni- countries, but it does not and there are lots of poten- ties for us to make acquisi- compare well with our recent tial partners to choose from, tions. We are already looking history. We really need 7.5 per- such as ART, Orbit, Show- for targets in the Middle East cent growth in GDP to drive time and Rotana. and North Africa that are either development and create jobs. We don’t expect to make integrated fixed and mobile op- In telecoms, 2010 prom- any money from triple play in erators, or mobile-only service ises to be a difficult year in the next three years, indeed providers. We are not interest- the region in general and we may incur a loss as it will ed in green-field licenses, nor Egypt in particular. We are have a long payback period. in fixed-only operators; that is seeing a slowing down in the But we think it’s very im- not our strategy. “We don’t expect growth rate of mobile and portant in the fight to retain In short, we think 2010 to make any money stagnation in fixed line de- customers as competition will be a tough year, but we ployment. Our great hope is becomes fiercer. expect to see the start of from triple play broadband, fixed and mobile, Already competition is some relief from the crisis in in the next three which we do expect to grow intensifying and prices have 2011. Our industry is chang- years, indeed we at a most reasonable rate. dropped to an alarming level ing fast all over the world and may incur a loss We also expect to see lots of right across the Middle East. changing lives too. From the as it has a long new services emerging as a Value is being destroyed for perspective of the Middle payback period. result, most of all triple play. operators to the extent that East that change has never The challenge here is it will affect their ability to been more exciting and But we think it is to source enough Arabic expand and modernize their challenging. very important in content. Egypt itself has a networks, and to invest in the fight to retain big movie industry and the customer service. In the near Engineer Akil Beshir customers.” films made here are popular future I foresee a lot of Chairman, Telecom Egypt www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 17
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  15. 15. Introduction The year of thinking differently THIS YEAR, 2010, IS AN differently, and we want it in erators could earn money this Apple are the ones geared exciting year in our industry. an all-you-can-eat package. way or that, but actually there up to do all that, but there People communicate in a The business model is are only two real questions. are a lot of things network different way than they ever clear from the consumers’ The first is to establish what operators can do to add value did before and this is present- point of view. They know their business model should if they want to. ing great challenges. Phone what price they are prepared be and the second is how to Service providers have a calls, fax and email all revolve to pay – little or zero. The differentiate themselves from choice. They can choose to around words and the net- same cannot be said for the competitors. These are what run a utility business very effi- works were designed for this. network operators’ business matter. ciently if that’s the best route Now suddenly communication model. They built the network There is no single answer to for them, and there most is about collaboration, two- for words and then broadband either question. The head of certainly is a market for it. way exchange of non-verbal and backhaul to deal with a large network operator said Or they can think different- information including pictures large amounts of data. Then to me recently, “I do the best ly. That their migration path and most of all, video. all of a sudden consumers vanilla ice cream, but now I’m involves meeting different Welcome to the next gen- are eating huge amounts of being asked to do another 48 customers’ needs. For in- eration. It’s great, but it puts bandwidth. Smartphones that flavors.” That’s true. Web, stance: managing your social a huge amount of pressure are always on; peer-to-peer content and device compa- network for you; making sure on service providers because communication has expanded nies like Google, Disney, and you are secure in everything what we expect from them massively, and there is more you do; creating location-type has changed too. Yes, we and more video. services; ensuring continuity want what we always got If five years ago people between your business and from them, that is reliability, could’ve seen what’s avail- private life and leisure time; or security and safety – in fact able to them today, they’d “Service providers connecting your car via LTE so we take those things for have been willing to pay for it, can go and grow that it’s a part of the network. granted. but things happen in stages with customers’ In other words, service pro- But on top of that we want and they certainly won’t pay viders can go and grow with needs. All these the Internet in the palm of our now. Customers’ perception customers’ needs. All these hands. We expect always-on and experience is key, and things are possi- things are possibilities and activity wherever we are and service providers have to live bilities and none none of them is about simply the same experience every- with that. of them is about providing an access pipe. where. We don’t want to There is huge debate about simply providing an remember different pass- what to do. Thousands of access pipe.” Ben Verwaayen words or to have to behave people say that network op- CEO, Alcatel-Lucent www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 19
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  18. 18. Global Snapshots Where are we now? IN 2010, WORLD GROWTH 10 percent, India 8 percent, A virtual, whistle-stop tour of the world, will be led by emerging Russia 5.3 percent, Brazil 4.8 comprising snapshots of what’s going on in market consumers. Morgan percent), up from 1.6 per- different regions or countries that illustrate, or Stanley forecasts 4 percent cent in 2009. A rebalancing global gross domestic product towards domestic demand-led sometimes alter, our impression of the overall (GDP) growth this year. How- growth in [emerging markets] picture there. At the very least, they present a ever, this number conceals is well underway.” The report starting point from which to gain a more two very different situations. concludes, “growth in emerg- in-depth understanding of local markets. For developed economies ing economies has staying growth of 2 percent in aver- power and has even been age GDP is expected in the bolstered by the crisis.” By Annie Turner G10 economies. The U.S. will lead with Emerging energy growth of 2.8 percent, the What does this mean for European Union is expected the global communications to grow by less than half that market? It will continue to rate (1.2 percent), while Japan expand, with emerging mar- will hardly grow at all (0.4 kets offsetting the spending percent). deceleration in advanced However, the outlook for economies, according to Mon- emerging markets is more ica Zlotogorski, editor of TM positive, where Morgan Stan- Forum’s Inside Latin America ley forecasts “output to grow and vice chair of TM Forum’s by 6.5 percent this year (China Latin America Advisory Board. www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 23
  19. 19. Global Snapshots The growth of wireless services in emerging mar- "3G networks and kets will compensate for the mobile data services slowdown in the advanced economies. The expansion of will prop up the the mobile sector in emerging worldwide telecoms markets has been a key build- market, prompting ing block to economic growth, it to grow at a 6 so one supports the other. percent compound The analyst firm Analysys annual growth rate Mason predicted in October 2009 that 3G networks and to reach $2.4 trillion mobile data services will prop in revenues in 2013." up the worldwide telecoms market, prompting it to grow at a 6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $2.4 trillion in revenues in 2013. subscribers in January 2010, fallen dramatically, with up will graduate to the largely The firm also reported that to bring the total to more than to 12 competing operators in contract-based model of mobile data traffic will grow at 545 million, which equates to some areas of the country. richer countries as they de- a 131 percent CAGR through a mobile teledensity of over A large number of the SIMs velop. Zlotogorski thinks this 2013. The key cause for this 46 percent, according to the are so-called lifetime cards is wrong-headed and argues growth is the expected 3G Telecoms Regulatory that are considered active that developed markets will network deployments in many Authority of India. even when they are not, while also see a shift towards emerging markets, such as Churn could be more of an analysts said some newer prepaid, even after the China and India, in addition to issue here too than is widely operators are also sending economic crisis recedes. Long Term Evolution deploy- understood, despite the lack SIMs to retailers that have There is considerable ments in mature markets of number portability. At the been activated before they evidence to support her during the next few years. beginning of March 2010, the are sold to end-users. view. For instance, Pyramid Zlotogorski writes, “In sum- Financial Times reported that Syed Safawi, president of Research predicts that over mary, more people will have the true number of Indian wireless at Reliance Com- the next five years we will access to the Internet in the mobile phone users is up to munications, India's second see more than 90 million new next 10 years, the Internet 40 percent lower than official largest mobile operator, was mobile broadband subscrip- will be wireless, and most of numbers suggest. As the quoted saying, "It's for compa- tions in Europe. Pyramid thinks the growth will come from newspaper said, this raises nies like us [to work out] how prepaid broadband will play a emerging economies. Conse- questions over the true extent we can leverage [multiple big role in this growth, since it quently 2010 will be remem- of India's telecoms boom and SIMs] to our advantage." He has a large addressable market bered as the beginning of the the valuations of its wireless estimates the ratio of SIMs to in high income markets with mobile Internet being driven operators. user in India at about 1.25. developed fixed broadband by emerging markets.” Phones have just come infrastructure (predominantly onto the Indian market that Under-valuing prepaid Western Europe) and in low- India's reality check allow the user to swap SIM Prepaid fuels the growth in income countries where there India is still the world’s single cards, hence Indians are buy- emerging markets and is is a lack of fixed broadband fastest growing market; ing multiple SIM cards to get often viewed as a hallmark (Central and Eastern Europe). it added nearly 20 million the best deals. Prices have of less mature markets that Operators that have 24 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
  20. 20. Global Snapshots invested heavily in 3G and are loyalty to network providers, to know where to sign up. the deal would reduce costs. now beginning to invest in 4G they’re more interested in Using advanced OSS tools to "To maintain our competitive- need to make sure that they trying out the next big thing. reduce prepaid churn and also ness going forward in the get the most revenue from In Zlotogorski’s words, “they the percentage of inactive medium and long term, it is that investment. are of a prepaid mindset”. customers is the route to an of the essence that we end Operators are skilled at She argues that prepaid improved bottom-line in these up running an integrated postpaid mobile broadband doesn’t mean less opportu- difficult economic times.” operation," he said. offers, Pyramid states, but nity. For example, it opens up prepaid mobile broadband is the doors to more options to Far from Slim pickings Latin financial services new. Success will depend sponsor mobile products and The world’s richest man (ac- In Latin America the payment on pricing mobile broadband services. She adds, “Clearly cording to Forbes in March preferences of mobile users perfectly in relation to two there’s a greater need for 2010) is concentrating on is being explored as a route factors: Its affordability in more operational flexibility, scale and integration better to to new services. NovoPay- relation to disposable income efficiency and adaptability oppose his nearest competi- ment, the region’s biggest and the availability of fixed than ever before. We are in tion, Telefónica. Mexican prepaid card issuer, forecast broadband, according to the great need of a new business billionaire Carlos Slim is to that Latin America's pre-paid, research house. model that can support such merge his assets across the general purpose, reloadable Neil Heyes, regional substantial transformation. Latin American region to cre- mobile and utilities card member development CSPs from the U.S., Western ate “a massive and integrated market could be worth nearly director, Europe, TM Forum Europe and some developed fixed/mobile group in most of $160 billion a year by 2015. comments, “What we offer countries in Asia may have a the area's countries, some of This growth will be driven our members is not necessar- lot to learn about surviving in which are seeing high mobile by the mechanism for prepaid ily about differentiation – one a prepaid/low ARPU type of growth”, according to Caro- being extended to a general broadband offering is much scenario.” line Gabriel, head of research, purpose payment instrument. like another – it’s about Rethink Wireless. NovoPayment’s CEO, Anabel helping them streamline and Churn, churn, churn Slim's main vehicle is Amer- Perez stated, “Prepaid general- run a more efficient business Wally Swain, SVP Emerg- ica Móvil, Latin America's larg- purpose cards are a value so they have the resources ing Markets, Yankee Group, est cellco by subscribers. This proposition for mobile and utili- to dedicate to ways of agrees, pointing out that will now acquire his Telmex ties service providers and their differentiating themselves.” “churn management becomes and Telmex International units, customers because they create IDC pointed out that during an even more critical issue… which provide mainly fixed loyalty, improve margins and the first part of 2009, the top Prepaid churn management is line services in Mexico and connect the region’s largest 10 cellular carriers in the U.S. all about using sophisticated much of the rest of the Latin consumer group – which added just under 3.5 million data mining and customer America, respectively. make up the base of the pyra- retail net subscribers. Out relationship management Gabriel reckons this will mid – to a modern payments of these, 75 percent were techniques to target offers give the combined entity huge and services infrastructure.” prepaid users, which in total that appeal to a particular economies of scale, plus the make up 19.2 percent of the client’s profile,” in a recent ability to offer flexible com- 20 take control subscribers for the top 10 column published in TM binations of fixed and mobile That mobile services are carriers in the U.S. Forum’s Inside Latin America. services to drive ARPU and increasingly a business of This is because the profile He added, “This is the oper- customer uptake – an advan- scale is underlined by the fact of phone users is changing. ating system software (OSS) tage already gained in many that the top 20 global cellco Those born after 1995 grew challenge; as penetration markets by Telefónica. groups now control 57 per- up with the Internet and rises, growth slows and it is Carlos Garcia Moreno, cent of all the world's mobile don’t want to be bound by no longer sufficient to merely America Móvil’s finance connections. In summer 2009 contracts. They have no hang out a sign for clients director, told Bloomberg that Gabriel cited figures published www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 25
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  22. 22. Global Snapshots by Wireless Intelligence that Middle East and Africa revenues, according to Ballout. Operators are showed these top 20 carriers As 2008 gave way to 2009, He thinks the arrival of a have about 2.4 billion connec- the African land grab slowed slew of Android handsets in finally beginning tions, spanning 118 of 223 of down and investors started 2010 will have a profound to see some of the countries it tracks. to take African markets more effect, with the advent of their suppliers China Mobile leads the field seriously, concentrating on web-enabled phones for $30. as partners. For with 11.5 percent of global providing coverage rather than “Even Nokia has bought into instance, Etisalat connections, at 479 million – simply obtaining operating it. Web 2.0 is not a promise, almost twice that of Vodafone licenses, according to Nasser but imminent via mobile, and is in negotiation Group, which has 247 million Ballout, membership develop- the other most important with companies like subscribers across 19 mar- ment associate, Middle East, development after Android Apple, Research kets where it holds a majority TM Forum. this year is the arrival of the in Motion and stake in a cellco (10 of these He says that while previ- cloud (see page 63). These Google because are in Western Europe, the ously operators concentrated two things together will drive it recognizes others spread around Eastern on urban areas, now they are profound change,” he claims. Europe, India, the Middle East turning their attention to sub- Another important develop- the market is and Africa). urban and rural areas; a good ment is that, “Operators are changing…” In close contention for example is Etisalat’s build out finally beginning to see some third and fourth places come in rural Nigeria. of their suppliers as partners. Telefónica and América Móvil of While Africa’s astonish- For instance, Etisalat is in Mexico (which controls Telmex). ing growth defied the global negotiation with companies These two operate in 13 of slump, growing faster than in such as Apple, Research in the same markets, and boast any other region of the world Motion and Google because 190.1 million and 174.9 million since 2003, the United Nations they recognize the market is connections respectively. Conference on Trade and changing, the value chain is The rest of the top 20 in Development (UNCTAD) said changing and so are their roles terms of total global mobile in October 2009 that urgent in it. Etisalat recognised that connections is as follows: action is needed to improve in two years’ time, providing China Unicom, Deutsche Africa’s slow, expensive voice services would not be Telekom/T-Mobile, Telenor, Internet access. An UNCTAD enough, so it is working on MTS of Russia/CIS, Verizon report found monthly broad- transforming its business. If Wireless, France Telecom/ band access in Burkina Faso, you want an iPhone, you have Orange, pan-Middle East and the Central African Republic to sign up for a data plan.” Africa group MTN, AT&T, and Swaziland is the most ex- He concludes, “The real Telekomsel of Indonesia, pensive in the world, costing innovation is about how to Telecom Italia, Russia's more than $1,300. deliver services efficiently, in VimpelCom, Weather Invest- In mobile, content is begin- particular it’s about controlling ments Group (controller of ning to make its presence felt costs intelligently and time to half of Orascom plus Wind, in Africa, with sales of games, market, although it is hard to TIM Hellas and others), an- ringtones, music downloads overestimate the boost given other Middle East and Africa and so on growing, and now by the FIFA [soccer] World giant Zain, Reliance of India, accounting for 2 to 3 percent Cup which is being held in Orascom (its direct hold- of African operators’ total South Africa in summer 2010. ings), and with NTT DoCoMo income, while all non-voice Sponsor MTN started building bringing up the rear on 54.7 activities account for between out additional infrastructure million connections. 8 and 12 percent of their total early in 2008." www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 27
  23. 23. Customer Experience Management Commitment at the top impacts the bottom line A small percent improvement in customer loyalty can generate a big increase in profits – what greater incentive is there to make it happen? By Dawn Bushaus LYING AWAKE ONE NIGHT to learn by watching videos unable to get to sleep, Steve of interviews with custom- Oldham, CEO of California- ers describing their service based integrated communi- experiences. cations provider, SureWest “Steve approached me Communications, had an with this idea, and now each inspiration about how to im- quarter, I go to a customer’s prove his company’s custom- home or office with a camera- er service. Oldham thought person and interview them his employees might be able about their experiences with 28 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
  24. 24. Customer Experience Management our services,” says Ron service groups during the capture and archive all of the Rogers, SureWest’s director past year, and the company details of customer interac- “The big focus of corporate communications. has launched a new program tion with service reps. This “I interview two satisfied and called SureWest Pro, which is how service includes recording the conver- two unsatisfied customers.” aims to educate customers providers can sation as well as logging all SureWest management then who are purchasing new use the web and screen shots associated with shows the videos at quarterly services from the company. other self-service the call. “We can go back employee meetings. channels to improve and recreate the call to see if “The impact of these Follow-up visit pays something has happened with the customer videos has been amazing,” The SureWest Pro program the customer that represents Rogers states. “Employees sends a second SureWest em- experience.” a broader issue we need to see firsthand what makes our ployee to the customer’s home let everyone in the company customers happy as well as after a technician has installed customer service agents that know about or whether it’s the impact we can have on a new service. This ‘pro’ shows aggregates account just a coaching opportunity our customers’ lives if we do the customer how to use new information from multiple for a particular service rep,” not do our jobs right.” equipment, such as a televi- databases. Called Grand Slam, Oberg explains. SureWest understands the sion remote, and educates the system pulls customer relationship between custom- the customer about the new information, such as a list of Social networking’s role er satisfaction and profitability bill. SureWest provides the all products and services used Both SureWest and Comcast – a relationship the TM Forum service free to all double and and a history of calls to the have embraced social net- details in its recent Insights triple play customers. customer service center, from working as a way of improv- Research Report, Customer So far, the program has several OSSs and presents ing the customer experience. Experience Management: translated into a 10 percent it in a single view, explains Comcast and its director of Driving Loyalty & Profitability. increase in customer satis- Jenni Moyer, senior director digital care, Frank Eliason, are The connection is quantifiable. faction for all new customer of corporate communications widely credited with starting Bain & Company research installations, Oberg says. “We for networks and operations the corporate trend of using shows that a 5 percent know we have added a layer at Comcast. Twitter to communicate with improvement in customer of cost with SureWest Pro, The system, which can customers. loyalty can increase profits but the benefits far outweigh be accessed by Comcast’s Eliason and his 11-member by as much as 75 percent for the cost of providing it.” 16,000 technicians in the field Digital Care Team sift through companies in a wide range of through handheld wireless de- Tweets and blog posts daily industries. Biggest obstacle vices or laptops, also presents looking for satisfied and dis- “Clearly, the cost to keep TM Forum’s research shows a real-time view of service satisfied customers. Since a customer is significantly that one of the biggest performance in addition to starting on Twitter in April lower than the cost of ac- obstacles to providing a historical data. 2008, Eliason’s team has quiring a one,” says Karlyn positive customer experience On the heels of this and fielded more than 120,000 Oberg, VP of administration at is poor integration between other network operation public Tweets and 60,000 SureWest. Oberg declines to processes, systems and data center investments, Comcast private direct messages, specify how much SureWest in service providers’ back introduced a customer Moyer says. spends to acquire a new cus- offices. “Most service provid- promise in October that Social customer relationship tomer, but several communi- ers are held back by their includes a 30-day money- management, or social CRM, cations industry estimates put fragmented OSS/BSS silos, back guarantee for all new is one of the topics at the the price tag at around $400 which prevent a holistic view products and services, a $20 top of the list of this year’s each – a number that can of the customer and also bill credit for late or missed focus areas for TM Forum’s increase dramatically if a com- stifle agility to respond to appointments and access to Managing Customer Experi- pany has to buy a competitor new customer needs – sim- free services if a customer’s ence Program, says program to add customers. ply unacceptable in today’s problem is not resolved after director Stephen Fleece. “That’s why customer environment,” the Insights the first attempt. “The big focus now is figur- satisfaction and churn reduc- Research Report states. SureWest also has been ing out how service providers tion are so important,” Oberg U.S. cable operator Com- working to improve its back can use the web and other says. In an effort to reduce cast has attempted to address office. The company devel- self-service contact channels churn, SureWest has added this issue by developing a oped an internal software to improve the customer employees in its customer new desktop portal for its application that allows it to experience and lower the www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 29
  25. 25. Customer Experience Management cost of providing service,” ence management and define its Customer Experience Fleece explains. he adds. “That’s particularly specific metrics for measuring Program, which focuses on For the coming year in important for younger cus- the customer experience. the lifecycle of a customer addition to social CRM, ad- tomers who prefer to use the TM Forum service pro- relationship beginning with dressing the proliferation of web rather than picking up a vider members including shopping for a service and complicated mobile devices is phone or going into a store.” BT, Telefónica, TeliaSonera ending with the customer a top priority for the Manag- TM Forum started the and Turkish Telekom worked leaving the relationship or the ing Customer Experience Managing Customer with vendors such as Nokia service provider phasing out Program, Fleece adds. “We Experience Program early Siemens Networks to develop a product or service. believe there is a coming in 2008 to help CSPs figure a service provider model for “This lets us look at all of smartphone crisis. As more out what it takes to manage customer experience that was the touch points a service users buy smartphones and the customer experience based on an auto industry provider would want to netbooks, they are strug- end-to-end, including across model, Fleece says. identify, measure and manage gling with how to use them networks. Phase I of the pro- across the customer lifecycle effectively and how to fix gram, which was completed Product lifecycle and tie that back to the widely problems,” he says. “CSPs in 2009, set out to model best TM Forum has been work- adopted TM Forum Business will have to manage that practices for customer experi- ing to wrap up Phase II of Process Framework (eTOM),” complexity.” Will net neutrality help or hinder the drive for improved customer experience? When it comes to providing of Proposed Rule Making on issue of net neutrality directly a three-strikes rule, a service a rich customer experience, Preserving the Open Internet, in the law, a compromise provider can disconnect CSPs often argue they need Senator John McCain deal struck by lawmakers a user from the Internet to be able to prioritize traffic introduced a bill in Congress essentially opens the door if copyright violations are on the Internet so that called the Internet Freedom for network operators suspected, such as illegal file they can manage delivery Act, which, if passed, will to manipulate Internet sharing. of services such as voice prevent the FCC from traffic, explains Monica Citizens’ opposition to and video end-to-end. But enacting its rules in 2010. Horten, a veteran telecom such a rule caused a six- that position leaves CSPs “Unfortunately for journalist and PhD candidate month delay in the passage at odds with proponents of consumers, net neutrality researching copyright of the Telecoms Package. net neutrality, who believe creates some obstacles for protection. Ultimately, the issue was the Internet must remain a CSPs to manage end-to-end Wording inserted into the resolved with another best-effort network where no service quality, particularly law as part of an amendment compromise in the law traffic receives preferential for services like video,” allows CSPs to inform their stipulating that the Internet treatment. says Fleece. “It essentially customers in contracts of user must be granted a The regulatory climate prohibits them from using “conditions limiting access court hearing before being for net neutrality varies the capabilities of modern to and or from services and disconnected. depending on where a networks to discriminate applications,” Horten says “In my opinion, if service service provider operates between traffic and improve quoting the text of the law. providers are just trying to globally. In the U.S. the the customer experience.” “Effectively, it means service make sure that the traffic debate heated up in providers are not prohibited gets through the network as October 2009 when the Contrast in Europe from restricting access to a efficiently as possible, then Federal Communications By contrast, the regulatory service,” she says. it is reasonable that they Commission (FCC) proposed climate in Europe may have Some attorneys are arguing should be allowed to manage rules that will prohibit turned favorable for network that the service provider traffic at a technical level,” Internet service providers operators with passage of a clause in the Telecoms Horten comments. “But it is from blocking content revision of a pan- European Package actually supports not reasonable for a service and prioritizing traffic. The Union communications law the “three-strikes” copyright provider to choose what rules will apply to wireless called the Telecoms Package infringement provisions someone may see or not broadband networks as well in November 2009. Although advocated by European see, and it is not acceptable as traditional wireline. In the European Parliament did governments such as for them to block content or response to the FCC’s Notice not set out to address the France, Horten adds. Under charge extra for it.” 30 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
  26. 26. Webinar Title: Reliability, Scalability, Increased Revenue: Monitoring Ethernet Backhaul Services
  27. 27. Revenue Management Initiative Why real-time is the real thing Breaking down the old back office barriers has been one of the communications service providers’ greatest challenges. In the two years since the Global Billing Association transferred its activities to TM Forum, the transformation of business systems software/operations systems software has been its main driver. By Tony Poulos FOR MANY YEARS, BILLING the need for some sort of too. They are sourcing content for post-paid customers lived revenue assurance process. and applications from third in its own little world, nestled The greatest shift occurred parties and have to account somewhere between IT and when pre-paid billing was for them and settle with their finance. introduced, which meant partners across value chains. Its main role was to everything had to be rated in In other words responsibil- mediate switch call records, real-time, or near real-time. ity for charging accurately is supplied by operating system This shifted the billing shared by many people across software and magically trans- process much more firmly the organization, not just the form them into chargeable into network operations billing department. records that could be rated activities which sometimes To reflect that, the latest and compiled to produce a caused friction with traditional releases of key standards bill. The bills were printed and billing and business systems and best practices have been mailed to customers. software (BSS) teams. updated to account for the In the days when there was new scenarios and bring the only one service to bill, usually Revenue loss danger NGOSS program up to date voice, the process was rea- Today, services are delivered with TM Forum’s new Frame- sonably straightforward, but across a mix of platforms worx Integrated Business as more services came along including service delivery Architecture (see page 92). these processes became platforms, application servers The teams within the Forum’s more complex. Legacy billing and next generation networks, Revenue Management Pro- systems that could not rate all distributing the charging gram have been instrumental the new services were often function ever more widely. In in defining these new process- supplemented by ‘adjunct’ addition, legacy technologies es, applications and interfaces. systems that fed the ‘main’ such as time division mul- Managed as part of the system at billing time. tiplexing mingle with these Forum’s Online Communities, The more systems were newer approaches creating a there is also considerable introduced, the greater the real danger of revenue loss at cross-team activity: Revenue chance of records (and revenue) every turn. is the main driver for being being lost. This spawned ‘con- Communications service in business and it touches vergent’ billing systems that providers’ (CSPs) business almost every element of a could rate multiple services on models are becoming more CSP’s operation. one platform, and underlined complicated and distributed Starting with the integration 32 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
  28. 28. Revenue Management Initiative of the Global Billing Asso- eters could be as simple as Business benchmarking for revenue management ciation’s Billing Map into the a monthly subscription to Business Process Framework something as complex as Revenue Management is a insights into best-in-class (eTOM), the activities have bundling by time, number of focus area for TM Forum’s billing and revenue assurance. now expanded into defining programs used, data storage, Business Benchmarking. The The table below shows best practices, guidebooks, processing power, bandwidth Forum conducts three or studies planned for 2010. white papers, maturity mod- consumed and so on. These more studies a year to provide els, training courses and a charging paradigms also need sophisticated set of published to account for the cost-base, Billing performance benchmark key performance indicators or payables, that a third party linked to a number of power- is supplying to ensure margin Runs over the winter ful benchmarking programs is maintained. (see panel opposite and on Perhaps the most inter- New metrics to capture hot topic of e-Billing and e-Payment page 34) available to TM esting and difficult charging Forum members. concept CSPs are moving to is real-time charging for all Revenue assurance maturity model survey Never-ending story customers. This requires the Billing is a never-ending story; convergence of the pre-paid Runs in the spring as quickly as new technol- systems and the post-paid Valuable maturity model survey, proven to have high ogy arrives to provide faster rating and billing engines. The correlation to strong Revenue Assurance Performance speeds and greater band- level of convergence and the width to networks, CSPs are means to achieve it will vary adopting new services that from operator to operator. Revenue assurance performance benchmark invariably require new charg- Those with a predominantly ing methods. A good example post-paid base might opt to Runs over the summer of this is the move to cloud keep account balances in that Measures Revenue Assurance performance on revenue based services (see article system, whereas a pre-paid recovery and leakage prevention on page 63) that is viewed by dominated operator may many CSPs as a means prefer to maintain balances on of avoiding becoming a its network based systems but Like all Business Bench- Close scrutiny of the data commodity bit carrier. utilize the advanced rating and marking studies, participants enables the right investment Hosting cloud services and bundling features of the post- receive a personalized report decisions. providing the optimum com- paid system. Whatever level showing their performance Participation is free to munications infrastructure is of convergence is achieved against that of the other par- TM Forum service provider challenging, but determining doesn’t matter as much as ticipants as well as an account members. how to charge for these ser- being able to charge for every to the query side of the highly For more information about vices and settle with partici- service delivered in real-time. secure web portal. Your ac- Business Benchmarking and pating delivery partners will This is not only important count in the secure web portal how you can participate contact stress revenue management in minimizing exposure to provides an opportunity to fil- benchmarking@tmforum.org techniques even further than bad debt but provides a great ter results by region, company today. The charging param- service to customers who size and other parameters. Tonia Graham www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 33

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