March 25, 2020

Customization is no Longer the Sole Differentiator in BSS

BSS has been under a strain for a long time, and software customization accounts for a large portion of the stress.

According to a recent TM Forum white paper entitled “Future BSS,” vendors and operators agree that the current state of BSS is broken. With the need for constant updates cutting into the overall functionality of the system, operators can’t afford the high cost and vendors can’t tie up their engineers in risky and time-consuming deployments. In fact, the paper cites that on average, large transformation projects end up running 150% over budget and time. And the longer this continues, the more of a strain it puts on the vendor/operator relationship.

Customization has traditionally been used by CSPs to modify the functionality of their BSS to suit their needs. Custom interfaces attempted to stitch best-of-breed solutions into incompatible systems, but as errors in customer-facing services such as billing and support began to sour customer relations, CSPs made the move to best-of-suite solutions.

A single system reduced the need for custom interfaces but couldn’t eliminate it entirely. Gaps in solution coverage for OSS/BSS processes still presented a need at the core level, leading to more requests for customization in the software. But that only leads to greater complications further down the line. But for many CSPs, customization is what helps them differentiate their services from the competition.

The Future of BSS: Innovation and New Business Models

While some customization is necessary to make applications work within the BSS, additional requests can lead to the scope of transformation projects running rampant and cost ballooning out of control. CSPs now have come to find that the benefits of customization are heavily outweighed by the time and cost to deploy these additional capabilities.

BSS still stands as a significant source of competitive differentiation and innovation in the market, but competition is being redefined in the platform economy with innovation being delivered through robust partner ecosystems. We’re even seeing a wealth of services like banking, security and smart healthcare being brought to the digital market by businesses before 5G has even hit widespread distribution.

On top of that, consumers are no longer being viewed as the sole customers of businesses as CSPs open B2B and B2B2X lines of opportunities. One such example of a company taking advantage of this comes from Vivo, a subsidiary of Telefonica Group in Brazil using Netcracker’s Digital BSS to set up product pricing, promotions and delivery strategies across their new enterprise lines of business.

The future of BSS will require aggregate services and new partner and unique business player relationships so CSPs and can build and deliver upon new business models in emerging markets. Instead of bogging down CSPs, BSS needs to stand as the cornerstone of innovation. To find out more about what lies in store for the future of BSS, download the most recent TM Forum report here.

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