Next-Gen BSS: Billing in the Cloud Brings Performance & Cost Benefits
Moving BSS to a scalable cloud architecture gives service providers the agility to handle peak traffic spikes more efficiently at a lower cost.
One of the outcomes of digital transformation must be an increased focus on operational efficiency. Service providers can become more efficient by moving IT assets to the cloud, which in turn shifts capex spending toward an expanded opex model that can bring both qualitative and quantitative upsides. In the age of digital, and as traditional operators gradually transform into digital service providers, cloud-based services are now a de facto part of both the infrastructure and service landscapes.
In the past, a service provider’s BSS was considered its secret sauce, its critical differentiator and its unique play in a competitive market. This has been one of the key reasons for resistance against the “cloudification” of BSS. Outside of system uniqueness and ownership, concerns around security, privacy, control and organizational disruption are to be expected.
In today’s communications ecosystem, most if not all of those concerns have been addressed, and the cost benefits of cloud migration cannot be ignored.
Traditional on-site BSS, including revenue management solutions, offer a successful model for scale and control, allowing service providers to take complete ownership of solutions in their own data center(s). Despite its reliability, traditional BSS can be very expensive to scale, as growing service complexity and expansion can increase database requirements, internal compute and storage needs, power consumption costs and force greater usage of data center resources.
Moving BSS to a scalable cloud architecture gives service providers the flexibility to handle peak rating times efficiently. The cloud also helps service providers reduce costs up to 75 percent by migrating away from expensive third-party databases. Then consider the cost savings associated with moving to a hyperscaler, who then offers BSS as a service, freeing up service providers to focus on creating and launching new services and improving customer experience. Shifting BSS to the cloud also reduces the cost of maintaining legacy in-house billing systems, which are often outdated, costly to manage, and inhibit the launch of new services.
In the expanding digital ecosystem, the cost of enabling new services should be a top priority for service providers. Launching IoT, SDN/NFV and 5G-based services will require the hyperscale capabilities of cloud-based BSS. The growing range of multifunctional digital devices (smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, etc.) and vast numbers of mobile applications will lead to more creative partner-based business models that need sophisticated rating and charging models. While it may be challenging to envision the short-term cost benefits of migrating to cloud-based BSS, service providers can realize the long-term economic benefits of the cloud quickly as services continue to scale at a rapid pace.