Amdocs gathered industry analysts in London for its EMEA Conference to share plans for supporting customers moving into 5G digital network services and embracing the Internet of Things (IoT).
In the wake of the mergers and acquisitions throughout telecoms, the legacy lingers, and the next wave of network technologies and disruption looms. Amdocs has many products, services, and partners lined up to support the digital customer journey as it unfolds.
The legacy presents challenges
Amdocs sees telcos' needs according to four pillars: Service Agility (decreasing time to market, software enablement); Diversified Business (new revenue streams); Data Empowered (big data, insight and predictive, both for internal use and external exploitation); and Digital Dimensions (immersive engagements, digital enablement). These pillars also address the needs of telcos' consumer customers and their experiences and expectations. New experiences are defined by high levels of mobility and social interaction, for example, the Snapchat generation or the youth market's preference for instantaneous interaction; the global enablement of the sharing economy; the unbanked's day-to-day reality in developing countries; the emerging prevalence of "spinners" (occasional users falling outside of traditional subscription models); and "skinny" or specific scaled-down entertainment bundles.
While Amdocs has worked with partners in the past, this has not been an overt part of its strategy. Now, Amdocs' multivendor approach includes: working with other partners and products in situ, especially from a services perspective (systems integration and managed services), and extending to the new partner ecosystems such as Cloudera (Hadoop), and Frog and Adobe, which are needed to deliver new solutions. Also, Amdocs is leveraging the cVidya acquisition for revenue management in the cloud, and its collaboration with Microsoft for Cloud-Fusion systems to streamline ordering, fulfillment, billing, and security over hybrid virtual and traditional networks.
Embracing the multivendor approach is a very positive move by Amdocs, which has been criticized in the past for its heavy and costly product stacks. New widgets, or building blocks, for user interfaces and business logic are intended to simplify and reduce integration effort to the back end (whether that back end is Amdocs owned or not), and increasingly, Amdocs is responding to telcos' cloud requirements and is putting private and hybrid cloud solutions in place.
Mobile money is among the digital services Amdocs intends to facilitate. Amdocs Mobile Financial Services is supporting wallet transfers or account-to-account transfers, as opposed to more expensive NFC (near field communication), noting that the vast majority of mobile money transactions globally are either airtime purchases or P2P transfers.
The IoT presents a massive digital services opportunity. IoT was described by one Amdocs expert as the "killer app for big data" and the CSP opportunity is viewed as: connectivity, billing (charging and revenue share), and analytics. In terms of revenue streams, Amdocs sees a "value grid," as opposed to a "value chain," made up of lots of bits. Amdocs Data Hub, which uses Cloudera's open source Hadoop software ecosystem, is a centralized data hub with the aim of focusing "on the unique stuff, not the stuff that's common." The BDA (Big Data Analytics) hub is part of Amdocs' CES10 suite and will underpin dynamic customer profiling throughout the customer lifecycle. The challenge that everyone faces at the moment with respect to analytics is in the "data plumbing," i.e. getting the data from as many data sources as possible to the analytics engines in clean and actionable formats.
The event placed the Amdocs portfolio firmly in the context of managing the expanded digital customer journey in a broad and open ecosystem of partners and standards. Anchored in the CES10 portfolio, the BDA hub will enable the vendor to leverage its new partnerships for digital services and dimension new interfaces for digital care and an immersive customer experience.
Vendor Services Review: Amdocs, IT0012-000137 (September 2015)
"Amdocs' CES 10 and portfolio enhancements will support telcos' digital transformation," IT0012-000164 (February 2016)
"MWC 2016: Vendors enhance "best of suite" and embrace the cloud," IT0012-000165 (March 2016)
Miriam Deasy, Analyst, Telecoms Operations & IT