Communications service providers (CSPs) can use many techniques to make their businesses more efficient and agile, but increasingly the most ambitious of these include a strong element of centralization. CSPs are being enticed by the promise that centralization will deliver cost savings, streamlined processes and operations, improved customer experience, greater flexibility, and faster time to market.
Centralization: it takes two to tango
Centralization has jumped to the top of many CSPs’ agendas. According to a global online survey conducted by Ovum, 52% of operators have implemented or are implementing a centralized operations strategy of some sort, and a further 23% are considering it.
Operators around the globe are devoting their energies to centralization projects, whether it be Orange or Vodafone centralizing their NOCs around European or Indian regional hubs, XL Axiata centralizing its OSS in Indonesia, or Telefonica Moviles modernizing customer-facing IT systems across its Latin American properties. These projects may vary dramatically in content and scope, but centralization is the common thread running through them all.
A number of trends are running side by side: large operating groups centralizing their NOCs, operators adopting common tools and standardized processes that are centrally managed, and other operators that are already relatively centralized structurally turning their attention to simplification and automation.
An overwhelming majority of operators believe they need assistance with centralization: 73% of survey respondents believe a centralization project should be closely coordinated with a partner, and two thirds of operators have already had experience working with a network vendor on a centralization project.
Ovum’s research suggests that CSPs want partners to help them address the relationship between process, organizational, and technology changes surrounding network and IT platform centralization.
Successful centralization programs need to be broad-based, flexible, and closely aligned with CSPs’ strategic objectives. This favors the choice of managed services partners (MSPs) that can offer a broad portfolio of services and are able to demonstrate a strong governance model and a high degree of responsiveness to CSPs’ changing business needs.
Centralization as a Vehicle for Telco Transformation, TE0006-000992 (December 2014)
Kris Szaniawski, Lead Analyst, Intelligent Networks