As I watched the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Sunday, I thought about the digital experience of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. While this Olympics were called the “Digital Games”, I look forward to future improvements. Personally, I’d like to see more real-time stats on athletes and equipment using the Internet of Things (IoT). For example, show me how the real-time statistics gathered from a bobsled, skis, or a skater’s suit (just not the Under Armour ones) translate into faster times. Make social media more intelligent so that it filters out Olympic spoilers based on my preferences and lets me enjoy watching Shaun White on the half pipe without already knowing the outcome. As I look beyond the digital experience of consuming content I see another transformation taking place as Communications Service Providers (CSPs) prepare to expand business opportunities into digital services for home automation, platform as a service, smart grid, mobile healthcare, mobile advertising and more.
Today’s IT systems, especially in order management, will require a massive transformation to support these new business models and services. Think about your existing order management systems which are built on rigid and antiquated technology. How quickly will you be able to incorporate changes to support new product launches, or custom solutions for your enterprise clients? As you evolve your order management systems to prepare for the digital services revolution, the following capabilities will be critical to your success:
- A unified, agile platform enables innovation. Going through the traditional packaged application approach requires software development that is five times longer to define a new service compared to a unified, agile platform. CSPs cannot afford this especially with Over the Top (OTT) players continuing to take core service revenue. You need a platform that can launch and trial new services quickly. You need a model-driven platform that allows the business, not IT, to configure the processes, data, user experience, and business rules required to support emerging services.
- Leverage existing systems and services. CSPs must create an ecosystem that allows more agility to embrace emerging services, but also utilizes the existing catalog of products and services. Many of the emerging services require mobile data or broadband internet that is already supported by existing systems. There is no reason to rip and replace these systems. Using existing systems enables faster time to market for digital services.
- Support new business models. CSPs need to be ready to support a variety of different business models with partners for digital services. You will need to engage with new partners to provide the end user service. These partners may provide location services, content, or data center capabilities. Alternatively, your business may play a supporting role to an end user service and offer value-added services such as marketing, billing, call center support, installation services, and network access. To be successful and bring in new revenue streams, partners need to be on boarded quickly and operate efficiently in delivering services to the end customer.
Don’t become the glitch in an otherwise flawless digital experience and allow OTT carriers to dominate digital services. Focus on an order management platform that enables process innovation for launching and delivering a seamless and engaging digital services experience.