"The challenge lies in executing an approach"

by Pankaj Maru    Jul 25, 2008

With the incredible expansion in the Indian telecom industry, the role of Business Support Systems (BSS) or Operational Support Systems (OSS) solution providers is becoming crucial.Vivek Srivastava, director of (Solutions and Strategy) Oracle Communications Business Unit, APAC and Japan, talks about BSS/OSS providers’ emergence in Indian telecom space, in an email interview with Pankaj Maru.Excerpts

What are the emerging trends in the Indian telecom industry?

The telecom industry in India is going through a rapid growth phase. The subscriber base has already crossed 261 million in July 2008. The growth in the Indian telecom space is leading to high level of penetration and adoption across Mobile, Pay TV and Broadband Technologies. The other key trends taking place are the changes in the value added services space. Unified Access License for new players, the imminent introduction of Mobile Number Portability and the entry of Mobile Virtual Network Operators are all indication of the growing importance of operation and billing management systems and infrastructure (BSS/OSS).

How do we compare the growth of OSS/BSS market in India vis- -vis global markets?

The telecoms BSS/OSS are already witnessing a high rate of growth in India. Growth in mobility, broadband, prepaid is coupled with the evolving rich content services and applications. Convergence is enabling greater uptake of technologies — WIMAX to deliver services over larger bandwidths, IPTV to provide quad play services and launch of DTH services for retail consumers. While existing players are competing to retain the wallet share of their customers and maximize ARPU, new entrants are using technology for faster rollout of their services. Technology therefore has become a strategic business enabler for most Indian telecom companies.

In terms of technology, what are the challenges faced by OSS/BSS vendors as there are different kinds of technologies used by the telecom players?

Most telecom service providers have traditional architectures that usually consist of different sets of OSS and BSS systems each designed to support a particular type of service be it mobile, fixed line, etc.

In most cases, these systems have become complex network of applications that comprise of several processes and integration points making them inflexible to cater to new business requirements such as a single view of the customer, single point of contact for improved customer service, single bill for the customer, launch compelling services and offerings, business agility, launch new services etc. The challenge though lies in executing an approach to evolve to new OSS/BSS architectures to that delivers business value early while mitigating risks, costs and complexity.

So what is the survival mantra?

To survive in an intensely fierce and an uncertain business environment, it is obvious that service providers would need to evolve to new OSS/BSS architectures that comprise of horizontal applications (designed to address any services), that are standards based, open and modular providing flexibility to evolve as per changing business requirements making the businesses competitive and nimble and drive business from a customer centric perspective rather than service centric.

Can you name some of telecom providers and other companies using Oracle’s OSS/BSS solutions?

Global service providers including AT&T, BellSouth, Bharti, Brasil Telecom, BT, Cable & Wireless, ChinaTel, Singtel, Telstra, Vodafone and others are using Oracle Communications solutions to efficiently and effectively address the business challenges associated with transitioning to next-generation Mobile and IP-based networks.

Along with the telecom sector, which are the emerging areas that are in need to of OSS/BSS infrastructure and solutions?

IPTV, WIMAX, DTH and other media companies can use OSS / BSS solutions to provide better value to their customers.