By Manishika Miglani
Nishant Batra, VP and Head–Engagement Practices, Ericsson India, in an interview with Voice&Data talks about the company’s leadership in OSS/ BSS segment, innovations underway and the significant acquisitions that have an impact on Ericsson India roadmap. Some Excerpts:
Voice&Data: How have OSS and BSS evolved in the past few years?
Nishant Batra: OSS and BSS were telco businesses and operation-centric but now are IT and customer-centric. Product vendors and service providers have evolved these systems to be more flexible to meet customer demands and change management more efficiently and effectively. The self-care or automation flexibility is thus phenomenal. It is to cater not only the individual demands but also to broad level corporate demands.
The move is from being merely a back-end support to critical operational and decision support systems. The OSS and BSS have evolved across the globe to meet the market demand for a variety of better and faster products and services, evolution of digital and convergent services. This also involves the need to provide more competitive personalized services, many of which consist of third-party content and components. This is possible by allowing the capability and support introduction of innovative and robust service offerings, expanding and transforming networks to support advanced technologies like 4G-LTE, IPX, and M2M.This can be done by investing heavily in improving customer experience for trying to meet telco’s vision of customer delight.
Voice&Data:How has this evolution benefited the telecom companies?
Nishant Batra: The evolution in OSS and BSS is providing an opportunity to enhance telco offerings to enable swifter time-to-market, stronger integration across OSS and BSS systems, and inclusion of analytics capabilities to support agile decision-making. OSS and BSS contributes in a big way in ‘Digitalization’ and ‘Internet of Things’. This has allowed connections to penetrate anywhere, anytime and with anyone at anyplace, for any service via any network.
Also, OSS and BSS data is of strategic importance to link operational technical planning with actual customer data, and hence is used by lines of business, marketing and strategic planning. The modern OSS and BSS solutions have added features and functionality, such as embedded analytics, business process, and correlation and workflow capabilities.
Voice&Data:How is Ericsson India’s OSS/BSS business in comparison to similar large markets?
Nishant Batra: Ericsson India has considerably done well in the OSS and BSS arena. Ericsson “mobile broadband charging solutions” are deployed by all major operators in India – be it BhartiAirtel, Vodafone, Idea, Uninor or Aircel. Almost 75% of prepaid subscribers in India are charged using Ericsson systems.
As per the annual report of Ericsson, the India region has contributed to significant YoY growth on OSS and BSS engagements.
Voice&Data: Who is your competition in this space?
Nishant Batra: In the OSS domain, Ericsson has not seen much competition for the offered software suites and services. If we talk about the customer base globally, Ericsson today supports more than 900 OSS deployments.
In BSS domain, 2 billion subscribers are served by the Ericsson billing and charging solutions. In the prepaid charging domain, Ericsson enjoys its leadership position and almost two-third of network traffic in India is using Ericsson’ systems.
Voice&Data: Can you brief us about the acquisitions made by Ericsson in OSS?
Nishant Batra: Ericsson has made strategic acquisitions to position itself as a market leader in OSS. Be it the OSS areas of service assurance and fulfillment, network assurance and fulfillment, order and catalog management, and the OSS infrastructure which is necessary to support the transformation to SDN/NFV.
There have been acquisitions of product companies like Telcordia, Conceptwave, Optimi, MetraTech and services companies like TeleOSS, Telcocell, amongst others that have given the requisite momentum to the Ericsson vision of being a leader and enjoy premium partnerships with telcos, globally.
Through the acquisition of Telcordia, our company has successfully obtained the most comprehensive OSS portfolio in the industry, domain management leadership, fulfillment leadership, multi-vendor and agnostic OSS expertise.
With this line of portfolio, we can claim to be the leaders in OSS as a whole, and in many product areas of the same. In areas where we still foresee gaps, we fulfill these through our own development, partnerships and non-organic growth options. Furthermore, with the software product suite acquisitions that happened five years ago, Ericsson has shown considerable thrust in excelling in the said segment through innovation and R&D.
Also, Ericsson’s Leadership position has been verified by accreditations from Ericsson Global Customers for OSS and the consecutive “Leader” position recognized by the leading worldwide IT research and advisory firm Gartner Inc.
Our company has been able to maintain this position by coupling the strengths of its software suites with the services including end-to-end consulting, systems integration, customized applications and managed services.
Voice&Data: What has been the biggest innovation from Ericsson in this space?
Nishant Batra: Some of the notable innovations in the space are:
- Catalog-driven order management, Catalog-driven charging and billing: These solutions foster consistency and ease of reuse for faster time-to-market, which is a key value to both the operator and its partners.
- Real-time integrated policy and control (service aware charging and policy): It allows an operator to gain agility necessary to succeed in today’s mobile marketplace, providing personalization and the right user experience while efficiently monetizing different services, partners and service flows.
- CEM solutions: The solutions include unique aspects like correlated session record and SLI.
- Service Innovation framework for OTT monetization