London, UK, 17th February 2016 – A global survey of telecoms operators’ approach to the cloud found majority agreement that in future ALL telco business IT systems will be cloud-based. The top reasons for heading for the cloud were to lower capital and, in particular, reduce ongoing operational expenditure.
The survey, commissioned by AsiaInfo, the global BSS transformation specialist and China’s largest telecommunications IT software and services company, shows that some 73 per cent of operators believe cloud systems are the future. There were significant regional variations, with African and North American operators holding the strongest convictions. The Europeans are a little more cautious.
The results, published in an AsiaInfo white paper, show that many operators have already begun deploying aspects of their BSS systems in the cloud, with Africa and North America again leading the way. Europe and Asia also registered high “cloud-readiness” scores, but operators in the Middle East have most to do – only 30 per cent of them will have active cloud projects by the end of the year.
“It is clear from these results that the move to the cloud is underway,” says Andy Tiller, AsiaInfo’s Global VP of Product Marketing. “With almost three-quarters of the operators recognizing the cloud as the end destination, the only questions to answer are the route to take and the length of the journey.”
In terms of running BSS transformation projects, operators clearly and overwhelmingly preferred a gradual approach to the big-bang switchover. A greenfield migration to a new service, retiring the legacy system in stages, also attracted double the support of the big bang approach.
Some 90 per cent of operators believe new and more flexible BSS systems are critically important for delivering an optimal customer experience, with 86 per cent saying they are essential for competitive differentiation. These findings were pretty much universal across all the regions.
Yet asked which innovative and flexible BSS approaches they would support by the end of this year – such as context aware marketing, sponsored data, time-limited data offers, or fixed price access to certain apps – operator responses were mixed.
By creating a pricing innovation score for each region based on the pricing flexibility, the differences became clear. Asia and Africa are the most innovative regions. Operators in North America lag behind with an innovation score of just 25 per cent.
Most operators believe existing BSS platforms are not fit to support future business models, so the need for change is clear, and IT transformation is essential to support this. While the industry is traditionally conservative, new options such as cloud-based BSS are becoming increasingly attractive as important agents of change for operators.
However, the operators also agreed that telcos needed to be more careful with their IT systems than other industries. This was particularly true in North America where many large companies have suffered cyber security breaches, so perhaps it is not surprising that more than 60 per cent of operators listed data security and privacy as the main concerns regarding cloud solutions.
Nevertheless, there is increasing confidence that the public cloud may be ready for mission-critical telco IT applications and nearly all operators already agree that the future of telco IT is in the cloud. Whether motivated by cost savings, IT infrastructure scalability or the streamlining of back office environments, operators clearly recognize the advantages of cloud-based BSS.
“The security concerns are natural,” says Tiller, “but there’s also recognition that existing specialist cloud providers are likely to be the experts and able to offer the most secure solutions. We believe that is why many operators will turn to readily available cloud resources as they look to transform their operations and deliver more flexible customer solutions.”
About the survey:
The survey data results are taken from an analysis of the operator-only responses to the annual industry survey undertaken by Telecoms.com. More than 300 qualified operators responded to the survey from all regions of the world including mobile network operators, multi-play integrated operators, fixed-line, and cable & satellite service providers.
Founded in 1993, AsiaInfo, Inc. is a leading provider of internet-based systems and software to the telecommunications industry. Headquartered in Beijing, we employ more than 14,000 professionals worldwide.
AsiaInfo provides a full suite of business and operations support systems and professional services to solve the business challenges of the future. Through its innovative BSS/OSS, Big Data, and security software products, AsiaInfo is driving the transformation of the telecoms industry into the new Business Internet era.
Our core Veris™ product suite includes billing and customer care systems that serve over a billion subscribers globally, plus business intelligence, network management, network security, and OTT and cross-vertical collaboration solutions. Veris is the cornerstone of our growing ecosystem to support the transformation to the Business Internet.
Our customers work with us to converge large-scale pre-and post-paid mobile operations; improve time to market for new products and services; and develop cost-effective new business models. In China we have more than 50% market share in Billing, CRM and Business Intelligence through our longstanding partnerships with China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.
Our BSS solutions are used by leading operators throughout Southeast Asia, Europe and the Indian subcontinent. For more information, please visit the official website www.asiainfo.com.