Friday, 22 August 2014

Communications Service Providers (CSP's) are increasingly looking to MANAGED SERVICES to improve their performance and keep them competitive.

Driven by the demands of rising markets, rapid changes in new technology, greater competition and the relentless drive to improve bottom line results, communications service providers are increasingly looking to managed services to improve their performance and keep them competitive.

Initially, managed services were mainly about the outsourcing of low-level, back-end processes such as monitoring IT systems or the network, with the sole primary goal of lowering costs. A handful of newer market entrants later broke the mold – for example, Bharti Airtel when it announced its revenue sharing model with IBM in 2003. This arrangement was initially met with skepticism, but the company is now heralded by many as an exceptional case study.

Over time, more companies have begun to embrace these kinds of business models in the fight to get ahead, but how far has the
industry really come? Is the pace of change what everyone expected? Which core competencies do operators need to keep in-house and what can be done better by a managed service provider?

The spectrum of all managed services is broad, but the terms ‘outsourcing’ and ‘managed services’ are being used interchangeably, though in general, managed services are often considered to have a broader scope. We are not distinguishing between these terms but looking across the spectrum of how service providers are partnering with companies offering outsourcing services in functional areas or stacks of the BSS/OSS area. Some other terms, such as out-tasking are used too, which is similar in execution to outsourcing but denotes a relatively narrow function or task being outsourced.

Outsourcing in the communications sectors began with organizations like IBM, CSC and some independent software vendors, primarily dealing with managed data center and billing applications or operations (such as bill rendering and mailing). These might be delivered in full outsourcing or facilities management engagements.
Later, some network equipment manufacturers saw the opportunity to turn their network equipment and, in some cases, OSS or third party OSS offerings into a managed services offering. Operators outsourcing their network operations to these network equipment makers was logical at first pass.

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