Business Case Mindset

Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems.”
Dilbert

Before embarking on the choice of an OSS, one first needs to consider the fundamental question: what problem are you trying to solve?

As an OSS implementer you will undoubtedly need to prepare a compelling business case, in some cases to an audience of sponsors who aren’t OSS-savvy. Before investing in any solution, they may need to be convinced of:

  • Is it changing the business model
  • Is it changing the service model, revenue model, etc
  • Does it introduce strategic benefits
  • How will it add value
  • Will it reduce loss (eg revenue leakage, customer churn, etc)
  • The need to support changes in the organisation’s vision or strategic themes
  • The need to respond to competitive pressures
  • Does it meet operational needs and/or overcome operational gaps?
  • Will it offer advantageous capabilities or opportunities, perhaps including competitive advantages?
  • Does it support or enhance strategic objectives?
  • Does the availability of new technologies offer new opportunities?
  • Changes to regulatory, legislative, or other legal requirements
  • Are current operational gaps currently damaging the brand and is it possible to quantify the negative value to the brand
  • What are the hidden side effects and costs?
  • How long will it take to implement?
  • Who is accountable?
  • Can it be integrated with the current environment and co-exist
  • Is it providing future-proofing
  • Is it cost-efficient, can be justified via ROI calculations and have a controlled TCO

The increased commoditisation of bandwidth is causing a fundamental shift in the competitive advantages of modern carriers. In the past, a carrier’s network assets such as fibre cables or homes passed represented a large barrier to entry, but with the advent of wholesale providers and OTT (over-the-top) services new mechanisms are required to differentiate between competing carriers. Service bundling and content are potential areas of differentiation and an advanced OSS provides the carrier with this opportunity. In such a situation, does the organisation’s vision of bundled services necessitate a new OSS or does the new OSS provide the opportunity to build a competitive advantage from the rapid roll-out of flexibly bundled services?

The benefits of implementing an OSS are often intangible and/or difficult to measure. Reviewing from a base of the major functional blocks presented in the TMF TAM model is a possible place to start.

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