“Most of the services being churned out today are long-tailed and flame out quickly, making them ill-suited to siloed management. A new philosophy of enablement is needed, suitable for an ecosystem where innovation could come from anywhere, and this is why the business support system must evolve into the business enablement suite (BES).”
Aijun’s quote was in reference to BSS making the transition to BES, but OSS should also be built around the premise of business enablement.
The concept of BES is far more adept than the rigid BSS was when considering flexible billing models. Previously, the most flexible CSPs would handle wholesale and retail models, but we now have Virtual Network Operators, Retail Channels, Industry Partners, Third-party provider partnerships, Application Delivery, Infrastructure Delivery (IaaS), and many more. The traditional BSS would not have allowed evaluation of opportunities presented by disruptive business models. Then again, the traditional CSP would not have considered offering any services that involved partnerships or sharing of revenues.
Aijun also speaks of there being four BES layers:
- Infrastructure Layer – providing the cables, pit, pipe and electronics and particularly relevant within the regime of the ubiquitous network layer being introduced in many countries (eg NBN in Australia, UHB in New Zealand, etc)
- Infrastructure Service Layer – provides the ability to offer access to the Infrastructure Layer as a service to trusted partners, typical of the old wholesale services model
- Consumer Service Layer – provides virtualised access to business support systems via APIs (eg billing, customer details, charging models, etc) to enable OTT partnerships to a broader number of partners. Importantly this provides the opportunity for the CSP to share in an OTT organisation’s revenues
- Consumer Services – whereby the CSP offers services that compete directly with OTT or other service providers
BES provides the ability for new revenue models to flourish more easily, such as community telcos, localised content providers, industry verticals, etc. Can your BSS handle this level of agility? The exciting part about this is that the reduced overhead lowers the barrier-to-entry for service innovators