“When someone discovered that the coffee bean made a tasty, refreshing drink, it was not necessary to do more than say so. Competition to sell coffee beans meant price wars and mergers and regulation and ethical dilemmas. Now, no-one sells their coffee beans as ‘cheaper’ – it is not ‘sustainable’ to do so. Coffee beans are sold on whether a range of sweet, hot milky drinks can be enjoyed in a friendly environment, while working or relaxing.”
In a nutshell (or perhaps a coffee bean), core Telco products are increasingly becoming a commodity in many parts of the world. But just because a product is a commodity, doesn’t mean it has to become commoditised.
As in the situation with coffee, intelligent marketers have found ways to make sustainable margins from this commodity. The advent of the coffee shop has helped to promote differentiation.
CSPs have many bright marketers who spend their working days dreaming up new ways of differentiating their products from their competitors’s.
The off-the-shelf OSS / BSS products of the future will increasingly need to handle the concepts of these innovators. Differentiation may come in the form of:
- Product bundling
- Additional service features
- Alternate service models (including cloud-based and/or third-party provided solutions)
- Speed to market of a new service
- Speed to resolve network outages
- Remarkable customer service
If your OSS can’t handle these differentiation mechanisms and more, then you are not providing differentiation in the eyes of the CSPs, nor providing the flexibility that they need.