Vendor, Integrator or in-house implementation?

The other part of outsourcing is this: it simply says where the work can be done outside better than it can be done inside, we should do it.”
Alphonso Jackson

In the second of our “So, what is it going to be?” series, we look at whether your OctopOSS going to be implemented by:

  • An out-sourced arrangement – with a vendor (ie the original software developer) or an integrator (a company that integrates the software of other organisations) or
  • An in-sourced arrangement – the CSP itself

Whilst I’ve shown two alternatives above, in most situations the optimal solution will have an element of external assistance with significant collaboration with the CSP.

Outsourcing has the following benefits:

  • The CSP’s resources will need to continue to operate their network whilst the OctopOSS evolves, so they will have a dual role of operating the network and supplying the appropriate information to the vendor/integrator. So to avoid overloading the existing CSP resources, it will be essential to bring in supplementary resources from external sources, so it makes sense that they should specialise in the required solutions
  • The vendors / integrators have pre-existing knowledge of the best way of configuring the tools. In some cases the CSP’s staff may also have OSS integration experience. However, in most cases they’re more experienced using the tools rather than implementing, which is a completely different skill-set
  • Rather than hiring for the specific skill-sets of implementing specific tools for the finite length of the project, it will normally make more sense to import the vendor’s staff for the length of the project
  • The CSP can assign penalty clauses on the contract, which would be irrelevant if internal resources implemented the project
  • If the CSP’s business model places a low level of importance on managing the network (eg if the CSP is a retail or sales-oriented company that outsources the ongoing operation of the network)

In-sourcing is an effective mechanism if the control of risk within your OSS is paramount. The types of risk could include:

  • Business continuity – ensuring staff are capable of all levels of support)
  • Application flexibilty – ensuring future functionality is developed and implemented to meet CSP objectives and priorities rather than the vendor’s
  • Scalability – ensuring the CSP’s growth is catered for
  • System reliability – ensuring the brand value is maintained through high reliability

Ongoing Operations
The text above refers to in-sourcing or out-sourcing of the implementation of your OctopOSS. Similar considerations could be given to the ongoing operation of your OSS suite. Historically, the CSP will choose to operate the network, the operations group and the OSS themselves. They may choose to take out Level 3 or 4 support from the vendors but day-to-day adds-moves-changes within the network will be done by CSP staff. Alternative business models allow levels 2 through 4 to be outsourced so that the CSP can focus on their strategic advantages.

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