“No man is an island” may refer to humans, but it is a phrase that truly resonates within the communication industry. The complexity of the ecosystem means that Communication Service Providers (CSPs) need to work with specialist partners to meet the growing wholesale and retail customer demands. Whether looking to access new markets, expand service offerings, increase coverage and capacity, or reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), partnerships are crucial for today’s CSPs to thrive.
In principle, the idea of building partnerships to drive growth and empower CSPs to meet their business goals is a straightforward one. In practice, this is not always the case. Traditionally, integrating with partners has been a process that is fraught with challenges, and it has been time-consuming and resource-intensive to get partnerships off the ground. However, new business models, from ODA to Marketplace offerings, are already beginning to change this and will be high on the agenda at next month’s DTW event in Copenhagen.
At ZIRA, we are focused on designing services and solutions that take advantage of emerging business models to empower partnerships. Collaboration across the industry is central to allowing innovation, and we believe that developing partnerships shouldn’t be a point of friction. In this blog, Rigas Parathyras, VP of Products at ZIRA looks at how we are transforming the industry to make building partnerships as easy as ABC(…DE).
A - All-in-one BSS
For CSPs, Business Support Systems (BSS) are the foundation of driving revenue. BSS solutions are the operational backbone of the business and are crucial for managing partnerships.
With every relationship encompassing a complex array of services, the specific requirements of each are unique. To maximize the potential of these partnerships, CSPs need the ability to seamlessly manage numerous partnerships. To achieve this, a well-implemented BSS solution is essential to streamline processes and ensure accurate and efficient operations.
At ZIRA, we offer partner-centric services through our All-in-one BSS in-a-box solution. This gives CSPs a complete set of business support tools that can be geared toward empowering partnerships. This includes being able to easily create a dedicated partner catalog of products and services. Partner management tools that support agreement management, trouble ticket management and loyalty management. Billing support that is tailored to meet the needs of partner billing and settlement, and revenue share. Via the BSS out-of-the box solution ZIRA empowers partnerships with dedicated partner capabilities that maximize the potential of key CSP relationships.
B - B2B2X Digital Partnering
B2B2X business models are revolutionizing the telecommunications landscape and are driven by embracing strategic collaborative partnerships to unlock a range of opportunities. However, managing the ecosystem needed to support this approach can be a challenge. Legacy systems have very restricted data models that are not capable of supporting B2B2X. Therefore, CSPs need to adapt to be able to leverage this opportunity.
To address this, at ZIRA, we offer an out-of-the-box portal for B2B2X management. This allows CSPs to access new wholesale and reseller partnerships with a portal that gives partners autonomy when interacting with the CSP’s services, with product and subscriber management. In addition, it opens a channel to sell its services to other CSPs, maximizing revenue opportunities. Easy integration into the customers’ own ecosystem via APIs allows accessibility and enables quick time to market, making B2B2X easier than ever.
B2B2X will be an essential part of CSPs’ business models moving forward and is a key revenue driver. It offers a way to utilize the expertise and resources of partners allowing CSPs to enhance their offerings and provide a better end-customer experience. The collaborative approach allows for more innovative offerings, business diversification, and reduces the risks associated with expanding market offerings.
It is a great opportunity to drive efficiency and revenue through partnerships. However, having a way to implement this approach easily and with low friction is pivotal to capitalizing on the full potential of B2B2X.
C - Cloud-native architecture (ODA)
Cloud Native is anticipated to be a huge topic at this year’s DTW as the industry looks at the benefits of a Cloud Native approach and the practicalities of adoption for CSPs. Moving to a Cloud Native architecture is more complex than simply creating a replica of existing systems in the cloud. It is adopting solutions that have been optimized to work in the cloud. The result is smoother integration, the flexibility and agility to support some of the business models explored in this article i.e. digital marketplaces and B2B2X, and lower TCO for CSPs, to name a few.
At ZIRA, we are champions of the ODA framework as the go-to standard for moving to a Cloud Native architecture. As a partner for CSPs looking to become Cloud Native, we need to offer maximum flexibility. To achieve this, our solutions work with any cloud platform and take a modular approach to streamline the processes of becoming truly Cloud Native.
One of the biggest headaches for CSPs has always been the complexity of IT infrastructure – fragmented, clunky, and slow-moving; ODA not only lets CSPs enjoy the benefits associated with a Cloud Native architecture but gives a framework that allows service providers to easily integrate with their chosen partners via Open-APIs. It is an opportunity to take a standardized approach to achieve easier partnerships, increased agility, a significant reduction in the development cycle for products and services, and a smoother road for future evolution.
D - Digital Marketplace
When we talk about empowering partnerships and industry-wide collaboration, Digital Marketplaces are central the realizing this. A digital marketplace is a partner enablement platform that allows CSPs to buy and sell services, collaborate with others in the ecosystem, and combine their services with partners’ portfolios to give customers a more complete offering. We want to take the revenue streams of our customers from Business Model A to Business Model B, significantly expanding their business opportunities.
Business Model A:
Business Model B:
Digital marketplaces enable CSPs to bundle a variety of products and services, but managing the relationships needed for a Digital Marketplace to perform to the full is the biggest barrier to entry. A recent report from Analysys Mason concluded, “the success of digital marketplaces will depend on the agility and flexibility of CSPs’ commercial models” and, as such, creating an IT architecture that enables agility and flexibility is key.
Many CSP services and applications are currently built on legacy systems that lack the flexibility needed to implement a Digital Marketplace. CSPs need to upgrade their IT stack to allow them to manage partnerships via a marketplace and reap the benefits of this new business model. At ZIRA, our full suite of BSS services allows CSPs to accelerate their digital transformation and put in place the infrastructure needed to support a Digital Marketplace approach. CSPs working with ZIRA are then able to launch a Digital Marketplace offering for easy partnership management, allowing them to take full advantage of the business opportunities this model opens.
E - End-to-End Fiber Enablement
Fiber is a huge market opportunity for CSPs, with the global fiber to the x (FTTx) market anticipated to generate US $17.3 billion in revenues by 2033, but it is not without challenges. Fiber requires a specific IT stack to accommodate the different processes needed for monetization, making it a unique challenge for CSPs looking to tap into the fiber opportunity. Additionally, the requirements for retail and wholesale fiber business models vary, adding to the complexity that needs to be navigated. To overcome these hurdles, CSPs need a strong partnership with a BSS provider to ensure they can squeeze value from fiber infrastructure.
At ZIRA, we believe that to make the most of the fiber opportunity, there are four key areas that need to be addressed.
- End-to-end support for fiber processes – This brings us back to the All-in-one BSS system, but making sure it has the capabilities to provide full, fiber-specific end-to-end support is key.
- Capabilities to simplify wholesale fiber complexity – The wholesale fiber opportunity is huge. CSPs need a solution that can easily and cost-effectively integrate into their IT landscape while supporting a wholesale model.
- Easy integration and adaptability for existing processes – a BSS that is open to partners and channels. Enabling these partnerships is central to fiber success.
- Scalability for business evolution – the flexibility to expand and scale as required ensures long-term success.
Get these aspects right, and CSPs can unlock the full potential that fiber holds as a revenue generator for their business.
Looking at practical ways for CSPs to build better business partnerships and make the most of partnerships is vital. It is central to service providers’ ability to deliver services that meet the needs of today’s business and retail customers. AT DTW, ZIRA will be walking customers through the solutions and services we have to help build stronger, self-sufficient partnerships that have a positive impact on their business. If you would like to book a meeting at the show, please get in touch.