TM Forum Live! Asia underlined the importance of digital transformation in APAC – a region which is fast becoming the nerve centre of the business world. Alistair Carwardine, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific at Cerillion, reviews last week’s event in Singapore.
As TM Forum’s flagship event in the region, TM Forum Live! Asia holds particular significance for telecoms operators, service providers and vendors. It was marvellous to touch base with many people that we’ve got to know in the region and catch up on the latest industry trends. The event covered a number of areas such as Artificial Intelligence, analytics, IoE monetisation and management, and NFV/SDN among others, but central to it all was one underlying theme - digital transformation.
Digitalisation and CSPs
The conference touched upon the many challenges of digital transformation and the road ahead is certainly not easy. No facet of an organisation remains untouched by digital transformation, as digitalisation is influenced and influences corporate leadership, identity and business culture across all departments. In an earlier blog
, we mentioned the fact that it’s quite paradoxical that network operators themselves have been slow to embrace digital transformation, and there is still a lot of ambiguity about the direction that service providers want to take. As industry analyst Mark Newman pointed out in a recent TM Forum blog post
, a lot of the operators aren’t sure whether to go in for a connectivity play, platform play or a digital services play. Add to that the cultural and organisational challenges, the burden of legacy systems, a lack of digital skills and risk aversion, and it snowballs into a much larger problem.
However, digital transformation is inevitable. And most CSPs want to progress from a traditional delivery model to a digital services provider (DSP) model. But such a change requires dramatic rethinking of current businesses. No longer can the technology supporting a CSP be viewed as a cost centre, in which CIOs and CTOs aim to reduce the 5% spend they might ordinarily manage. Instead, information technology needs to be repositioned as an agility enabler, looking to transform the other 95% of business spend.
Proof of concept catalyst projects
The TM Forum Live! Asia exhibition centred around a set of “catalyst projects” in which leading operators champion projects based on real-life business challenges and teams of vendors collaborate to deliver demonstrable solutions. The catalysts leverage TM Forum best practices and aim to generate innovative solutions for some of the telecom industry’s biggest challenges.
Cerillion joined Cloudstreet, Nokia and Sigma along with champions Orange and NTT to work on a fabric for providers to connect a broad set of enterprises from different verticals into a sponsored mobile data offering. It was geared towards delivering a blueprint that could bring together enterprises, brands and CSPs to offer complete sponsored data offerings to end users.
As part of the catalyst project, we showcased a shopping mall experience in which a customer was able to access additional free data via LTE rather than Wi-Fi, after first viewing an advertisement. As a proof of concept, we demonstrated self-service on-boarding of enterprises, network slice and quota-based data models, location aware offerings, AI contextual services and multi-party settlement.
Cerillion’s role in the catalyst was based on our cloud billing system - Cerillion Skyline
. Using standard APIs, Skyline was integrated seamlessly into the solution, enabling the all-important monetisation and settlement component of the project.
And how did it connect with the central theme of digital transformation? Delivery was kept low touch by the participating vendors; with extensive use of TM Forum Open APIs; and, of course, the near zero touch execution of the solution, from order receipt through to invoicing.
The catalyst project ably demonstrated the ‘How of Digitalisation’ – the simplification, automation and use of AI to enable business agility and ecosystem management, as opposed to more traditional IT with its monolithic management practices.
According to the TM Forum, the foundation for such agility is based on:
- Re-imagined BSS/OSS for zero-touch operations
- Open Digital Architecture and APIs
- Data Analytics and Customer Satisfaction
- Agile Governance and Security
Transform with Cerillion
We are the digital transformation partner of choice for many businesses around the world. At Cerillion, we help accelerate your digital transformation through our:
- Cloud Ready Solutions - Innovate quickly and grow your business in the cloud
- Highly scalable next generation technologies - Best of breed for customer, service and revenue management
- Total convergence - Fully convergent approach to customer management, charging and billing
- End-to-end automation - Planning/engineering automation to improve services and streamline operations
Feel free to explore our digital transformation solutions