Network operators are taking a more focused approach to the digital transformation of their business support systems (BSS) in order to achieve faster results and keep pace with OTT players, according to a poll by Irish software provider Openet.
The survey, which quizzed 100 operators, found an increasing acceptance among operators that the "big bang" approach to digital transformation is wrongheaded.
Instead, operators are engaging in more targeted BSS projects, with shorter timescales and reduced risk, to develop, deliver and monetise new digital services.
Almost half (46 percent) of operators are looking at quick gains by installing adjunct BSS solutions in the next six to 12 months, rather than engaging in a complex and drawn-out overhaul of their back-office systems.
It said 42 percent will implement spot solutions to transform their BSS in three to six months.
At the same time, 68 percent of operators have experienced, or know of, lengthy, expensive BSS transformation projects that have failed.
Half (50 percent) put the cost of such failed BSS exercises at between $5 million and $20 million, and 10 percent put it at over $100 million.
The impact of failed BSS projects has been felt most acutely by marketing and product development, with 80 percent citing product delays, 64 percent claiming lost ground to competitors, and 62 percent claiming an overall increase in operating expenditure as a consequence.
Specifically, operators are now looking at adjunct spot solutions for such things as VoLTE charging and quality of service, management, intelligent upsell, real-time usage alerts, sponsored data and shared data, said Openet.
Barry Marron, General Vice President of Marketing at Openet, said: “Operators are feeling the reverberations of the digital transformation going on around them and want a piece of the action. Whilst the likes of Google, Netflix and Amazon forge ahead, operators are encumbered by legacy systems.
“It’s now imperative that operators can access and use real-time automated systems, becoming truly data driven. The days of transformation projects taking years are being consigned to the waste bin. The next phase of transformation within operators now has to be measured in a matter of months.”