At a recent next gen BSS conference that I attended, two of the best presentations were not from operators or BSS vendors but content providers.
Deezer outlined how they work with Orange group to provide their music streaming service to Orange customers. This is a good deal for Deezer in that they get access to a huge market of Orange customers. It’s good for Orange as they’ve got a new revenue stream via revenue sharing with Deezer, but also in terms of lowering churn. According to Deezer customer churn was reduced by 60% for customers using their music service.
The other presentation came from Trip Advisor. They’ve teamed up with O2 to offer O2 Travel – basically Trip Advisor on your mobile. Most people switch off data when travelling abroad and this service is designed to give people a reason to use data without having to worry about bill shock or relying on the use of Wi-Fi networks. It’s a roaming service pass – e.g. for pre pay customers its £1.99 for 50MB /day. What’s interesting here is that it’s the compelling content from TripAdvisor that is perhaps acting as the main draw in a customer using O2 Travel.
These are just two examples. Spotify have a successful mobile partnership strategy and Vodafone have their deals with Netflix. Operators know that data is not a product – it’s an enabler. In 2015 we’ll see more partnerships announced as LTE becomes mainstream in many countries with the resultant increase in data usage, and with it the competitive pressure to lower prices. Operators will need to provide and sell other services – a lot of which will be from content partners to differentiate their offers and get customers using content to enable ‘stickier’ services.
Marketing becomes the main driver as NFV for BSS continues to grow
A year ago when NFV for BSS was being discussed the main driver was reduced cost. While still hugely important, cost is no longer the main driver. Time to market and ability to quickly develop and launch new products and offers is fast becoming the main reason why operators are looking at NFV when it comes to their BSS. This underlies a trend where more marketing folks in operators are getting involved in BSS decision making. IT and billing teams have long complained about marketing having their wish list of new offers they want to make. This wish list is only going to get longer and the time to implement is going to get shorter. The knock on effect will be increased BSS automation, the death of service heavy deals – operators simply won’t have the time to live with lengthy implementation, upgrade and change cycles. Those that think they do and can live with the status quo of adapting legacy systems for new services and business models could very well be blindsided by the competition and changes in customer behaviour.
Martin Morgan is the VP of Marketing at Openet.