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Telcos urged to improve management

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Competition, market consolidation, and customer demands are forcing telcos into drastic action, and improving revenue management systems ranks high on their list of IT priorities, according to analyst firm Ovum.
Telcos are feeling the pressure to offer more robust services, become digital service providers, and even collaborate with third-party service providers; however, they are limited by legacy revenue management systems.
According to the latest Ovum report, 60% of telcos state they have 50 or more revenue management systems supporting operations. Over the next year, telcos will focus on upgrading their revenue management systems through major transformation projects, and will focus on restructuring roaming tariffs, consolidating systems, and adding convergence and real-time charging capabilities.
In its “Telecoms Billing Market Landscape: Challenges and Priorities” report, Ovum discusses the results of the survey, assessing the challenges that telcos are facing with their existing billing systems and their priorities for selecting a new billing solution and vendor.
Chantel Cary, author of the report and Ovum analyst, comments: “The telecoms industry now has to move at Internet speed. Customers are always online or interacting with a connected device and this is changing their expectations of their telco service providers.”
Telcos, however, are hindered by legacy systems that are incapable of handling the new demands of the industry. The next-gen telco will be expected to offer a wide array of physical and virtual goods and services from third-party providers; dynamically change service settings, tariffs, and pricing bundles in real time for different subscriber types; and provide this information on the same bill.
“For telcos to get to this point, they will need to make significant investments into improving their revenue management systems; therefore, we anticipate approximately 15% of telcos’ overall IT budget over the next 18 months to be allocated toward revenue management systems,” says Cary.
As telcos begin to upgrade and replace components of revenue management systems, they will be specifically looking for solutions that provide essential capabilities such as convergence of fixed, mobile, physical, and virtual services, and subscriber types; real-time charging capabilities for postpaid subscribers; scalability; and integration with other key systems such as CRM.
“Placing parts of the revenue management systems into the cloud is also a priority for telcos, with 55% stating that they will use private or hybrid cloud to host their revenue management systems over the next year. As a result, we see large BSS suites and managed services providers as best positioned to win telco revenue management business,” concluded Cary.