I have good news to report in the field of virtualization. Some operators are already starting to move their CEM and OSS applications to the cloud while others are actively evaluating the market situation and listing their requirements. Most are aiming to have their applications virtualized and running in data centers within three to five years.
These findings are based on an ongoing study conducted with our CEM and OSS customers, and some trends are already apparent. For example, there are significant similarities regarding virtualization strategies, but clear differences in the pace and timing of implementation. By the end of this year, the anticipated percentage of OSS/CEM/umbrella applications to be virtualized is estimated at some 10%, with the ultimate target of all relevant applications to be running in data centers within 3-5 years.
Why move CEM and OSS applications to the cloud?
The main drivers behind this push are deemed to be business agility and streaming of operations. When discussing the particulars of virtualizing CEM and OSS, we learned that flexibility, HW independency, and OPEX and or CAPEX savings are essential. Consolidating CEM and OSS applications to the same data center location is an additional attractive benefit.
These findings reinforce an earlier market study conducted in April this year, which pointed out that business agility enables operators to achieve shorter innovation cycles when the service deployment is fast, and revenues can be generated with a minimal delay.
Regarding the merger of IT and telco, the currrent study highlights three main approaches that operators are taking in virtualized business and CEM and OSS applications:
1. The majority of operators prefer the OSS/BSS cloud option – a centralized environment dedicated to CEM, OSS and umbrella applications.
2. The second most popular option is to install Nokia products in their own telco cloud, but primarily only for selected CEM and OSS applications. The telco cloud is mainly for running virtualized network elements (VNFs).
3. The smallest group of operators are opting to use their IT cloud, or enterprise cloud as a location for CEM and OSS applications. This cloud is mainly for their internal business supporting services (BSS), like HR systems, process and IT applications. Generally speaking, it is unlikely to see CEM and OSS applications located in the enterprise cloud.
Regardless of the approach, it’s clear that CEM and OSS applications in the cloud translate into new business opportunities, opening the door to utilize and analyze data in ways that haven’t been possible before.
‘SW only’ is a rising star
Another growing trend, as confirmed by the current study, is focus on software-only business, versus the HW /SW combination deals. We’ve observed this pattern growing in importance within CEM and OSS during recent years and clearly note that SW-Only is the preferred option.
The rationale points to deployment time of new CEM and OSS software, which can be reduced from weeks to days. State-of-the art SW can be rolled-out immediately to support new service launches, and business case benefits are realized sooner.
It takes 2 to tango in the Telco cloud
Telco cloud is poised to help operators address the major challenges they face today, such as rapid data growth and unpredictable demand. It also promises to reduce the costs of delivering each bit of data, and enable operators to more easily create competitive differentiation to sustain top-line growth.
The promise of virtualization is attractive, but hidden costs play a role. Building a solid business case, which incorporates both the technical solutions and business agility is therefore key when making the move to the cloud. Nokia has the competence and experience to help you accelerate your transformation, get the calculations right and optimize your benefits.
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