taking policy to the
smart connected device

Archive for May, 2011

The connected home: how are CSPs going to innovate new services? #BSSOSS

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

A new report from analyst firm Analysis Mason has identified a number of new opportunities for service providers to add incremental revenue to basic service packages in the “digital home”.

The research lists a number of segments and also highlights indicative market pricing, based on the retail strategies of different service providers.

  • Online security
  • Online storage
  • Technical support
  • Multi-room
  • Home monitoring and security
  • Energy management

As service providers search for ways to add value to their basic service offers, these optional extras to connectivity packages illustrate significant revenue potential, even without significant service innovation.

The “multi-room” category is an interesting case, as it suggests that the addition of multiple devices to an existing service offer may also become a significant phenomenon. But all of the bundles point to increasing complexity and will demand new ways to efficiently allocate bandwidth and prioritise traffic from different services. For example, online storage procedures may not be a priority service and should be dynamic, accelerating upload when bandwidth is available and throttling back when it is required by other applications.

Subscribers with multiple devices may find themselves competing with each other for the available bandwidth, or may wish to obtain faster upload and download rates, depending on what they are doing.

To be truly successful, the connected home looks like it will add another layer of complexity into the mix for service providers. There’s an implicit flexibility and dynamism here that needs to be addressed.

If the model of offering service add-ons is to be successful, service providers will need to deploy a means to achieve this dynamic framework, directly to the digital home.

#Cloud access forecast to be 70% #mobile

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

At its recent Business Innovation Forum, Ericsson claimed that, within five years, 70% of cloud service users will access their services via mobile, not fixed broadband.

While we are familiar with growth forecasts for mobile broadband, it’s not clear if this particular prediction will change matters. We think it might, as interaction with cloud services will create not just demand on the downstream side, but also generate significant new upstream traffic. And, we are not talking P2P or consumer traffic, we are considering potentially valuable data that is associated with enterprise functions.

Such data will need to be addressed with the appropriate priority, class of service and to be secured to the correct level. This means that cloud service providers will need to consider the demands of their users in terms of application performance. Best effort is not good enough for business users paying a premium for an application or service.

Investments in downstream capacity seem to be an obvious requirement, but service providers must also consider how they will ensure application performance in the upstream direction. After all, cloud services are not typically one-way. Much of the data associated with enterprise focused cloud services will originate at the client device. Currently, service providers have no adequate means of addressing this problem. They will need to implement solutions that enable traffic to be prioritised before it leaves the client device and to ensure that the correct resources are available in the network.

Customer must be king for CSPs

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

It has often been said that, in the online world, content is king. However, operators are beginning to realise that the customer may actually rule after all. Poor customer experience will always undermine efforts to provide the best content.

Despite the rush to provide innovative and attractive content, it may be that investments in ensuring a satisfactory experience would be more beneficial. As a recent publication by the Yankee Group put it, the question is: “is it the experience they want? Is it what is intended?”

Customer experience touches on all aspects of a subscriber’s experience with their service provider, from purchasing to support to the actual services they consume. Excelling in customer experience requires a holistic view and the willingness to address all areas. Of particular importance is the ability to ensure that services consistently perform as expected. But, this can be extended to include the idea that services can be tailored to match user preferences and consumption levels.

This is the ultimate goal of policy driven networks: matching user needs to data accumulated about their preferences, experience and consumption habits. We are some way from this, but it is becoming clear that the route to optimised service experience will depend on the ability to obtain fine-grained information regarding user application consumption. This is one area where current policy implementations are limited: they do not have the ability to provide visibility and control of user activity at the level of user devices.

Only by extending policy frameworks to encompass this domain and by integration of this with the overall policy and OSS / BSS infrastructure will service providers be able to ensure that they really can deliver optimised service performance, a key element of a 360° approach to customer experience.