Is cloud based BSS ready for primetime?

Written by on February 11, 2016 in Billing & Payments, Opinion with 0 Comments

BSS in the cloudIn a bold move, AsiaInfo has announced that their complete BSS offering is available in the cloud, via Amazon Web Services. It is bold, in the sense that – ultimately – this is where the market is going and someone had to kick start the discussion. This is “not a dumbed down version,” according to Dr Andy Tiller, VP of Corporate Marketing, AsiaInfo, “this is the core product suite.”

This does not mean that AsiaInfo will stop developing and supporting its in-house BSS offering, but it puts a serious stake in the ground for the direction that the industry is heading. The main difference in functionality is in the customisation of the solution. The cloud offering – Veris Cloud Core – is pre-integrated and its real benefit is how fast it enables operators to get up and running. In fact, not customising software will save a lot of money. This is just the first offering that comes from an agreement between AsiaInfo and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

One of the reasons that this new offering came about was that the company built the components from the ground up, a trend that Tiller believes is ‘back in fashion.’ Whether BSS from the cloud is yet in fashion remains to be seen, but Tiller is optimistic. “The future will definitely be cloud based and someone needs to start the conversation. We have been thinking about it for a long time, and have had many conversations with operators. There is certainly an appetite for this approach and we are confident of confirming an early adopter soon.”

The pricing for the service is on the usual SaaS basis, a ‘pay as you grow’ model. The only possible downside is that if an operator wanted to use one ‘module’ they would have to pay for the whole suite, but Tiller does not see this as an issue. “It is pretty unlikely that an operator would want to put one module in the cloud when the fundamental point is to get the whole operation up and running quickly.”

It seems that this approach would suit operators looking to find a ‘greenfield’ approach in their quest to become digital. An increasingly popular strategy is to build (or rent) a completely new IT stack and leave the legacy alone. Too often, operators feel they have to tie everything back into the legacy and this is not necessarily the case. Nowadays, too, management is looking hard at the overhead of running a large legacy environment, and there is a new impetus to make the problem go away.

This is a new and bold move from AsiaInfo. As Tiller says, “there are a lot of nodding heads out there” but there is a lot of discussion to be had within the industry on this issue. One day, though, any alternative to having BSS delivered from the cloud will seem risky, old fashioned and, frankly, quaint.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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