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CIO Review >> Magazine >> October - 2015 issue

Billing as a Service (Baas)- all about increased agility & productivity

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Elitecore Technologies, headquartered in Ahmedabad, is an IT Product Company that provides Integrated Revenue and Customer Management solutions. The product portfolio of company has Business Support Systems (BSS), Core Session Management and Carrier Wi-Fi.

BaaS holds great potential and can aid unparalleled operational efficiencies for operators
In today’s scenario, telecom business dynamics are changing fast and new age Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are looking for incorporating next generation competencies in their network, to reduce operational costs and streamline operations. This is where cloud based OSS/BSS holds big key towards greater level of profitability.
With the help of cloud hosted O/BSS, CSPs automatically shift towards reducing Capex in favor of an Opex model, freeing organization to focus on their core activities rather than laboring on the billing process. It has clear advantages - increased efficiency, better manageability and above all, better ROI from their network investments.
A Few examples of cloud based billing are:
• Fring a global mobile VoIP leader has been able to add fringOut to its services portfolio based on Cloud Billing.
• MEO part of Portugal Telecom relies on Cloud Based Billing which helps the operator in launching new services quickly in the market.

On account of these clear advantages, a lot of CSPs are opting for cloud based model and have adopted a number of cloud driven O/BSS applications. According to research and markets the overall cloud billing market is growing exponentially and is likely to reach more than $ 9.58 billion by 2018.

What Cloud OSS/BSS Delivers?
Cloud based BSS model offers more flexibility to the operators to deliver modular or pre-integrated, deployment-ready processes and applications ensuring quick time-to-market.

Ideal models one can opt for are- “build-as-you-grow” and “pay-as-you-use”. This allows minimal upfront investment and low operating expenditure for the operator, and thereby opens up new possibilities to minimize start-up expense. In addition to the business flexibility, a cloud based BSS delivers the required agility and scalability that is critical for new operator.

Today, operators are under tremendous pressure to deliver best in class user experience. They also need to constantly expand their product portfolio in order to remain competitive and evolve their offerings with new partnership models. This is best delivered with the help of a cloud based BSS approach.

Operators Business Challenges
While there is no doubt about the increased operational efficiency and cost-driven advantages that a cloud environment brings to the organization, there has been resistance by operators to move their core billing operations over cloud infrastructure. This is primarily because unlike data storage, content or service delivery platforms, billing is one such function which is quite intrinsically interwoven inside the core processes and is close to the heart of any organization and hence, it needs to be modified in order to make way for cloud enablement.

Moreover, looking at the sensitive nature of the revenue information owned and managed by the operator along with in-house legacy systems, it is always difficult to replace the existing platform. However, it doesn't stop many operators from utilizing BaaS for new services and business models that cannot be billed on existing platforms.

Future Outlook
At present, BaaS holds a great potential to create real value for the operators and enhance their operational efficiency. Even though there are issues such as regulatory, compliance, security, high availability, customization and privacy issues, but all this is not likely to deter CSPs to embrace huge advantages related to BaaS. It is only a matter of time before all the obstacles are overcome. Since most commercial ventures in the end move to the most monetarily reasonable model, Telecom IT will not be different.

Elitecore technologies has firmly put its focus on this. Elitecore is ideally poised to deliver cloud driven business agility with the help its fully virtualized Cloud-based BSS Platform.

Its cost effective end-to-end pre-integrated cloud platform comprises of product life-cycle management, policy & charging, billing & revenue management, sales management and customer-service management. These enable the operators to quickly launch per usage/per subscriber services like IT, On-demand games/music, multi-screen video and many more via single hosted convergent platform. It provides extreme data privacy, reliability and multi-tenancy support. It ensures higher efficiency with a high-quality experience across devices and networks.