Strategies for the OSS/BSS Integrator

By | March 14, 2013

Integration plays a very important role for the success of an OSS/BSS project. Lots of parties(sw houses, neps, integrators) offer integration services however few of them are able to deliver within scope, on time or within budget. Knowing the importance of  integration in an OSS/BSS project, customers began to be more selective.

In this post, I will mention some steps that needs to be considered by the Integrator , who aims to sell services to Telcos. OSS/BSS(especially OSS) services, are hard to sell as they require know-how, footprint in the target customer and enough money in  budget to cope with long sales cycles.

Here are my proposed 10-steps to success;

Step 1: Offer multiple solution offerings.

Pre-pack your solution offerings based on;

  • Best of breed products
  • Implementation experience
  • Local existence
  • Best practices expertise (TMForum, ITIL, TOGAF)

This will improve your flexibility.

Step 2: Add consultancy in your integration project

You cannot sell OSS/BSS consultancy alone! Add consultancy in several phases of the integration project delivery cycle to feed your consultancy. Good consultants will also improve customer trust.

Step 3: Run POCs

Run POCs and finance them from your presales budget. You may limit the scope to decrease costs however, customer should never be involved in these calculations. POC’s are effective strategy to;

  • develop long term relationships
  • sneak inside
  • getting rid of the RFP
  • fit for purpose (technical, cultural, financial)

Step 4: Train your customer

OSS/BSS is too complex that it cannot be understood by the senior executives. Talk in their language!
OSS/BSS should be positioned strategically. Train the customer and create awareness on different levels;

  • Strategic/Revenue focused (time and dollar)
  • Technology focused (tools and processes)

Define your metrics!

Step 5: Invest in Knowledge Management

The goal is to reduce the engagement cycle by reuse.

Create an RFP KB should include:

  • Solution description
  • Pricing !!!
  • Lessons learned

Cross-business knowledge share should be improved. Business critical data and know-how that resides on other lines of businesses should be available for re-use. Share your data!

Step 6: Score your Vendors

Maintain Vendor Scoring based on;

  • Financial figure
  • Way of working (flexibility)
  • Local existence (country list)
  • References
  • Promising Strategy

Step 7: Score your Customers

Maintain Customer Scoring based on;

  • Should we invest in them?
  • Are they interested?
  • Short term, long term strategies.
  • Previous interactions.
  • Way of working

Step 8: Score your Product Catalog

Maintain Product Scoring based on;

  • Price
  • Integration costs
  • Vendor’s score
  • Feature set (by domains)
  • Customizable
  • Typical implementation period
  • TCO

Product Scoring should be done both for 3PP and company owned products.

Step 9: Follow New Trends

  • Expand to IT! (Exp. Datacenter management)
  • Expand  to CEM!
  • Watch the consolidations(Fix-mobile, NW-IT)

Step 10: Marketing

Your role as an Integrator should be marketed. For this purpose, you can;

  • Run a separate web site just focusing on integration.
  • Issue TM Forum business cases.
  • Hire globally known consultants.
  • Create micro-blogs.
  • Create public communities.