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Reflections on Mobile World Congress

Looking back at Mobile World Congress, I was struck by how little focus there was on service provider operations or the underlying network.  More emphasis was on the connected services that operators can bring to customers on their end device, and the new business models they are looking to adopt and promote into the marketplace.

With all the disruption occurring in the industry today, much of which is driven by the “digital natives”, it is clear that traditional service providers must move to a digital orientation of operation.

Sigma sees disruption happening in three main areas:

The first lies in the network, with all the innovations around 5G, fiber and a push towards virtualization.

The second area of disruption is in the over-the-top content-based capabilities that many 3rd party digital natives are introducing.

And lastly, the notion of being a digital business in and of itself is gaining traction.

This means having the ability to spin up any type of operating model in order to serve customers, no matter the innovation or source of innovation.  It means being able to navigate across multiple sales channels and taking innovations to market in a zero-touch, automated fashion by moving into a DevOps way of operating. Ultimately, it’s about the operator having the agility and flexibility to launch a new business model, a new innovation or a new capability in a short amount of time.

Service providers have traditionally been infrastructure-focused, engineering-led organizations, where the network and the OSS/BSS have been viewed as assets, rather than enablers.  However, digital natives have shifted this paradigm – the product is the asset and the product should be driving system changes.   And the thing that has been neglected, which digital natives live by, day to day, is the upfront creating, selling and delivering of the product to the customer.

So, what do service providers need to achieve in order to transition from a monolithic, legacy, multi-siloed B/OSS into a truly Digital Service Provider (DSP)?  Sigma believes that a DSP must have the following characteristics – they must be catalog-driven, ecosystem agnostic, omnichannel enabled, context-aware, provide exceptional customer service and deliver flawlessly.

Sigma’s Chief Technology Officer spoke recently about the realistic, practical steps a CSP can take to achieve these qualities, none of which involve dismantling or replacing back office systems.  Instead, we advocate for Catalog-driven, Agile B/OSS as an overlay to legacy systems.  Sigma will be co-presenting with Windstream at TM Forum Live! in Nice to discuss how the operator transformed into an agile organization with the support of Sigma’s catalog-driven solutions.  Give Sigma a shout if you’d like to learn more about our approach to The Path to Digital.