opinion


Making the case for a managed service model

Ericsson has scored another managed services deal

According to projections from Informa Telecoms & Media, mobile telecom revenues will reach $1.1tn by 2015 with 40 per cent of this figure ($440bn) coming from data services. The pressure on carriers to maximise returns from data revenues is therefore becoming intense.

Research commissioned by Motricity, a leading mobile marketing, advertising and data services company, reflects the findings of a survey run by Informa, which suggests that a growing number of carriers are interested in moving to a managed service model for data offerings.

From the results of a global online survey sent out to mobile, fixed and converged carriers globally, and interviews conducted with carriers in the Asia Pacific region, many operators see the managed service model as a way of managing risk effectively and being able to focus more on their core business. Risk management comes from limiting the upfront investment in infrastructure and being able to launch services more quickly. With the core competence of carriers not necessarily the development, delivery and management of services and applications, outsourcing such services can also give the operator more time to implement more directly customer-facing activities.

Key survey findings include:

  • Third-party management of mobile data services such as merchandising, marketing, advertising, business intelligence, segmentation and commerce solutions will enable operators to expand their subscriber service offering.
  • Top priorities for managed services include specialist services such as web discovery, advertising, content management and hosting/data-centre management.
  • When asked which data services were most important to carrier revenues currently, the results suggested messaging (35 per cent) is perceived as the key driver, ahead of mobile internet (17 per cent) and music (14 per cent). The situation changes when asked what would be the most important data service in two years, with mobile internet (29 per cent) and social networking (28 per cent) overtaking messaging (26 per cent) as the key driver for revenue growth.
  • The pressing need for innovation is critical for emerging markets due to the increased competitive, investor and subscriber demands placed on operators to manage churn, expand margins and improve the user experience.  In the Asia Pacific region, 82 per cent of respondents either currently have a relationship with a managed service supplier around their data offerings or plan to do so within the next three years. Carriers from this region expressed the most critical functions for operator support as including content provider management, portal management and business intelligence leading to more strategic market segmentation.

In the course of carrying out this research, it was interesting to note a common thread from operators – the need to launch new services within increasingly rapid deployment cycles but at the same time managing opex tightly. Quite a trick to pull off.  And one that makes the potential selection and management of a managed service supplier an even more strategic decision.


One comment

  1. Anton Van Vuuren 21/05/2011 @ 1:37 pm

    Managed services are here to stay as operators outsource more and more of their operational and infrastructure activities to 3rd parties, but my concern is how they can effectively manage their vendors and ensure that they are actually providing the service levels to the end user that they claim to be. SLA enforcement is tricky when the operator no longer has visibility of what is going on in their own network and are reliant on the very vendors that they are trying to manage to provide them with KPI’s and reports showing their performance (or lack thereof).

    Cost effective high level management tools that are impartial and independent are the only way to ensure success when utilizing a managed services model, because subscribers will certainly notice a drop in service delivery, even if operators don’t.

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