Survey: Silos still chokepoint for deploying services
According to a survey, cable operator employees are frustrated with internal operational silos that make it difficult to deploy new services and marketing models.
Along with various back office and OSS systems for each of the traditional triple-play services, consolidation of cable operators’ operations at regional and national levels has also added to the need for an integrated multi-service activation capability, according to the independent survey by Incognito Software.
For the survey, Incognito reached out to executive management, operational, marketing and engineering executives of Tier 1 and Tier 2 cable operators in the United States.
Operator executives interviewed for the survey said that the traditional methods of service activation created silos of different operating departments within their companies, which has slowed the deployment of new services and initiatives.
The resulting operational challenges have become a major burden to efficiency and speed to market, according to Incognito. Smaller MSOs are outgrowing outsourced approaches to service activation, and larger MSOs are outgrowing the functional capabilities of home-grown OSS platforms.
The operators interviewed said that a triple-play service activation process requires the manual touching of four or five operations and back office systems. For greater efficiency and productivity, they would like to be able to enable service activation through one point of contact.
“Cable operators are looking for efficient ways to activate new tiers, usage-based pricing and packaging models, dynamic marketing incentives, and value-add applications that are essential to building ARPU and to retaining and adding subscribers,” said Stephane Bourque, CEO of Incognito Software. “If, for example, a marketing department wants to offer a free week of 50 Mbps high-speed data service to anyone who buys three VOD movies in one week, the complexities tied to coordinating all the moving parts on such an offer shouldn’t get in the way. Operators are frustrated by the current status of their operations support systems.”
Survey results found that in order to automate the deployment and management of every interactive service across all access networks, these new activation platforms must address all of the different systems associated with each service category, including:
- CMTSs and softswitches
- VOD managers, conditional access systems and other headend components
- Web and e-mail servers
- EMTAs, set-tops and other user devices
- CSR, provisioning, billing and other back office processes.