Andersen was approached by a B2B/B2C mid-sized Telecom company and mobile network operator. The company provides a set of services that are focused on mobile communications, Internet, and IPTV products. As of today, the company serves more than 10 million users in the European market.
The increased competition forced the Telecom company to rethink and redesign their commercial offerings to win clients. It then took more time, money, and resources to extend and maintain such product portfolios. Therefore, some of the customer's operations turned out to be inefficient as they were processed via outdated legacy systems by different vendors. As a result, the company decided to implement a digital BSS transformation project for their business support system and entrusted us to perform an audit of their entire IT architecture.
Among the business challenges faced by the customer, we identified the following:
The key request from the customer was to modernize their IT architecture so that they could optimize customer services, launch products faster, and reduce operating costs. Andersen's BSS telecom architecture specialists defined more specific goals as follows:
The current state of the Telecom market is shaping the distinct demand for holistic, personalized, and fast services. Communication service providers cannot be bogged down by legacy BSS that are simply not designed to cater to an ever-increasing demand for new products and services, as well as incapable of supporting the new revenue and cost models emerging alongside 5G services. Thus, a BSS transformation project is the only viable solution to tackle the challenges of a fast-paced digital landscape.
Andersen's team of analysts and digital BSS architecture experts reviewed the existing IT architecture and suggested improvements.
After careful consideration and numerous discussions, we came to a conclusion that only a major BSS transformation project, with a complete swap of most of the existing BSS systems, would make it possible to achieve the goals set by the customer. Despite being an extremely complicated process, it would significantly improve the customer's Telecom business perspectives and decrease long-term operational costs.
Due to the customer team's lack of experience in major Telecom transformations, Andersen was asked to assist them in drafting the initial solution architecture, organizing a tender process to select the best matching primary BSS software provider, and supporting the general transformation process.
The current market offers a broad range of BSS solutions for Telecom, with varying levels of maturity, extensibility, and price. Andersen's knowledge of existing Telecom products and the operator's current IT landscape became crucial when it came to organizing a tender, evaluating the participants, and shaping the ultimate solution.
To select an optimal BSS solution, a list of requirements for all affected components needed to be clearly formulated via a requirements matrix.
Andersen's BSS architecture specialists and analysts conducted multiple workshops with the customer's representatives in various departments — business, finance, marketing, etc. — to clearly describe the existing solution, identify which components required transformation, and draft requirements for the new ones.
Apart from the requirements matrix for specific components, it was essential to ensure the E2E implementation of the needed business processes because such processes usually affect multiple systems simultaneously. The tender preparation stage also included formalizing, describing, and drafting high-level architecture for the operator's processes in all domains, including client management, revenue assurance, dealer management, etc.
All this allowed the participating vendors to deep-dive into the required functionalities, so the operator's representatives could easily identify gaps in proposed solutions.
In order to understand the complexity of the described business processes, let's have a look at a sample diagram for the “Creation of a new B2C subscriber via eShop” use case.
As you can see, this business process affected multiple BSS and OSS components:
All Telecom software components can be divided into three categories:
Internal BSS components:
Once the requirements of the tender were finalized and approved by the customer, Andersen's BSS telecom architecture experts assisted them with tendering. After carefully reviewing multiple companies, only two were selected for the final round.
As part of the last round, the shortlisted companies had a chance to present use cases concerning their platforms. This way, a deep understanding of all advantages and flaws was reached on the Telecom side. These efforts helped the customer to select the best final BSS vendor's solution with reasonable pricing.
The following advantages of the preferred solution were especially appealing to the business and helped to make the final choice:
Based on careful analysis of the proposed BSS solutions for Telecom and their pros and cons, the operator made the best choice.
The selected vendor was chosed as the customer's primary BSS vendor due to its overall high compliance with business and technical requirements, experience in similar BSS cases, and reasonable prices. Since its score in Web Front channels was low, it was agreed that Andersen would take over a portion of the work and develop the SelfCare and eShop systems so that the vendor could concentrate on the primary BSS components.
Due to the high workload of the BSS vendor and their tight project schedule, we also took over some Front-end components, which contributed to the successful implementation of the project on time.
The final architecture featured some minor changes compared to the initial proposal. As you can see below, SelfCare and eShop web channels were added to Andersen's scope.
Andersen worked on the development of web Front-ends for the B2C/B2B SelfCare and online shop. All web channels were supposed to provide effective and unified customer journeys that would deliver an omnichannel experience.
In order to create a unified design for all web channels and make sure they're in sync with the customer's branding policies, our UI/UX and design team developed a brand book with primary design and functional elements in conformity with the customer's colors and identity. After that, we created a library of common user controls and elements to be reused all over the website to ensure correct brand representation.
A dedicated authorization microservice was developed by our team to support scenarios for the end-client.
The microservice provides a Web UI for clients to input their login and password information or authenticate via other means:
By following industry standard protocols, OpenID/OAuth2, we ensured the safety and robustness of authentication flows.
SelfCare is a website that allows existing Telecom clients to get information about their current services, balances, products, and fees. It enables standard functionalities for Telecom operators, such as:
In order to fulfill all customer requirements, we needed to implement extra advanced functionalities:
B2B SelfCare is a channel for the company's representatives to manage B2B Telco services.
It enables additional functionalities on top of B2C SelfCare; that's why it was agreed to move this channel into a separate app.
A single representative can manage multiple subscriptions simultaneously, which means managing packages and pricing plans of, for instance, all subscribers. This greatly simplifies the work of the operator's B2B support team, as a representative can do many operations by themselves. Additionally, B2B SelfCare gives the possibility to control company-level bills, credit notes, payments, and other information.
eShop allows new leads to view a list of Telco offers provided by the operator and buy new SIM cards online. The following functionalities became vital for the operator's business:
It took Andersen 18 months to deliver the BSS transformation solution and all the needed customizations, ensure that all the components were properly integrated, and perform end-to-end testing. The transformation was planned as a "Big Bang" with all the subscribers to be migrated overnight.
Big Bang migrations have an advantage over Phased migrations, as they do not mandate a coexistence period – i.e., when both old and new stacks have to be supported. Since the number of subscribers was not that large, we selected the overnight migration approach as the simplest option.
A dedicated cutover manager was appointed to ensure the successful client migration and overall cutover process. The manager was responsible for a 400-point cutover plan that described all needed activities, in every affected system, required to switch to the new BSS stack. A few cutover rehearsals were planned and successfully executed to instill confidence in the customer that the solution was ready for deployment. After that, we were given the final green light for the Go Live phase.
All migration and cutover activities were successfully executed overnight as planned. Due to extensive planning, testing, and multiple rehearsals, it became possible to finish the migration project without negatively affecting the client experience or causing critical issues.
As a result, the new BSS stack proved to be robust, efficient, and agile. The customer was fully satisfied with the resulting BSS transformation solution as it allowed them to achieve their goals in full.
Client engagement across digital channels has significantly increased:
Improved stability has ensured that 99.8% of orders are handled successfully within the SLA timings. The performance of new subscription issuance procedures and package activation use cases have improved by 20% and keep on working consistently and quickly even under high loads.No Severity 1 or 2 Issues after the stabilization period.
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