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Monday, August 08, 2005

Telecom Service Providers :The Five Forces Model & IT As The Saviour

(Via Duncan)With VoIP residential subscriber levels about to reach millions and gross revenue potential running upwards of billion dollars with trillion minutes of time usage- it represents a great opportunity for telecom service providers and also force them to develop flexible and responsive offerings, writes,John Myers. Telecom service providers need to get their data warehouse and business intelligence groups involved in creating repeatable processes, not just a one time project. These services can be developed as premium services by fully using the strengths of the Internet or internal intranets that traditional networks and network providers do not. Michael Porter's five competitive forces model applied to telecom service provider looking at pay VoIP market could run like this:
• Industry Consolidation ( Rivalry)
• Wireless Local-Area Networks (Substitutes)
• Security/Fraud (Barriers to Entry)
• Pricing(Buyers)
• Broadband Access(Suppliers)

As a low-cost provider, telecom service providers looking to build a business model for the pay VoIP services market need to focus on lowering their costs relative to the rest of the industry. This can mean everything from low overheads to open source applications (ex. Asterisk - the Open Source PBX). The highest potential internal cost is fraud and the costs associated with fraud. Data warehouses and business intelligence can prevent this type of fraud and thus lower competitive threat - With the increasing amounts of VoIP traffic, the key will be effective monitoring and analysis of a telecom service provider’s customer usage event information. Unfortunately, with the “stateless” nature, literally and figuratively, of VoIP traffic; the key will be to migrate the information from the network to an analytical environment as close to real-time as possible. In this context, data warehousing and business intelligence can enable the success of telecom service providers in this market. Telecom service providers looking to position themselves as a premium provider of pay VoIP services & provide services and charge similar to existing landline and wireless service providers, those providers need to focus on providing the best quality connections possible. VoIP QoS can be a tricky as it relates mostly to the capacity and traffic on a given network segment or a series of network segments. Most pay VoIP service providers, especially for residential subscribers, do not own the networks that they pass traffic across. For these organizations, data warehouse and business intelligence can enable competitive advantage again via the monitoring of usage event data. Ensuring that network service level agreements, or SLAs, are met can prevent poor connection experiences for their business and residential customers. Despite the relative “ease” of finding “slow” or “stopped” network segments, the timeliness of the data is just as critical for auditing of network service level agreements for telecom service providers positioning themselves as premium providers as it is for their low-cost counterparts. This results in the need to identify those problem areas and make arrangements for other network routes in the short-term and other network partners in the long run.

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"