B2B service migration and replacement – key considerations for a more agile future
Legacy service siloes drain costs and prevent evolution to more agile, virtual environments. In addition to protecting existing revenue, migration can enable new opportunities to be targeted. What do you need to consider when thinking about service migration?
An increasingly common theme from our discussions with our partners and with operators across Europe is the need to replace legacy B2B service platforms. There are numerous mature B2B services – voice VPN for corporate customers and vPBX for all business users, are two excellent examples – which generate recurring revenue, but which are based on solutions that have been discontinued by their original suppliers. As such, ensuring both service continuity and protecting existing revenue is a priority. But, there are also other strategic considerations that drive such decisions.
Consolidation and transformation
First, consolidation of legacy platforms. Many operators are challenged by the fact that they have multiple service solutions that are disconnected as siloes. While this is hardly a new issue, it’s one that remains unresolved in many operator estates. Reducing the solution footprint reduces operational costs, which are a significant drain on resources. However, there’s another reason – preparation for the next phase of network evolution.
Which brings us to the second point: transformation to the telco cloud. Most operators are seeking to move to all-virtual networks, which will enable more agile operations. This telco cloud will also support eventual adoption of the 5G core architecture. Now, it’s true that not all telcos will deliver 5G mobile services - but the 5G core is a common framework for all services, so it’s inevitable that most will shift to something that incorporates most, if not all, of its elements and the principles that underpin it.
As a result, operators must move service platforms to virtual environments, so that they can run a consistent service delivery portfolio, with enhanced orchestration and backed by agile principles. This adds yet more pressure – maintaining a service solution in a legacy platform will prove to be a further drain on costs. On the other hand, moving assets to virtual environments will help with future service evolution.
IMS replacement or adoption
So, third, we must consider where we go from here. While many operators have already deployed IMS, not all have done so yet. And, those that have may have done so, may be considering replacement with a new, virtual solution. Service platforms that are not compatible with IMS investments risk further isolation – and becoming even more of a drain on costs.
Any service platform today must be compatible with IMS and future evolution towards service-based networks. Operators need a seamless service environment and estate that spans all services and supports a single architecture.
But there’s a fourth reason. Quite apart from any architectural and environmental compatibility issues, operators also need to evolve services. Most legacy VPN or vPBX solutions do not offer any roadmap or convergence with other services. Operators need to consider how new functionality can be enabled, or, of perhaps greater interest, how such services can be used as capabilities by others. VPN may sound legacy, but when network slicing emerges, the provision of dedicated user groups across different slices will be essential, for example.
Yes, existing services need to be protected for their own sake because, for example, you can’t easily stop servicing 100,000 VPN subscribers without taking a major financial hit. But, there’s much more to consider. The integration of a diverse set of B2B services, into a single, consolidated solution; the opportunity to reduce costs and retire legacy assets; the adoption of a new, more agile environment; and the potential to reuse service assets to deliver new offers and capabilities, perhaps by blending with other services in the portfolio.
If you want to know more about how to consolidate legacy B2B services and adopt a new, converged solution that can support network transformation and migration to the telco cloud, get in touch. We will help.