KT says BSS, OSS can no longer operate as separate cultures
KT '2.0' requires a trajectory course to opportunities beyond telecom. Consolidation onto one platform for OSS, BSS and SDP will lay the foundation
KT is considered a pioneer not only in Korea—one of the most technologically advanced telecom markets in the world—but also as an opportunist in other markets, including North America. The company was recently in the news for investing an integrated suite from Oracle Communications.
Connected Planet talked with Jae Lee, senior vice president of KT’s Business and Information System Transformation (BIT) Center about its plans for billing, service delivery platform (SDP) and OSS.
Connected Planet: It’s unusual to see a large operator buy into so many different components from one vendor. What was the reasoning behind buying an SDP, OSS and billing platform from Oracle?
Lee: Other telcos typically have two separate cultures—one for OSS and another for BSS. And they generally can be somewhat unfriendly toward each other when it comes to business transformation because you have to do purchasing and installations for each separately. When you have a lot of legacy systems, migrations to new systems and customizations becomes extremely taxing and an enormous task.
We decided we would rather focus on those things that will bring revenue to our stakeholders; things like cloud and mobility. And our CEO wants to build ‘KT 2.0,” which means we will move beyond just telecom. We already are gaining with our plans for a full line of cloud computing services and strategy around IaaS, PaaS, CDN and other offerings to enterprise customers that want to differentiate themselves with what they do with customer data. By Q2 of next year you will see a lot in those areas from us.
To proceed, we need strong identification and billing systems, as well as new capabilities to help the business domain, such as people in marketing who more than ever have to be able to access customer data quickly and efficiently. We can enable that if everything is on one platform.
We will retire many older service plans and take a ‘greenfield’ approach rather than brownfield, meaning we want people to buy into our new services rather than having to migrate people from old services to new. So legacy plans and legacy systems we will phasse out. Subscribers can terminate old plans and re-enter with new services, which will go onto our new systems. This mitigates the risk of big projects around migration and integration.
We do not want to detract from our goals, and we do not want the enormous cost and pains of an integration project analogous to what someone like a Sprint Nextel did. It works for some companies, but we decided it wasn’t good for us.
As data services and applications evolve, we want to simultaneously pursue other markets with other partners, including telecoms in other markets. And we want the flexibility and speed to go to market faster than our competitors, and that is where the Oracle components will come into play.
Connected Planet: Do you fear you’ll disenchant any of your customers by phasing out some of the older plans and services in favor of newer ones?
Lee: Customers don’t care what system they belong to. They want innovative services that match their needs, and they want one bill with everything on it. They also want a single point of contact. Those are the things we will focus on delivering to them. Rather than get tied up migrating data onto a new billing system, we want to focus on innovation and serving our customers.
Connected Planet: What are the technological components you consider ‘enablers’ for your goals?
Lee: Well, we think ERP for interoperability and optimization is critical in our information systems transformation. IT is working to optimize internal operational processes so that in collaborations with partners, we can cut away some of the complexity of settlement, purchasing and other complicated processes. It will also help bolster our internal process innovation as well.
The B/OSS and SDP investment will help us consolidate several billing and OSS systems onto a single platform. That is a big agenda for us because our in-house, customized applications do not possess the features we need for new service plans and registering new devices. Our plans for application development necessitate agile, flexible solutions, which is why we will use Oracle, which can do the B/OSS/CRM integration through their suite. We believe that will help us reduce our costs as well.
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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