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Telco back-office -- via policy, charging and subscriber management -- driving growth, innovation

In the telco engine room of policy management, subscriber data management and convergent charging, Infonetics sees solid growth and prospects of more.

Three pieces of work from research house Infonetics start the festive season well, as the company says the global convergent charging market is set to grow 42 percent this year to $1.26 billion and keep growing to $3.2 billion by 2015. Meanwhile the subscriber data management (SDM) market including SDM software and services for fixed and mobile is set to increase 55 percent to $563 million this year and push $1.5 billion in 2015. On the policy front, the firm’s focus was more on naming leading players – including Tekelec and Openet – that on sizing the market.

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In terms of convergent charging players, the company sees the smaller suppliers such as Volubill, Openet and Orga Systems gaining traction but being chased hard by the bigger IT players such as HP, SAP, Oracle, CSG, Amdocs, and Convergys. The drivers for convergent charging, where growth is being driven by the Asia Pacific region, are competition, differentiation, tiered pricing, revenue settlement for cloud services and management of M2M deployments.

Policy management deployments are also on the increase, and changing. Shira Levine, directing analyst for OSS/BSS at Infonetics believes “there is a clear shift in who holds the budget reins within telecom operators. A higher percentage of respondents named the IT department as the budget holder for policy management investments, and fewer named network engineering and operations departments.”

As policy management leaves its traditional network home and moves into center field, ready to run with customer data as well as network information, the opportunities for telcos multiply. Sadly the headaches for vendors also increase as the move in decision making “creates a challenge for the more established policy vendors who have longstanding relationships with operators’ network departments but less sway with IT and marketing teams,” says Levine, but it does create “new opportunities for IT players such as billing vendors entering the policy space.”

Either way, with investment on the increase and capex up a new age of innovation and competition based on sophistication and customer experience could well be on its way.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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