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Effective service delivery platforms: Are we there yet?

For telecom carriers that own a network, the idea of being reduced to "transport" player" is a four-letter word. To avoid being marginalized, carriers have high expectations for flexible and efficient service delivery platforms (SDPs), but platform development hasn't yet reached maturity.

The SDP market is in its second-generation, with platforms designed to combine the strongest components of telecom, IT, media and the Internet. Operators are depending on SDPs to help them reduce expenses, share platform assets (like customer information, operations systems and quality-of-service capabilities), and create new sources of revenue through flexible billing and a "two-sided" business model that can serve customers and over-the-top (OTT) partners using carrier transport capabilities.

SDPs are currently designed to manage multiple types of multimedia content and third-party relationships, enabling operators to leverage unique assets to produce new sources of revenue. SDPs were initially created to provide mobile content management systems, but today they are designed to do meet the following four objectives, according to Current Analysis IP services infrastructure analyst Joe McGarvey:

  1. Increase the overall agility of the service delivery infrastructure
  2. Reduce operational expenditure (OpEx) and capital expenditure (CapEx) costs
  3. Automate and make uniform frequently performed tasks

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  1. Enable operators to play a role in the service delivery value chain beyond being a transport provider.
The SDP market is in its second-generation, with platforms designed to combine the strongest components of telecom, IT, media and the Internet.

To sort through the business and technology issues, a new five-part SearchTelecom.com series, Service delivery platforms: Changing the networking paradigm, by telecom expert Tom Nolle analyzes the role of SDPs in addressing advanced service layer management, next-generation OSS/BSS integration, and advanced service creation that will help carriers offer differentiated services that put the value of owning the network front and center.

Here's what you'll find in this valuable guide:

  • Next-gen service convergence hinges on SDP common elements
  • Service delivery platforms enable service differentiators
  • Advanced service creation requires new network model
  • Service delivery platforms facilitate advanced service management
  • SDPs drive business goals to increase network value

Check out SearchTelecom.com's service delivery platform section for much more on this evolving technology.

This was first published in August 2009

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