By Ben Bannister, Director Product Marketing
In today’s increasingly complex telecoms landscape, a new approach to partner management is needed to fully address the requirements of modern communication services providers (CSPs). Mobile network operators have viewed managed services as the standard approach to managing roaming traffic for many years, so the concept of reducing overheads and outsourcing certain services to a specialist provider is already widely accepted. In the current turbulent and uncertain market, CSPs must focus more closely on their core business competencies, making it the ideal time to consider the advantages offered by a managed service environment.
It is impossible to ignore the benefits of flexibility and user control that today’s managed services provide. In a market environment characterised by margin and revenue pressures, CSPs can respond more dynamically to wholesale process pressures and actively manage revenue margins. For CSPs wanting to stay ahead of the game, this approach can to be extended across the whole partner management sphere, encompassing interconnect billing and settlement, as well as 3rd party content partner billing and settlement.
With a greater focus on cost containment and more active wholesale margin management, the very nature of traditional interconnect billing and settlement markets is changing fast. As Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-based data management and processing environments are becoming accepted as mainstream, it is both logical and sensible for CSPs to consider a managed service environment as a plausible future for interconnect billing and partner management.
At MACH, we combine Roaming, Interconnect Billing and Content Partner Management functions into a comprehensive Wholesale Partner Management platform. This lets CSPs focus on developing and delivering the services required to maintain a competitive edge in a congested marketplace.
The opportunities for CSPs within such an arrangement extend beyond convenience. While there are undoubted and measurable cost benefits associated with outsourcing wholesale partner management processes, there are other financial implications. It is an effective and rapid means through which operators can both reduce and re-engineer costs, by changing the way that assets and liabilities are accounted for.
Within the Wholesale Partner Management model, MACH as the managed service provider focuses on all the billing functions, including event processing, rating, error correction, duplicate checking, reporting and financial settlement. This frees the CSP to focus on the commercial relations with its interconnect, roaming and content partners, to make sure that it has the best rates, the best routes and is achieving increased revenue and improved margins.
MACH’s Wholesale Partner Management provides CSPs with a platform on which to expand their business models, respond to innovations, achieve greater margins and realise business goals. We believe this forms the blueprint for successful partnership in today’s time pressured, cost-conscious and customer-centric environment, but it requires innovation, disciplined execution and the right management commitment to deliver success. In this competitive environment, it will be the CSPs who can apply these next-generation partner management models successively who will ultimately prosper.