How Ericsson Uses Partner Ecosystems to Innovate


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When you want to strive in the world of business, you should make sure that you have partners who you can rely on. There is enough business for us all, and this is also why coopetition is oftentimes preferred over competition. This is not a fixed sum game, there are new opportunities for entirely new experiences, applications, and services with the new possibilities emerging as 5G, IoT, and the edge collide. Companies large and small invest in partner ecosystems and how they could leverage startups in accelerators to grow together. This is particularly relevant in ICT technology and even more so when you look at novel tech such as 5G.

Why would a company think about partnerships and building ecosystems? It’s straightforward to explain. Every person comes with a different set of skills and experiences they gained throughout their career. There is nobody who is equally good at everything, and therefore talent management in a company tries to get the best people but also needs to make sure they have a variety of skills. Looking from a different angle, all companies have their strengths and weaknesses too. They specialize in something, and maybe they have a portfolio of things they are good at in their field, but there’s no company that can do everything.

That’s why it makes sense to work with partners, and if you truly scale that thought, you begin to establish holistic ecosystems of partners and technology stacks that complement each other to provide clients and users a much better experience and service quality. I learned a lot about that in my role as channel and alliance manager at GMS, where I also worked on establishing and nurturing partnerships with companies from all over the world, so the subject of leveraging ecosystems in tech really appeals to me.

Experts talk about 5G through ecosystems

When I’m learning about new concepts or when someone is sharing information that goes in-depth, I feel like I can consume and process the learnings a bit better when I’m listening to people discussing the issues that matter. So many talks on events or webinars are still very male-dominated, and still too few are held by or contain a good quantity of females in the panel. Fortunately, we are in a time and age wherein smart companies are waking up to the benefits of diversity, and I can usually find the type of content that I’m looking for. That’s also why I was happy to see that the recent episode of ‘Let’s talk about: 5G monetization’, titled ‘5G is an ecosystem play’ on Telecom TV, consisted of three female experts from different business departments to share their insight.

When you check into the session with experts from Ericsson, you’ll be able to listen to Helena Ola, Head of BSS Product Development Unit,  Seda Dolen, Head of BSS Sales, and Miriam Deasy, BSS Senior Solutions Marketing Manager. Together with Telecoms TV host Ray Le Maistre, they talk about the impact of 5G on telecoms partnerships, how partner ecosystems work and what it means for the IT systems that support the business. The focus points of the session are about charging policies, innovating and cocreating together with partners, as well as monetizing 5G services with network slicing and related technologies.

Above is only a quick teaser of the whole talk. If you’re looking to get the full picture of this session, you can visit the Telecoms TV website to register to watch the broadcast ‘Let’s talk about: 5G monetization, Episode 1 – 5G is an ecosystem play‘ in full as video-on-demand.

What does BSS mean in telecom?

BSS is the acronym for business supports systems. Unlike OSS (operations support systems), BSS deals with commercial activities such as product creation, ordering, charging, and billing. Part of that is the customer-facing interaction as well in the world of the CSP (communications service provider). Beyond that, CRM (customer relationship management), mediation, financials, and call center automation is also a part of BSS.

What are the benefits for the clients?

By leveraging a partner ecosystem, you’ll enable direct collaboration with people and companies you trust and establish a good working relationship with. , to name just one of the advantages. You’ll be able to better scale your services by building on top of that, and the sustainable business relationships further help you to establish automation in the business processes, which everybody can benefit from.

You can together craft and design end-to-end workflows not only for data but for everything that traverses BSS and the OSS that are connected. The good thing here is that you can constantly measure how these workflows perform and leverage this information to improve the services and processes continually. This is how both BSS and OSS aspects can improve over time. The flexibility that you gain because of that can help you to better maneuver around the value chain toward the best opportunities.

Why is that important? With proper agility, it’s possible to bring services to market in a much faster way. And what else is needed for new agile services? With creative billing and charging capabilities, you can monetize the 5G services in a way that makes sense to service providers as much as to their clients. Knowing the facts and figures fast helps also to better react to trends that relate to them.

If you sit down with all the stakeholders, you could even think about new countable attributes and SLA (service level agreement) artifacts that you could invoice for rather than only being able to bill for traditional measure units. This can go further. If you think about what technology can offer in this aspect, you can also work with innovative 5G monetization parameters such as network slicing, dynamic SLA, security aspects, and consumption-based billing models. Instead of investing too much time to customize service parameters for all sorts of client scenarios, you just prepare a standard service catalog and configure the service to match your clients’ needs. With all of these features, you can avail of much more granular charging mechanisms, which is good for you and good for the users.

What’s coming up next?

The session I talked about today was only the first episode of the 5G monetization series at Telecoms TV. The next episode is titled ‘Flexible service creation and innovation.’ It will broadcast on the 20th of January 2022 at 3 pm (UK), 4 pm (CET), or 10 am (ET), depending on where you are in the world. Want to see what the key talking points will be? You can find out more details here.

Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and was prepared by Ohayou.

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isak
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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