Future Digital Blog

Discussing all things digital

Dez Blanchfield talks on camera with Jan Karlsson, Acting Head of Business Area Ericsson Digital Services and Head of Digital Business Support Systems ( BSS ) about how Ericsson BSS is empowering Telco’s to meet today's fast paced market forces.

The change in the Telco environment

Telcos are under increasing pressure, and have been for some time, to become more agile, nimble, and more cost efficient. Operators are searching for alternative ways to grow their business with the new opportunities on the horizon from IoT, Machine Intelligence and the potential these new technologies offer enterprise customers. A critical component of rolling out new business models is a comprehensive, agile and adaptable billing system. Especially when you need individual billing options rolled out to millions of customers. Ericsson have long proven they are a world leader in delivering BSS solutions to Telco operators around the world, and in this video interview you will quickly learn why.

Most of us are familiar with the typical elements of a telco environment such as the core network, the business and brand which operates the telco. However,   few people know about the behind the scenes platforms and systems which make it possible to deliver fundamental capabilities such as onboarding new customers, billing those customers, running marketing campaigns and special offers across multiple services. There is a lot of complexity in a modern BSS platform so that consumers used to  an “always on” service are satisfied. The winner in the Telecom world will be the Telco that can deliver a “celebrity customer experience” - personalized for your benefit.

The role of Business Support Systems

Business Support Systems, referred to in the Telco industry as BSS, include the platforms, systems, software, security, monitoring, management tools and capabilities required to deliver Telco related Information Technology systems. Without these systems operators can’t activate new subscribers, they can’t launch new services, can’t provision or activate new services to subscribers, can’t charge for services - in essence BSS could be described as the systems which make monetization of a Telco possible.

I was recently offered the opportunity to travel to the Ericsson campus in Kista, an area just out of Stockholm, the home of the Ericsson Studio, as a guest as part of a team who were given an exclusive behind the scenes tour to meet and spend time with the amazing team inside Ericsson Digital Services, the business unit responsible for the whole of Digital Business Support Systems within Ericsson and their global network of Telco customers. Such an opportunity doesn’t come around very often, so naturally I said yes and jumped on the next flight out of Sydney and made the trek from Sydney to Kista via Dubai, London, and Stockholm.

Video interview with Jan Karlsson, Head of Ericsson Digital services

While in Kista I had the chance to jump on camera with Jan Karlsson, Acting Head of Business Area Digital Services and Vice President & General Manager of Digital Business Support Systems, to get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest that’s taking place in all things BSS at Ericsson Digital, and I’m pleased to be able to share that conversation with you here on video.

 

Before joining Ericsson in his current role, Jan was the CEO of a small software company that grew into a massive business with over 300 customers in the telco space.

Speaking with Jan it’s very evident that the discipline developed in building a fast paced startup into a global player with limited time, resource and money, gave Jan the perfect pedigree to take on the enormous challenges of transforming Ericsson’s BSS from best of breed of some 140 years of development across the lifetime of Ericsson, to now keeping pace with competitors, or getting ahead of nimble and less constrained startups.

On a related note, I had another opportunity to speak with Jan recently when Jan joined me as a guest on my podcast show

I asked him to gaze into a virtual crystal ball and share his thoughts on what new and emerging trends he thought were waiting for us just over the horizon over the next 12 to 18 months. Jan made an interesting observation regarding timeframes. He said that in the startup world what’s over the horizon is usually weeks or at most months, whereas in the telco world, that is more likely to be more like a three to five years perspective.

In both the podcast and this video interview, Jan commented that the speed of change must accelerate, and that we have all the assets to do that: the technology is there, the money is there, the customers are there, and that it’s all about you and your capacity to innovate, the team you have, your willingness to embark on transformation and innovation.

In this interview Jan shares with me the breadth and depth of the challenge he and his team are working on and bringing about successful outcomes, across the likes of working in the nimble working model of Agile development and delivery, Cloud, DevOps, Microservices, Containers, Continuous Improvement / Continuous Development (CI/CD), leveraging Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI), Network Function Virtualization (NFV).

The new capabilities offered by Ericsson BSS now make it possible for carriers and service providers to support the likes of 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), Edge Computing and Telecom grade Distributed Cloud.

The modern world wakes up every day and invariably the first thing we do is reach for our smartphones, almost through muscle memory we check the time, weather, sports scores, world news, personal and work related messages. We login securely over the internet and check our bank balance, pay a few bills online, check our salary cheque came through.

It’s easy to forget that the glossy front ends to business websites and applications on smartphones, tablets and mobile computers, laptop and desktop computers, all require highly available, complex, tightly coupled, seamlessly integrated, powerful and secure business systems support systems to make those glossy front ends function without interruption.

 Key takeaways

Key takeaways you’ll gain from this conversation include key topics such as

- Key shifts being experience by Ericsson and Telcos in BSS

- The challenges facing Telcos in today’s digital mobile age

- Business Transformation & Digital Disruption in a Telco world

- Agile delivery of development of Telco grade webscale BSS

- Continuous Improvement / Continuous Development (CI/CD)

- The shift to Cloud, Microservices, Containers and DevOps orchestration

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Dez Blanchfield
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Dez Blanchfield

As an Industry Analyst, Business & Technology Consultant, and Data Scientist covering rapid growth markets such as Digital Transformation, Digital Disruption, Telecommunications, Mobile, Cloud, Big Data & Analytics, Internet of Things, Machine 2 Machine, Cyber Security, Cyber Risk & Resilience & Smart Cities. Dez has invested his professional career of some two and a half decades thinking out and influencing the development roadmaps of technology companies, aligning them to the customer experience demands and possibilities of forward thinking digital enterprises. Dez is also an avid social media user and has a series of podcasts which we produces with leaders from different industries