Top ten tenets of Telco Cloud

Below, we outline our top 10 tenets in Telco Cloud, sharing our high-level view of where we see the telecoms industry moving and what we believe the future will be.

1. Networking is special, but not that special

Telco cloud is not just about telecoms networks and IT and the move to cloud native technologies, it is also about changing the fundamental operating model: about processes, policies, skills, organisational structure, partnership models and culture that enable operators to innovate much faster and pursue agile product and service development.

2. The future is chopped: you need smaller building blocks with rigid architecture

The world is continually being chopped into smaller building blocks (from monolithic to microservices-based), which is a fundamental aspect of digitisation. Enforce a super-rigid domain architecture with these building blocks (e.g. BSS, Network, Edge, IoT etc.) to empower domains to adapt and evolve much faster.

3. Decouple, decouple, decouple

To reinforce this rigid architecture, decouple infrastructure from software, decouple IT (BSS) from networking and customer applications, and decouple (the teams’) accountability from control and define clear boundaries.

4. OTT is doomed, long live NEA (network enabled application)

OTT will die (as a term): Networking will increasingly be consumed through applications. Networks will become programable, accessible and “instructable” therefore applications will no longer be “over the top”, but increasingly integrated to and enabled by network APIs.

5. Customer and partner models are changing

More of your network services will be consumed through (real) ecosystems, where the value lies in enabling your own and others’ applications. But to do so, it is not about self-care portals. Provide access to network resources through APIs and developer toolsets, as programmers are becoming customers and customers are becoming programmers themselves.

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6. Continuous improvement of existing services will be the new normal

Customers (and solution partners) expect to benefit from improvements and new capabilities, without having to ‘order’ upgrades or contract new product.

7. The distinction between OpEx and CapEx should not matter

Financial reporting considerations should not undermine (the right) resource decisions. Procure capabilities as XaaS to enable you to reallocate resources more quickly and fail faster.

8. Everyone must be coding-conversant

Employees in all functions must be conversant and comfortable with coding and agile development concepts…not just IT.

9. Know the code you use, especially others’ code you use

Understand your own plumbing (IT, Networking, IoT) and take greater ownership of it so that you can add value and create differentiation by bringing together different partner components to your/their customer solutions.

10. Programmable by design is preferable but automating existing may be the best next step

Automating existing human processes and interfaces is a ‘sticky plaster’ interim measure and not a destination for Telco Cloud. It’s still pretty good.

STL Partners is committed to working with executives who share a vision for the industry that involves greater agility and innovation, a bigger role for the network and operators, and believe that implementing Telco Cloud is a key foundation of success. We will be sharing more detailed thoughts on the above and where we see the industry moving very soon, so stay tuned!

Matt Pooley

Matt Pooley

Matt Pooley

Senior Consultant

Matt led STL Partners’ bespoke work with leading operators and tech companies across the globe on defining the telco cloud opportunity, strategies and routes to deployment. On the side, he is a regular speaker at industry events, and has authored research on topics as broad as innovation, network experience and SD-WAN deployment models. Current focus includes cloud native, network automation, and partnership strategy.

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