Service Delivery Platform (SDP) Asia. Day One

This article provides a brief summary on Day One of Informa’s SDP Asia conference in Singapore on the 26th November.  A preview of the conference was given in this article.  With 70 registered attendees and about 55 attendees in the room on Day One, APAC is bucking the trend in conference attendance by showing solid growth, active sessions, and excellent operator presentations frankly sharing their SDP experiences and plans.

Overall Summary
Excellent operator presentations highlighted the reality, successes and limitations of current SDP implementation; as well as the gap that exists in adopting Open Innovation.  That is, the third party approaches are still focused upon owning the applications and controlling customer experience, rather than enabling and letting the customer decide what applications are launched.  Though Globe is definitely making significant strides in Open Innovation by launching 700 content based VAS (Value Added Services) per year, that’s a great open door in letting the market decide.

Session Summaries

IT SDP and Telco SDP: Market Dynamics And The Drivers For Next Generation Of Service Delivery Platforms, Bui Banh, Vice President, Solution, Strategy and Marketing at Alcatel Lucent, China
Bui presented the results of Heavy Reading’s analysis that customers expect to pay less for bundled services, but are prepared to pay more when those services are available across multiple devices (positioned as blended services).  He highlighted the importance of increasing customer value and locking that value to assets; those assets being for example the network (QoS (Quality of Service)) and customer information – this theme was repeated in several of the operators’ presentations given during the day.  He gave three case studies on the use of their SDE (Service Delivery Environment):

  • 75% improvement in TTL (Time To Launch) for a North American operator’s 3rd party portal.
  • IPTV SDP for an European operator where services on the IPTV STB (Set Top Box) included SMS, mobile prepaid recharge, web TV and video calling between TV and mobile;
  • Geo-messaging service for an APAC operator covering friend finder and location-based advertising.

Staying Ahead Of The Game With SDP In A Rapidly Evolving Carriage Business, Ng Aik Beng, Manager, Service Platforms at SingTel, Singapore
An excellent presentation on the limitations of the operator strategy in giving ‘more for less,’ and the threat from web service providers.  Aik Beng then described their third party platform, the Network Delivery Platform (NDP), and in doing so highlighted the fundamental problem with many such operator initiatives: after 3 years the project is working on commercialization of two applications selected by SingTel for ’09!  In the wrap-up he highlighted the critical issue that implementing an SDP is as much a cultural problem as a technical problem.  SingTel appears to be still trying to ‘own’ the applications and customers rather than enabling Open Innovation.

Transforming The SDP For New Services, Dr Loh Chee Hoong, Head, Service Platforms – Technology Development at Maxis Communications, Malaysia
A frank review on the reality of SDP implementations, particularly on what is considered first generation SDPs (content centric).  Key issues are: governance (operational commitment), legacy stovepipe and silo applications will continue to exist, and convergent billing is essential (yet is generally outside the SDP’s control).  Mobile broadband is exploding in Maxis, traffic increased 400% in just over 6 months.  Their plans for the SDP is to focus on monetization of customer intelligence, this is much more than advertising, Dr Loh gave examples including Mobile TV (voting, interactivity, co-marketing) and NFC (Near Field Communications) payments (co-marketing).  Maxis are in the process of planning their move to a next generation SDP to harness the potential of business intelligence and third party innovations.

Understanding The Role Of SDP In Simplifying The VAS Creation Process, Pebbles L Sy, Head, Product & Service Platforms, Multimedia Business Group at Globe Telecom, Philippines
The best presentation of the day.  Pebbles described the implementation of the 724’s messaging SDP.  Globe implements over 700 content related VAS annually, with 830M transactions per month, this is anticipated to grow to 1B per year by end of this year.  ROI for the project was 2 months!  The drivers for implementing the project in 2002 were faster time to launch, real time charging (prepaid balance check), settlement resolution (fraud reduction), simplify access numbers (using keywords instead of lots of shortcodes), simple APIs (HTTP based) and load balancing.  TTL (Time To Launch) for new VAS went from 30-60 days, to 5-10 days (2 days for an existing workflow).  They are in the process of monetizing failed transactions (keyword suggestion), and using business intelligence to cross-sell/up-sell.  They are evaluating a 3rd party developer program, and expect to launch in ’09.

SingTel Optus: Assuring Top Performance and Availability of Real-World SDP, Brent Suhr, Product Manager Premium Services , Optus Products and Delivery at Singtel Optus, Australia
Described their experiences in using CA/Wily’s Application Performance Monitoring (APM) product on Optus Zoo, their third party application portal.  The tool was not just used internally but for 3rd parties to see the performance of their application.  This could become an important part of the services provided by an operator’s ADC (Application Development Community).  Through implementing the tool they reduced problem resolution times from 2 hours to between 5-30 mins.

Determining The Optimal Service Creation Environment (SCE) To Encourage Simplicity For Services & Application Developers On The SDP Platform, Noor Azman Mohamed Sharif, TM International Berhad, Malaysia

Telecom Malyasia International covers Celcom (Malyasia), Dialog(Sri Lanka), Wide (Indonesia), AKTel (Bangladesh), and many more.  Provided a frank review of the pros and cons of SDP deployments, highlighting in particular that caller ring back tone (CBRT) silos are being deployed today in some operators even though a SDP is available.

SDP Extendability, What Is Next? Dinesh B. Saparamadu, CEO at hSenid Software International, Singapore
Great presentation on the capabilities presented by JAIN SLEE (JSR 22) (Java™ APIs for Intelligent Networks Service Logic Execution Environment), and the role the Java community plays in creating open source resource adapters (RA) and Service Building Blocks (SBB).  Dinesh presented solid analogies to his enterprise J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) experiences on the implementation advanatges of JAIN SLEE.  BTW hSenid have just launched their JAIN SLEE SDP.

How To Combine IMS and SDP To Effectively Deploy New Products & Services,  Alan Quayle

How To Combine Ims And Sdp

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