Technology is constantly evolving and influencing every industry. For service providers that built their own switching network 20+ years ago, it is not only legacy time-division multiplexing (TDM) like Nortel or Lucent switches that are aging out — even first-generation voice over internet protocol (VoIP) platforms are at or very near to end-of-life.
In today’s battleground for greater competition of voice services, service providers that continue to rely on legacy network components are at an elevated risk of service interruptions, shrinking revenue, and losing the battle against OTT competitors.
Voice network transformation and replacing legacy softswitches with a more future modern, future-proof solution is really becoming a business necessity for all types of service providers.
Like the business customers they serve, cable MSOs, and other operators are looking to move more of their network functions to the cloud. This is particularly true when it comes to voice services provisioning where infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings have emerged that can help make support a voice service simpler, more flexible, and more efficient.
Identifying and selecting the right transformation offering for your business is not only about understanding your options, but also about differentiating between “ok” and “great” solutions. This can be based on the impact to ROI, ease of migration, the business model, automation capabilities, and how it can help accelerate your revenue growth.
Selecting the right business model is really a key decision that will not only impact your bottom line but also your potential for future growth.
So where to begin? How do you get your business above ground? We have broken down the decision-making process into four steps:
- Determine and vet your options.
- Mitigate risks to ensure a seamless transition
- Identify the benefits a voice network transformation will bring to the business
- Select a transformation offering will enable your business to sustain itself and grow
Similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, your business has basic needs that it must first establish, but nobody wants to stop there. The next steps are more complex but infinitely more beneficial aspects to your business — like increasing competitiveness in the market, product differentiation, expanding growth opportunities, and more. Once the transformational levels are established, you can differentiate your business and begin to thrive.
Many telecom networks have a majority of revenue invested in their switch, but concerns about outdated networks, complex infrastructures, and rising maintenance costs are challenging in an already competitive market. Unfortunately, delivering a traditional voice solution requires costly network expansions and legacy hardware that is increasingly time consuming and expensive to maintain. CSPs need to rapidly build or acquire a replacement solution.
The following are your legacy switch replacement options:
With a softswitch exchange, you are replacing hardware with hardware. Exchanging an existing softswitch for a newer model can sustain providers for a few more years. But with the rate of technological advancements, increasing consumer bandwidth needs, and the rising demand for collaboration tools, service providers are more likely to find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
NFV layers software onto existing legacy systems. Although this offers some short-term user benefits, service providers still face scalability issues and the burden of manual maintenance updates. In the long term, NFV solutions are expensive, complex, and can’t keep pace with industry changes.
Cloud-based solutions bring all the benefits of the cloud — like web scalability, unrivaled service agility, and healthy, sustainable margins — to your network, and they’re suitable for virtually any provider including cable, ISP, MSP, satellite, fiber, and more.
Over the years, Alianza has participated in, advised on, and supported countless digital transformations. We have fine-tuned the knowledge needed to transform virtually any voice network, and we help service providers navigate the entire transformation process from beginning to end. Talk to us today and discover the right option for your business’s unique needs.
Now that we’ve kind of discussed what your options are, let’s talk about measuring the ROI you can get from your voice network transformation.
When it comes to determining your true ROI, today’s thought leaders know that success is not always as easy as just measuring your profit or your investment alone, particularly for cloud services. Rather, you must measure not only by the speed at which your capital is recouped but also by its forward-looking impact.
Traditionally, ROI is calculated based off gains minus your investment divided by your investment. In most contexts, it refers to a positive return in which your earnings from the investment exceed the cost of your investment. Forbes, however, suggests a more accurate calculation that measures the ROI of a digital transformation, because the value isn’t always expressed in hard dollars when it comes to the cloud.
Aspects of value such as service, velocity, flexibility, scalability (in terms of changing license numbers of your seats), digital agility, and your ability to react to market changes or consumer demands are beyond the simple comparison of gains minus investment. This new methodology is helping business leaders and IT professionals more accurately measure and communicate the immense value of digital transformation.
The beginning value is the value without a cloud investment, and the new value is the value of the cloud to your company.
Learn more about the impact of a voice network transformation to the cloud and your true ROI in our blog.
If you’re planning to do it on your own, it’s not as simple as it sounds.
Successful migrations and cloud transformations require more effort, coordination, and subject matter excellence than most business leaders recognize, which is why Alianza’s project management team is there to help every step of the way.
They’ll work with you to understand your business model and use cases, set timelines, train your team, test devices, improve processes, and more.
Many customers shared that they could not have pulled off the tech transformation from legacy service to the cloud on their own, without leveraging a complete platform offering from Alianza.