Evolution from Interconnect to Partner Management

What is Interconnect Business?

Interconnect is a process for telecom operators to handle calls for other operators, thus allowing people using different networks to communicate in domestic and international scenarios. Point of Interconnection connects the physical interface between two telecom operators to connect their customers. If operator A and operator B are not interconnected partners, their customers would not call each other. So, to allow ease of communication, operators get into interconnecting agreements with each other, thus allowing excellent business opportunities for them.

What is Interconnect Billing System?

It is a centralized, automated solution that supports multi-party agreements with multiple service providers to use the network and facilitate the traffic routing between multiple networks like circuit-switched networks (e.g., PSTN) or computer networks (e.g., Internet). The traffic flow is regulated through the rules defined by the system’s rules according to the interconnect agreement between the operators. The interconnect billing solution is near real-time processing to allow business optimization and help achieve increased operational efficiency and network profitability. As the business in most of the cases is bidirectional, billing systems perform two essential tasks-

  • Managing Deals or Bilateral Bulk Agreements
  • Partner Settlements –the incoming and outgoing invoices are taken through a net-off process where the net payable or receivables are identified

Why is there a need for a Partner Management Solution?

5G is beyond pure connectivity. CSPs need to work with other partners to develop compelling product bundles that provide ancillary services and processes to help enterprises achieve a significant strategic shift. CSPs should use their 5G assets to create value with their partners.

While doing so, it is essential to acknowledge that partnerships play a critical role in the continued business success of service providers. Enhancing partner profitability is critical to retaining the right partnerships. Low partner profitability due to lack of settlement processes and systems may lead to a loss of invaluable partners, affecting service levels, revenues, and margins.

Earlier, Voice revenues used to be the bread and butter for every Telco, but the emergence of Internet and OTT services have impacted revenues drastically. Gone are the days when operators entered into interconnecting partnerships only with other telecom operators to share and leverage each other’s network, primarily for Voice traffic and Messaging revenues. The proliferation of smart devices and high-speed internet has completely revolutionized the telecom ecosystem. A sudden rise in the plethora of partner-enabled services has led to a more significant divergence between partner management and interconnection systems. The number of interconnect partners has relatively increased. Still, the nature of partnerships has been relatively the same, which does not stand true for partner settlements where new partnerships are budding up quickly.

Key differences between Interconnection and Partner Management Solution:

Interconnect and Settlements

  • It mainly includes systems that record the volume and value of traffic. Primarily related to the rating for voice, data, and messaging
  • Traditional and widely deployed. Almost all mobile operators have some form of interconnection and settlement system in use
  • The revenue model is typically based on the volume of transactions
  • Settlements are mostly related to inter CSP connectivity

Partner Management

  • It includes systems that enable third-party providers to offer their services to CSP customers and enable CSPs to charge for their service
  • Comparatively new and driven mainly by demand for partner-enabled digital economy services
  • The revenue model is mostly revenue sharing and, in some cases, is tied to product licensing
  • Support complex third-party settlements, subscription, billing, etc

The wholesale telecom market is expanding aggressively, competition is fierce, margins have dwindled, billions of transactions/events take place which must be rated and charged, and multi-party agreements have become complex leading to a decrease in the quality of service rendered.

There is a need for a Partner Management system that overcomes all CSP challenges for superior partner relations. This is where Subex Partner Management fits in. It is a convergent platform that offers a 360⁰ view of the evolving telecom ecosystem across Mobility, Content, and Entertainment, 5G for Business, Enterprise, and Internet of Things by providing a nuanced profile of partner agreements based on data such as revenue and margins. It helps in swift partner onboarding, partner self-care, partner assurance, end-to-end revenue visibility, and accessible communication between Telco and its partners. It is designed to co-exist with your legacy systems and manage diverse revenue streams while helping you launch high-value, high-margin services in collaboration with partners.

From Effective to Cutting-edge: Next Generation Partner Lifecycle Management

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