The case for Business Assurance in 5G
5G is a reality now, and Communication Service Providers (CSP) are launching products on their 5G networks.
5G is considered a revolution for the enterprise business world because of its characteristics like network slicing, multi-access edge computing (MEC), aggregators, dedicated high upload and download bandwidth, low latency, and more.
But for those of us in the business assurance community, what does 5G mean? How will it be different when we consider 2G/3G/4G controls?
5G: Creating new connections
When I saw the movie ‘I, Robot’, there were scenes of several robots working together and performing specific tasks to support the human race. It was difficult to believe that we could be close to that kind of reality. Those robots are like today’s connected devices: connected and controlled from a centralized location, and trained with AI/ML models.”
Connecting this story in ‘I, Robot’ with today, we can expect a similar customer experience with 5G connectivity working alongside AI and robotics. Although the movie script showed some negative effects, we assume that these issues will get be assured in the 5G world by our peer communities of Information Security Groups.
Coming back to the topic of how 5G differs for our business assurance community over the current controls, here’s what I see. There will be reusability of the traditional revenue assurance controls like subscription assurance, product catalog validation, and QoS validation. The current customer and revenue use cases of business assurance like Customer 360-degree, revenue analytics, product profitability, margin assurance, etc., will continue to be relevant.
But in terms of the Framework of Business Assurance in 5G, we will need a few more controls to ensure healthy relationships between CSPs and their partners/suppliers. These will be important for all parties to work together and provide a great experience for the end customer.
New BA controls in the 5G world
Below is an image of the foundation of the CSP business model:
In the 5G world of enterprise business, there are thousands of partners (seen on the left of CSP) involved in supporting CSPs to provide services to all lines of business (seen on the right of the CSP). These services include immersive entertainment, sports broadcasting, smart cities, connected cars, 5G drones, etc. A healthy relationship with partners is key to ongoing success.
BA’s role in supporting 5G growth
To this end, here are a few use cases where business assurance plays an important role in delivering the best customer experience:
- Service assurance – This includes everything from partner contracts to configuration validation and monitoring the quality of the service provided (QoS breaches) to the customer
- Partner profitability – This is an extension of margin assurance and involves scoring and analyzing individual supplier performance.
- Supplier analytics – This is a comparison of supplier performance and an analysis of supplier risk and their sustainability.
- Spend analytics – This includes analytics on the spend on a product, which is tightly coupled with vendor spend. It also extends to forecasting the spend for any product launch against the expected margins.
- Contract risk management – This involves expiry alerts and identifying clauses, obligations, and risks
- Dispute analytics – This involves using AI/ML to predict disputes on the billing, write-offs, bad debts and usage charges date sets
- Just in time (JIT) and just in case (JIC) analytics – This includes managing inventory based on analyzing historical data and current datasets, and forecasting capacity. This capability has been essential for a lot of CSPs since the Covid-19 pandemic. Many CSPs are refocusing from JIT to JIC to avoid loss of opportunity.
The more we analyze how CSPs and their partners interact, the better business assurance teams are able to institute controls that protect to ensure those relationships. Ultimately, healthy and profitable business interactions will be necessary for both CSPs and partners to provide a best-in-class experience to customers.
Business Assurance in 5G and beyond
Harmeet is a Director- Business Solution and Consulting Group at Subex. He has over 14 years of experience in Business Development, Solution Design, Consulting, IT Operations, OSS/BSS product implementation, and delivering customized as well as in-house client solutions to large and small to medium scale Telcos in the APAC and Europe region. He is responsible for Pre-Sales for Subex Portfolio around Digital trust.
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