No-code BSS: The next evolution of BSS (Reader Forum)

An operator’s marketing team wants to launch a new offer. They also want to grow the subscriber base and develop a new referral scheme to attract new subscribers. The customer care team are under pressure to increase net promotor score and have developed a process to deliver a better on-line experience. They go to IT and request that these new use cases are implemented. And they wait. And wait…

IT are too busy, they don’t have enough resources. Eventually when they do get budget together to deliver these new functions they’re too dependent on their legacy BSS vendor to go through the established change request process of analysis, design, implementation, testing and then deployment.

This can take months, and as change requests will require custom software development, the price tag is suitably high. Even if these features are on the BSS products’ roadmaps, you’ll have to wait six months or so for the next product release. If not, then tough, it’s change request time. But it’s not just about the financial cost to IT.

What about the opportunity cost to the care team, to marketing and all the other business functions in an operator who are dependent on BSS? With the acceleration of digitalization and the roll out of 5G, operators’ IT teams are under increasing pressure from the business teams to add new functions, more often and in a shorter time scale.

It’s time for a new approach to BSS

No-code BSS enables operators to develop and roll out new business processes in hours. Visual tools enable users to develop process flows and business rules. These are then tested and ready to go into production.

These processes could cover a range of uses cases enabled by BSS, such as a new customer on-boarding process or a save process when a high-value customer hits a propensity to churn threshold, for example. By having a library of BSS use cases pre-built in the BSS product, users can map the use case process on the GUI and have the process live in hours.

Low-code/no-code is a paradigm shift in how users interact with software. By enabling business users to set up business processes and rules the skill sets needed to manage BSS, the whole process is democratized. Already tipped as the ‘next big thing’ in software by several analysts, low-code/no-code is already making significant in-roads across many different industries. In 2019, Forrester Research published a survey on the adoption of low-code/no-code, which revealed that 84% of enterprises had started using low-code / no-code technology.

More recently, other analyst firms have started extolling the virtues of low-code/no-code, with Gartner predicting that low-code/no-code will represent 65% of all app development by 2024. A 2021 report on low-code/no-code in telecoms from Omdia also states that “Low- and no-code solutions have become the hottest new thing in the technology industry over the last year.”

On the adoption of this approach by communication service providers (CSPs), Omdia’s Service Provider Digital Transformation Strategies Survey 2021 reported that “nearly 45% of the surveyed CSPs stated that they had already implemented some form of a low-/no-code solution in their organizations and another 32% of CSPs indicated they had plans to implement low-/no-code in the future.”

This approach to BSS gives control back to the operator. It democratizes BSS and lets the business users build and launch new BSS features. Stakeholders from the operator’s core business units of marketing, commerce, business lines, sales, or customer service operations will become an empowered user group of Digital BSS.

We will see a new breed of BSS users (we call them ‘Business Engineers’) who will to be able to quickly design and launch new commercial offerings across channels and segments, and experiment with commercial conditions such as customer eligibilities or discounts and promotions. Just as we seen the emergence of DevOps to ensure continuous integration and continuous deployment of new software features, we are now starting to see the introduction of BizOps where new business functions and processes can be rolled out by business users.

Democratizing the use of BSS and providing no-code systems that can be used by business teams in an operator will take the pressure off the IT teams in operators. IT teams are flooded with work, and between this and fire-fighting, strategic projects often get pushed out or even cancelled due to lack of resources. The no-code approach to BSS changes this. Empowering business users to add and change processes enables a new level of agility in operators. 

It is the next evolution of BSS.

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