TM Forum: Service Providers Must Build Bridges to Digital Economy

MORRISTOWN, NJ,  – July 28, 2009  - TM Forum, the world’s premier industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, today warned service providers to start building bridges between where they are now and where they want to be in the digital economy of information, media and entertainment delivery, in a newly released TM Forum Insights Report: Strategic Transformation For the Digital Economy.

The report concludes that although service providers may have managed to stretch their margins around voice and voice-related services for longer than expected, the writing is on the wall. They will be relegated to the role of "dumb pipe" unless they consider new retail, wholesale and value-add business models where they can be enablers to all stakeholders, including advertisers, retailers, media companies, content suppliers, financial institutions, government agencies and utilities.


Martin Creaner, president and COO, TM Forum commented, “Most stakeholders in the digital media value-chain don’t want to reinvent the wheel, and service providers have a chance to leverage their networks, support systems and real-time "knowledge" of the customer to become indispensable enablers of digital services.

“Profitability in the face of increasing competition will be key in the new digital economy, which means business transformation and operational excellence have a critical role to play in driving service innovation, customer loyalty and cost reduction. To achieve all three, service providers have to also look at technology transformation: establishing the flexible, tightly integrated systems required to support new services. The ease with which service providers handle Procurement, Resource Management and Product Lifecycle Management will be key factors.”

The three-part report builds on the insight and guidance the Forum offers members in the necessary steps towards successful business and technology transformation. It shows that by helping service providers to think holistically about transformation from a business and technology standpoint, providers will be able to:

• De-risk investments;

• Lower integration costs;

• Re-use existing components to build new services;

• Enable new business models and unlock new revenue streams.

Part one examines the communications, media and entertainment market as it exists today, and what is predicted for it in the years to come. Part two examines which standards, frameworks and interfaces will enable service providers to fill different roles that service providers can play as retailers, wholesalers and VAS suppliers, while part three of the report demonstrates real-world case studies of actual service providers that are in various stages of “Transformation,” whether planning, execution, or evolution to the next phase.

Service providers have more to gain than to lose with Business and Technology Transformations, as they are the only means by which they can both make very significant savings in software customizations, as well as generate millions of dollars with innovative services that will evolve in a Web 2.0 world.

This evolution will happen whether traditional service providers are part of it or not. Survival and longevity will come from creating a brand and services that win customers’ loyalty in an expanding value chain, but it can only happen through support systems, business processes, and data that all work with the same goal in mind.

Strategic Transformation for the Digital Economy was written by TM Forum with contributions from Telco 2.0, and sponsored by Nokia Siemens Networks, Martin Dawes Systems and Transverse and is available to all TM Forum members at http://www.tmforum.org/ResearchPublications/StrategicTransformation/7139/Home.html.

Members of the press interested in obtaining a copy should contact Geoff Devlin, PR Director, TM Forum at gdevlin@tmforum.org.

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