The marketing team in an operator wants to launch a new offer. They also want to grow the subscriber base and have developed a new referral scheme to attract new subscribers. The customer care team is under pressure to increase net promoter score and has developed a process to deliver a better online experience. They go to IT and request that these new use cases are implemented.
And they wait. And wait…
IT is too busy, they don’t have enough resources. Eventually, when they do get the 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 as can be seen in figure 1.
Figure 1: Traditional Change Request Development Process
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 6 months or so for the next product release. If not, then tough, it’s change request time. But it’s not just the financial cost to IT. What about the opportunity cost to the care team, to marketing, and all the other business functions of an operator who are dependent on BSS? With the acceleration of digitalization and the rollout of 5G, operators’ IT teams are under increasing pressure from the business teams to add more new functions and get them working in ever-decreasing time frames.
It’s Time for a New Approach to BSS – Welcome to No-Code Flex 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 as illustrated in figure 2. This agile way of constantly optimizing and improving the business by the people who are close to the business we refer to as BizOps. As an extension of DevOps, BizOps is the new way for businesses to push changed business logic into production faster than ever.
Figure 2: Flex approach to BSS changes
These processes cover a range of uses cases enabled by BSS. For example, a new customer onboarding process, a save process when a high-value customer hits a propensity to churn threshold, and so on. 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.
“Similar to cloud, no code is not a category itself, but rather a shift in how users interface with software tools. In the same way that PCs democratized software usage, APIs democratized software connectivity and the cloud democratized the purchase and deployment of software, no code will usher in the next wave of enterprise innovation by democratizing technical skill sets. No code is empowering business users to take over functionality previously owned by technical users by abstracting complexity and centering around a visual workflow. This profound generational shift has the power to touch every software market and every user across the enterprise.”
This view is echoed by leading analyst firms. Forrester Research reported that 84% of enterprises have started using low code/no-code technology and Gartner predicts that low-code/no-code will represent 65% of all app development by 2024.
Of the 84% of enterprises who have started using low-code /no-code, when asked if low-code / no-code was making a moderate or significant positive impact toward top digital transformation goals the results were very much in favor of low-code / no-code. Below is the % of survey respondents and the results they are seeing:
91% - Improve existing IT capabilities to promote agility and innovation
89% - Innovate products and services
86% - Become a more agile organization
85% - Improve the customer experience
84% - Reduce costs
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 Flex BSS. We will see a new breed of BSS users - we call them Business Engineers – who will 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.
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 just now and often backlogs and fire fighting means that strategic projects get pushed out or even canceled due to lack of resources.
The no-code Flex approach to BSS changes this. Empowering business users and reducing dependency on BSS vendors enables a new level of agility for operators.