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Unlocking Agility in CSP Operations: Embracing True SaaS BSS

By: Akil Chomoko, VP Product Marketing – Aria Systems

In a digital age where agility equates to survival, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are increasingly turning to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions for their Business Support Systems (BSS). In fact, TM Forum data suggests that more than 70% of CSPs plan to increase their spending on SaaS-based BSS solutions through 2025.

The promise of SaaS is clear: streamlined operations, reduced costs, and enhanced flexibility. But there’s a challenge lurking – the risk of adopting solutions masquerading as SaaS but which are, in reality, repackaged legacy systems.

Why CSPs are betting big on SaaS BSS

A shift towards SaaS-based BSS is not just a trend; it’s a strategic move. One group-level senior architect whose multinational organization is shifting to SaaS-based BSS offers these five key reasons why SaaS just makes sense for CSPs:

  1. Freedom from infrastructure: SaaS BSS liberates CSPs from the management of infrastructure still associated with non-SaaS BSS in the public cloud. It shifts the focus to service excellence from the supplier.
  2. Strategic freedom: With technology evolving rapidly, CSPs require the flexibility to tap into a wide range of cutting-edge technologies to sustain a competitive edge. True open SaaS platforms foster collaborative relationships with multiple top-tier vendors, cultivating a significant technological lead.
  3. Performance cost savings: With the high-performance demands of modern BSS, SaaS platforms provide scalable solutions without the risk of over or under investment in infrastructure.
  4. Reduced operational expenses: True SaaS mitigates the financial burden of testing and analysis, allowing CSPs to allocate resources to business growth.
  5. Eliminates need for extensive software tools: With true SaaS, CSPs no longer need to license and manage the wide variety of development tools that are required to operate and maintain a customized or legacy BSS environment.

Spotting the imitations: How to avoid ‘fake’ SaaS

As CSPs have begun to demand SaaS BSS options, the market has been flooded with BSS products that wear the SaaS label but lack some, most, or all of the characteristics that make true SaaS so valuable. Worse, these imposters come with additional hidden costs and limitations – maintenance fees, inflexibility, and a lack of scalability. To avoid these pitfalls, look for these true SaaS indicators:

  • A single multi-tenant platform (one code stream), embracing Agile and DevOps methodologies
  • Expert vendor operations, not an in-house or dedicated managed service team
  • Rapid, customization-free setup and configuration
  • Immediate, on-demand access for all users
  • Regular, automated updates showcasing community-driven innovations
  • Cloud-agnostic infrastructure to maximize economies of scale and support data sovereignty
  • Robust, cloud-native security measures and standardized integrations
  • Transparent support resources including open-access help centers and documentation

Cost: The deciding factor

True SaaS BSS solutions offer more than just a feature set; they provide tangible financial benefits. At Aria, we’ve found that an authentic SaaS BSS should not exceed 25-75 basis points per revenue dollar managed. This is in stark contrast to the 200-400 basis points per revenue dollar of traditional BSS.

Genuine SaaS demands minimal operational staffing, harnessing standardized, API-based integrations and incorporates auto-scaling and support into its pricing structure. Conversely, a legacy system masquerading as SaaS may lead to significant extra costs for customization, scaling, and support.

The true SaaS advantage

The technical and financial benefits are evident: authentic SaaS BSS is a transformative force for CSPs. That’s why discerning the real from the counterfeit is critical, as well as capitalizing on the full range of SaaS benefits – not only in terms of cost but also in scalability and capability. As CSPs embark on their BSS transformation, staying alert to ‘pseudo’ SaaS offerings is of utmost importance.

For an in-depth demonstration of what a true SaaS BSS can do for your organization, request a demo today.

**Aria Systems will be attending DTW 2024. Meet us at Booth 307! **

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