Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

BSP Product Data Management Systems

Broadband service providers (BSP) that deploy product data management systems to create telco "service factories" will have a better chance of surviving in a next-generation services environment that will feature tens of thousands of unique services, according to the latest market study by Light Reading.

Their report details and analyzes the effects that product data management systems will have on the delivery of next-generation telco services. It explores and outlines how network operators are likely to implement product data management systems (PDMSs), and how the PDMS is likely to be integrated into larger frameworks -- such as service delivery platforms (SDPs) and service-oriented architecture (SOA) initiatives.

"PDMS is emerging as a linchpin application that network operators can deploy to create a kind of automated telco service factory where customers can configure products with the features they want, much as they can customize a computer order online today," says Caroline Chappell, research analyst with Light Reading's Services Software Insider and author of the report.

"The service factory will support the rapid assembly of new products and make them available just as quickly for order and fulfillment."

Deployment of PDMS will dramatically lower the cost of developing new telecom services by streamlining a full range of operations and business support system (OSS/BSS) functions, Chappell notes.

"The PDMS will feed all other operational systems that need subsets of product data to fulfill, assure, or bill for an ordered product, replacing the unwieldy and costly point-to-point integrations that have until now been the only way to port data across different OSS/BSS applications," she explains.

Key findings of the Light Reading report includes:

- New standards are key to full development of telco PDM, enabling real-time product assembly using an active catalog that contains product-configuration rules.

- PDMS vendors are divided over whether to combine commercial and technical product catalogs or keep them separate but federated.

- Systems integrators view PDMS as a cornerstone of telco SOA.

- At least one new network operator is hoping to break the wireless wholesale mold with its SOA PDMS implementation.