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New Report Says CSPs Can Be ‘Smart Pipes' In the Digital Economy


Service Delivery Platforms (SDPs) can afford service providers the opportunity to open up symbiotic, bi-directional flows of information and innovation with third parties so they can participate as an “enabler” in the digital economy.

MORRISTOWN, NJ—November 30, 2009TM Forum, the world's premier industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, has launched its latest Insights Report, “Evolving Service Delivery Platforms: Essential Plumbing For ‘Smart Pipes.’”

“Rather than fear being relegated to ‘dumb-pipe’ status service providers should look for opportunities to increase their innovation while lowering their cost of service delivery,” said Rob Rich, managing director, TM Forum Insights Research. “This report details how SDPs combined with new business models can help organizations in both emerging and mature markets avoid being reduced to commodity provider status.”

To explore opportunities for communications service providers (CSPs) wanting to become “enablers” in the value chain, market analyst Kristofer Kimbler demystifies the concept of the SDP, and he explores the potential for opening up CSP environments to third parties (i.e., content- and application developers) for innovation in services.

The report, exclusively available to TM Forum members, looks at why other stakeholders would covet CSPs’ enormous data stores and sophisticated operations- and business support systems, as well as real-time charging, CRM and security capabilities. The CSP knows its customers’ lifestyle preferences, locations, and demographics; the CSP already has the trusted relationships with both individual and enterprise customers.

With this report, CSPs from both mature and emerging markets, as well as their partners, will learn about the full business potential enabled by SDPs.

The report comprises five sections, which break down different elements of the SDP industry:
• Section One—Defines and clarifies the term “SDP,” and lays out its potential for helping CSPs transform into “smart pipes” capable of generating new revenue streams and adopting new business models. This section delves into the potential for enhancing core services, as well as getting into mobile advertising, mobile payments and banking, as well as location-based services;

• Section Two—Breaks out the competitive landscape for mobile service providers, mobile handset manufacturers, operating system vendors, and third-party app stores. It also gives an in-depth look at “other players,” such as mobile handset manufacturers, mobile operating systems vendors, and third-party app stores;

• Section Three—Gives an in-depth analysis of “app stores,” pioneered by Apple but now full of many players in the market—each which brings something different to the table. App stores already have significant impact on the market, and this section discusses the potential CSP strategies for cost-and-time-effective app store roll outs using SDPs;

• Section Four—Discusses the role of SDPs as a driver of new, open, business models. Different business models supported by SDPs are outlined, and the future opportunity for creating and providing SDPs in the SaaS (software-as-a-service) model are analyzed;

• Section Five—Explains how TM Forum is defining the management functionality to clarify the structure and management of SDPs. This section discusses how TM Forum can help its members to build management capabilities and interfaces that link together multiple service platforms, including SDPs and legacy “silo” solutions. The goal of the work is to create a common management framework through which service providers implement homogenous and cost-efficient service lifecycle management for different classes of services.

The report is now available to TM Forum members for download and will be also be distributed at TM Forum’s Management World Americas 2009 conference (8-10 December, Orlando, FL).

• For more information on TM Forum Insights Reports go here:
• TM Forum Management World Americas 2009 Web site.
• Find out more about TM Forum's other events and conferences.
• Subscribe to TM Forum’s press releases RSS feed and newsletters.
• Press and analysts are invited to contact Geoff Devlin to apply for a copy of the report or press access to the event if appropriate

TM Forum, Management World 2009, Management World Americas, Service Delivery Platforms, Communications Service Providers, SDPs, App Store, two-sided business model,

About TM Forum’s Insights Research:
TM Forum Insights Research provides the Forum’s membership with up-to-date intelligence, analysis, and advice on the important issues and challenges for the communications, media and entertainment industries.

Through quarterly reports, researched and written by our industry experts, TM Forum Insights Research investigates key trends, predictions, opportunities and challenges in this dynamic market from both business-oriented and technology-oriented points-of-view.

Also included are TM Forum Quick Insights reports, which offer timely analysis of current hot topics. These reports inform the Forum’s member companies about the latest trends in our rapidly changing industry TM Forum Quick Insights reports are not to be missed.

All TM Forum research is exclusively available to TM Forum member companies.

About TM Forum:
With more than 700 member companies in 75 countries, TM Forum is the world’s leading industry association focused on improving business effectiveness for Service Providers and their suppliers. Serving the information, communications and entertainment industries, the Forum provides practical solutions, guidance and leadership to transform the way that digital services are created, delivered and charged. Members include the world’s largest Service Providers, cable and network operators, software suppliers, equipment suppliers and systems integrators.

TM Forum provides a wide range of information and support to help its members reduce the costs and risks associated with creating and delivering profitable services. These include industry research and benchmarks, technology roadmaps, best practice guidebooks, software standards and interfaces, as well as certified training, conferences and publications. The Forum also provides its member community with extensive marketing and networking opportunities, enabling business with new customers and partners.

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