Large portions of OpEx are driven by static process implementations, supposed to be dynamic. These processes are duplicated to support particular product portfolios and further drive organisational duplications. Adding merger and acquisitions to the mix, just makes IT and Opex even more costly.
Back in the eighties each country had their own mobile standard, supplied manly by the regions equipment manufacturers. The Nordics had NMT 450 and 900 with Ericsson as the network element supplier. Network operators and service providers had their own research divisions. The same were the case in France, Germany, UK, Spain, Italy etc. with their mobile systems, research departments and regional supplier. My first car phone coster $5,000!
In the late nineteen eighties the mobile industry came together and agreed the GSM MoU. The success of GSM has created economy of scale on element level, maintenance, easier integration on new elements enhancing services, evolving from circuit to packets, Customer equipment, I could go on but I think you get it.
All elements and manufacturers of network equipment have to enable their product to conform to the standard, and everybody benefits. Gone are the days when operators try to secure exclusivity on a particular switch. Gone are the days when manufacturers object to open switch interfaces and non of it has driven competition away.
The early days of protectionism and perceived competitiveness can in hindsight been viewed as vanity. Openness and standards are sanity.
Can the same be applied to IT – OSS and BSS?
The market has many excellent software vendors with products that in isolation have good functionality and can point to unique advantages to the benefit of service providers and their customers. However, each of the excellent software product may significantly differ in their functional views, data models, business logics and so forth, making it less than trivial to make them work together in an IT environment that collectively should support a business with the least possible OpEx, but still provide maximum agility.
This is where standards make a difference. If software products can be made to conform to sets of standards life can be so much better. This does not necessarily mean layoffs, but it means increased productivity. It does not drive out competition but enable vendors and suppliers to move up the value chain.