Service delivery platforms: Changing the networking paradigm

Service-independent networks demand that services be created above the transport and connection layers of the network. This guide addresses how service delivery platforms fit into next-generation network architecture and the business advantages they provide for carriers.

Editor's note: Service delivery platforms (SDPs) are transforming the way telecom service providers have operated their networks for decades. As legacy services, operations, systems and networks are replaced with these software-driven frameworks, the traditionally separate IT and telecom networking worlds are also converging.

The whole point of transitioning separate legacy networks into one next-generation network IP architecture is to sell next-generation services. Unless service providers can take advantage of their converged network infrastructure to get a good return on investment (ROI), there's no reason to change decades of traditional five-nines telecom services.

The question is how to get there from here. One answer is investing in SDPs to create flexible, personalized next-generation services. The success of next-generation networks will be decided by how services are created and sustained in this new environment, which makes this new convergence the most important one of all.

The following articles in this holistic guide by telecom industry consultant Tom Nolle address how SDPs fit into next-generation network architecture and the business advantages they provide for carriers.

Next-gen services convergence hinges on SDP common elements
If telecom service providers are to see the real value of IP network convergence and move away from separate legacy networks to service-independent networks, emphasis needs to go beyond the network architecture to focus on common elements that can be used to help monetize the IP network investment and make new service creation flexible and efficient.

Service delivery platforms enable service differentiators
Software-based SDPs can allow network operators speedy service deployment and validation, as well as offer differentiated services that increase revenue and customer value. Service providers can also capitalize on the information they have about customer preferences to increase ARPU and customer value.

Advanced service creation requires new network model
SDPs enable advanced service creation using a new model that separates service and applications control layers in the network from the transport layer, using middleware to connect four key communications elements.

Service delivery platforms facilitate advanced service management
Network operators are dependent on the processes that support lifecycle management of cross-network services and their components. SDPs facilitate an advanced service management vision by offering APIs and protocols that connect to OSS/BSS, network equipment and other service resources.

SDPs drive business goals to increase network value
SDPs can help telecom carriers make their networks more valuable to customers by adapting flexible services customized to individual customer behavior without causing performance and operations problems that would overwhelm the opportunity with costs.

This was first published in August 2009

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