10 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN EVALUATING A DIGITAL SERVICE PLATFORM PROVIDER

CSPs already have certain requirements in mind when planning to implement a digital services platform,
but are often faced with two very different ways to implement it: via a subscription billing platform or a
digital business support system (BSS). The choice can be difficult, so here are 10 questions to ask when
evaluating a digital service platform provider.

 

1. CAN THE PROVIDER BUNDLE TRADITIONAL AND DIGITAL SERVICES?

While many CSPs see the revenue potential in digital services, traditional services will still account for
the majority of revenue in the near future. CSPs that are only billing for digital services overlook the
additional revenue opportunity of bundling traditional and digital services. For instance, instead of just
offering a monthly subscription to a streaming service, CSPs can bundle individual lines of service, like
wireless and wireline, at a discounted price to drive additional revenue.

Putting digital offers, traditional offers or a combination of both in front of customers at the right time
builds brand loyalty while realizing profitability and revenue gains. This requires a flexible and unified
catalog that can support both digital and traditional services, and can bundle those services as a single,
yet individualized, customer offering based on preferences, habits and history. And not only bundle
services together, but bundle partner offers.

 

2. CAN THE PROVIDER HELP DIGITIZE OPERATIONS FOR THE FUTURE?

At first, CSPs’ inclination may be to only focus on simple subscription pricing for digital services.
However, deploying digital services means a fundamental rethinking of how business is done now
and in the future. By taking a phased approach to digital business transformation, CSPs can start
offering digital services in just 60-90 days, while migrating the rest of their operations to a digital BSS
over time. CSPs can begin with a simple subscription model, but are then prepared to start revenue
sharing agreements with partners and more complex monetization models, such as entitlements and
complex hierarchies.

 

3. DOES THE PROVIDER SUPPORT PARTNER ECOSYSTEMS AND PAYMENT MODELS?

Almost 80 percent of monetization suppliers say a growing CSP partner ecosystem is essential for
support for business and market drivers. To succeed with digital services, CSPs need to partner with
other companies that offer expertise outside of their core competencies. Simple payment models are
well-suited for B2B or B2C business models, but don’t account for what partners are owed in B2B2X
or “billing on behalf of” business models. Revenue is not just distributed to the primary business
offering a product or service—it also needs to be shared with other partners in the value chain who
are a critical part of offering that service.

There are seven more questions you should ask—download the full checklist by filling out the form to learn what to look for in a digital service platform provider.