Creating an ICT Service Operation Platform

Release Date:2008-07-24  Author:Luo Yingqun  Click:

ICT is the combination of information and communication technologies, emerging after the Internet convergence with telecom networks. It improves the work efficiency of enterprise, individual and government users.

The concept of ICT originated from British Telecom (BT), which defined the core value of ICT service as "with the convergence of CT and IT, ICT promotes fast information exchange transcending space and time". IT focuses on the work flow or business process while CT focuses on information exchange and communication.

When enterprise customers increasingly require seamless connection between the Internet and telecom networks, they have an increasing need for service providers who can offer a reliable package solution covering network communication, IT, and business process management system.

ICT service does not provide enterprises with a simple communication pipeline or information channel, but an integrated service that combines network communication, manageable service, wireless data and voice, videoconference, application hosting, software and system maintenance, security, and outsourcing. It can be divided into three levels: network service, IT application, and consultation service.

With the rapid development of IP technology, new competitors enter the telecom service market successively; revenue from the traditional voice business declines or even drops; the traditional operators, especially the fixed network operators, have to seek a new service development path. When telecom operators extend their services into IT, their powerful telecom service capabilities, steady income, and global customer service branches will make them the best providers of ICT service. As ICT is coming of age, operators can build an ICT service operation platform from the following four aspects:

Building a Carrier-Class Operation Platform
For telecom operators, service is critical while a manageable operation platform is basic in providing enterprise with ICT services. In the traditional communication field, there are some operating indices such as service response time, service interruption time, fault alarm, and automatic recovery. Therefore, telecom operators need to consider how to design the IT system based on telecom technologies, how to support large numbers of users, how to realize mass data storage and access, backup and disaster recovery, how to guarantee the safety of user data, and how to unify service standards.

ZTE proposes building ICT service management platform based on the Service Delivery Platform (SDP). It turns the vertical development model to the horizontal mode, allowing large-scale customization of ICT products through the standard product architecture and universal middleware platform as well as integration between services through the Application Program Interface (API). In this way, the operational performance, service security, and service reliability of the platform can be ensured.

Bringing Bandwidth Advantage into Play 
When launching integrated telecom services, operators, with their bandwidth advantage, can bundle ICT service and broadband access into a sales package, attracting broadband users with ICT service and driving ICT service sales with broadband.

To meet this end, ZTE brings forward two service modes: the SaaS service mode and the hard terminal service mode. In the SaaS service mode, enterprises can use the service after a software installation. This mode satisfies requirements of mini-sized and entry-level enterprises. In the hard terminal service mode, a hard terminal is deployed at the enterprise side; the service can be maintained by the enterprise and be managed and operated by the operator. It is an effective method for operators to retain customers as well as enter large and medium-sized enterprises.

Selecting Simple and Practical Services
Different customers, especially enterprise customers, have different requirements in development phases. The operator, when planning service, should subdivide the industry and the customer market, and select simple and practical services after fully considering its current manpower status.

According to enterprise development features, ZTE sums up three requirements of the enterprise: basic, development and management requirements. The basic requirement of the enterprise is establishing a stable and secure fundamental communications environment, which can help to extend sales channels and cut down office costs. Its development requirement is establishing an office environment to facilitate smooth internal and external communication so that satisfactory services can be provided to customers. When an enterprise develops to a certain degree, it requires solutions to its business operation problems with a reference to industrial standards or customized service, to realize smooth management.

Based on these requirements, ZTE has launched systems like enterprise service gateway, security gateway, online PC maintenance, intelligent office, sales expressway, CRM, and ERP interface platform. These products have a simple interface and is easy to operate and convenient to maintain.

Choosing Stable Partners
Equipment manufacturers, IT manufacturers, and service supporters are indispensable links along the ICT service value chain. Every value chain member must consider how to maintain long-term stable cooperation. For the operator, selecting a partner with big comprehensive strength is important.

As a leading telecommunications equipment provider in the world, ZTE has a deep understanding of telecom service. ZTE owns a carrier-class platform and a powerful IT team, and is transforming from a traditional telecom equipment manufacturer to a professional ICT manufacturer that can provide one-stop package spanning from platform and telecommunications equipment to software and service. ZTE would like to undertake risks together with operators, to lead the development of the ICT service industry.

Around the world, the connected economy has greatly changed business mode of the traditional telecom industry, and telecom operators are adopting strategies to transform into integrated information service providers. A batch of worldwide famous operators such as AT&T, BT and FT, have applied ICT service in numerous fields including government, energy and manufacturing, taking ICT service as a new revenue source.

ZTE entered the ICT service field in 2006. The company has found out a path for development and formed its unique advantages in the highly competitive environment by virtue of its rich experience in telecom technologies and IT system, a complete and balanced product line, and a powerful and effective market platform. ZTE now keeps good growth momentum. In the future, it will help operators fully utilize telecom pipelines including transmission network, IP backbone, core network, access network (wired and wireless) and terminals to develop information service covering various aspects such as individual/home, enterprise, government, education, and medical treatment. It will enable operators to integrate the value-added service industry chain and exploit the ICT service market.

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