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SDPs Get Retooled for Digital Services Ecosystems
Companies with successful digital services businesses have managed to establish themselves as the "centers of gravity" of an ecosystem of collaborating players. Key ecosystem roles are those of service developers, service consumers and ecosystem coordination the latter being at the heart of the "center of gravity" role.

Increasingly, ecosystem coordinators, whether they start life as a manufacturer of devices, a system software developer, a provider of delivery infrastructure or an application programming interface (API)-based service platform are internalizing the number of roles they are playing themselves. But one lesson even telcos have at last learned, is that they cannot entirely own digital service development. Centers of gravity must tap into the wealth of external developer talent available to their ecosystems. It is developers that have the imaginations that can weave infinitely malleable software into ecosystem gold: digital services. Establishing the right third-party developer community is a critical factor for ecosystem success.

Service delivery platform (SDP) vendors are raising their game to help operators find digital services ecosystem success. They are providing consultancy services around business models for API enablement, rolling out cloud-based, white-label digital services ecosystem platforms, offering soup-to-nuts outsourcing services that tackle everything from internal service platform transformation to developer recruitment and new digital services portfolios. But as telcos try to shed their traditional images and blend (from a developer perspective) into the Web 2.0 landscape, telco SDP vendors face the threat of new entrants to the market with "universal," non-telco specific API management, service creation platforms and app store products.

The success of OTT digital service providers and the threat they pose to the telecom industry can no longer be ignored. Operators increasingly realize that implementing enabling technology an SDP that allows them to expose a handful of core communication service and enabler assets is no longer enough to counter the inroads OTT services are making on their business. Instead, telcos need well thought-out strategies for establishing themselves as the "centers of gravity" within a digital services ecosystem. They may even choose to set up a new line of business to exploit third-party involvement in digital service innovation.

Such packages, white-label and outsourcing solutions should help de-risk operator adoption of a digital services ecosystem and enable them to start experimenting with this new business model more rapidly. Telcos are unlikely to be able to halt the tide of OTT digital services ecosystem contenders but they will be in a better position to work on new business opportunities with OTT companies and gain a stake in the digital services market that is otherwise passing them by.

SDPs Get Retooled for Digital Services Ecosystems investigates operator strategies for building digital services ecosystems, the challenges they face, critical success factors and the enabling role of the evolving SDP. It evaluates the new positioning of established and new entrant vendors in the evolving SDP market and the opportunities and threats in front of them as the digital services ecosystem juggernaut picks up speed.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (spiti0912toc.pdf)
Digital services ecosystem success starts with the developer community. If a center of gravity can engage, motivate and support the right developers, it builds enough momentum to bring apps into its storefront. Provided it also makes it easy for customers to discover, share and (if necessary) pay for apps, it attracts users and repeat business. This generates more revenue for the developer community and the goodwill needed to keep developers in the ecosystem producing more apps the virtuous circle illustrated in the following excerpt.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Vendors profiled in this report include: Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN); Aepona Ltd.; Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX); Apigee Corp.; Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Gintel AS; Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ); Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.; Layer 7 Technologies Inc.; Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE); OpenCloud Ltd.; and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)
Total pages: 36
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