Systems integrators (SIs) specialise in delivering solutions and integrating them into the customer’s network, to meet their business requirements. They see projects through to completion, by leading either the entire project, from requirements planning to testing, deployment and maintenance, or just certain project activities.
In the telecoms operator world, systems integrators deliver vendor projects such as deployment, customisation, upgrade programmes, migration etc. to mobile operators. In the changing world of rapid technological advancement, SIs offer the time, resources and agility to handle the innate difficulties of the industry, while adhering to the carrier-grade processes expected by the operators.
Why use systems integrators?
Some telco vendors lack a delivery or support team, focusing mainly on development. For them, using SIs is generally a preferred business model. The SI would deliver the entire project to the operator, and often maintain it afterwards, to meet the Service Level Agreements required by the operators. Similarly, certain vendors partner with systems integrators to expand in a different geographical region, lacking a delivery team in the area.
In contrast, vendors with a dedicated capable delivery team are more sometimes reluctant to use partners to deliver their projects, due to the extra cost that can seem redundant at first. Some vendors with a team do prefer working with SIs for certain projects, and there are strong reasons why most telco vendors can ultimately benefit from using an SI.
Benefits of Using a Systems Integrator:
- Organised process: an experienced SI will have a standardised project delivery methodology, developed through years of navigating the operator landscape. This will typically ensure a greater consistency in the organisation of the client’s solutions architecture, which will also decrease future unexpected complications and systems failures. Additionally, from operating in multiple countries, systems integrators are able to provide a universal approach to solution delivery, while being flexible enough to adapt to clients’ business processes.
- Time and budget: For a successful, competitive SI business, the agreed time and budget demands must always be met. While internal employees may not always adopt the same level of urgency, systems integrators are liable to honour the contract clauses. It can therefore be safer to partner with a reliable systems integrator, who will reduce time-to-market while remaining in the budget limits.
- Efficient staffing solutions: Vendors expanding often means they are suddenly dealing with high project demands and their delivery team cannot easily cope with the high number of projects. Partnering with an SI to assist with delivery is more efficient and reliable than hiring new staff and training them, for the reasons mentioned above.
- Freeing vendor delivery team: In order to remain competitive, vendors want their teams to focus on continuous innovation such as delivering NextGen solutions. Other products that still form an important part of vendor portfolios -Legacy solutions- will still require people to upgrade, maintain etc. Thus, using a partner allows the vendor to free their own team to focus on their desired direction.
Using a systems integrator may initially seem like an expensive, unnecessary cost. However, as explained above, a reliable and experienced SI will have a long-term positive impact on a vendor’s business. The standardised process of delivery and accountability for meeting time and budget demands ultimately translates into a lower risk of delivery failure as well as fewer systems problems in the future. Thus, vendors can strengthen relationships with their clients, growing their business and generating long-term revenue increase.
TelcoCentric is a systems integrator, partnering with vendors to provide Solution Delivery, Customer Support and Consultancy Services to mobile operators. Read more about what we do.