Challenges and opportunities The communications industry is undergoing a transition from the legacy world of the public-switched telephone network (PSTN) and intelligent network (IN) to one based on IP multimedia subsystems (IMS), session initiation protocol (SIP), and IT-based service logic execution environments (SLEEs). This IP transformation is not only changing the way people communicate, but also opening the door to innovative, voicebased services. New technologies and platforms make it possible to port voice services from costly platforms based on legacy intelligent networks to open platforms based on standard, less expensive commercial hardware, resulting in a more cost-effective operating environment for new IP-based voice services. Carriers are now able to support connected devices—smartphones, PDAs, tablets, eReaders and so forth—in a simpler and cheaper fashion. This can reduce dependence on legacy intelligent network vendors, provide richer service integration opportunities and reduce costs. However, adoption of next-generation voice models and services can be complex and risky. For example, to monetize savings due to reduced floor plan and energy needs, it is necessary to completely switch off the legacy platforms, porting all services and users to the new ones. If this does not happen, overall costs could potentially double instead of being reduced. Also, the substitution of open platforms has a domino effect on all surrounding systems, including the business support systems (BSS) and operations support system (OSS). If these effects are not handled properly, keeping interfaces stable, the potential cost benefits could rapidly disappear and time-to-market for new solutions could actually increase instead of decrease.
To help carriers successfully monetize benefits of this IP transformation, Accenture has created a suite of nextgeneration voice solutions built on innovative, market-tested software assets and supported by extensive network skills and our Global Delivery Network. Accenture has two primary offerings to support the migration from legacy PSTN to IP-based voice services. Our solution focused on next-generation intelligent networks helps support a smooth migration to more powerful, IT-based call control while maintaining integration with the legacy network. We also have a field-tested offering that helps operators execute a gradual operational migration from the traditional public-switched telephone network to voice over IP (VoIP) and IMS capabilities. Next-generation Intelligent Network Central to our offering is Accenture’s solution for next-generation intelligent networks. This solution provides operators with a practical approach to migrating their networks toward an all-IP service layer supporting IMS, while maintaining integration with legacy SS7 networks. Operators have the option to adopt a smooth migration approach for their legacy services while also having the opportunity to implement new and innovative services on a flexible platform that will help them protect their investments. Our assets are built upon Accenture’s award-winning service delivery platform (SDP), which has been integrated with the most relevant next-generation intelligent network and IMS products. Connectors to most CRM and provisioning suites are also available, helping to make the transition simpler and safer. The main advantage of our approach is reducing the impact on the surrounding systems, due to the decoupling we achieve through our SDP software assets. Thanks to the SDP, it is possible to replace the legacy service platforms without changing interfaces and operational processes within the systems connected to them. We also encapsulate the functionalities of the most relevant next-generation intelligent network and SIP/IMS platforms, making the transition to different technologies less risky