User Services Platform (2019)

By Michael Shaw, Axiros North America, Inc., an Axiros GmbH Company

More than ever before in the history of the modern connected world – which includes all manner of service delivery, such as cable broadband, fixed and wireless telecommunications - the use of industry supported device provisioning and management standards is critical. There are many reasons. Among them two which must guide the decision and actions of industry and technology leaders: Traditional and new generation connected devices will soon be measured in the billions; connected devices must be securely and efficiently managed, requiring unparalleled cooperation between manufacturers and operators; and investment in the technologies required to harness the potential of the new global connected world must be protected by agreed upon standards supported by a global base of operators, technology providers and manufacturers working together to propel safe innovation to new levels.

One such standard, User Services Platform, or USP, meets these criteria, and is poised to transform device management forever. Based on Broadband Forum Technical Report 369, USP has evolved from the long and proven history and ongoing support of TR-069 and allows global introduction into customer Premise Equipment (CPE) of all types, and the operations of cable broadband and service providers of all shapes and sizes without disruption. The design and architecture of USP, indeed, allows for an equally smooth transition for manufacturers due to thr use of a common data model.

Offering a standardized architecture and protocol for the active and secure management of massive populations of connected devices, USP provides a strong utilitarian foundation for hardware-software solutions and product application ecosystems. In economic terms, this combination could be considered an Efficient Frontier, with the risk-reward tradeoffs representing technology options which have been designed into the USP specification rather than omissions based on compromise. The breadth of the USP’s technology foundation, and the resulting flexibility of for operator implementation and its use for revenue generating third party applications to expand an operator’s ability to safety support entire Internet of Things business verticals, represents a universal adoptability particularly important to cable operators.

Innovation based on a widely adopted and supported industry standards, moreover, has the benefit of reduced risk for invested capital, and reduced technology risk as a matter of product life cycle management.

When the resulting ‘product’ output of a standard is manifest in both hardware and software, gains in risk avoidance may not be proportional to investment, but exponential in the value of the resulting solution output. Operational efficiency resulting from implementation, particularly in the absence of new technology adoption cost, moreover, supercharge beneficial outcomes; a combination of factors which can justify the use of the word transformational in a time of underserved superlatives. This kind of return on investment (ROI) that can transform companies and industries, providing a significant competitive advantage in the modern connected world marketplace. Because of the wide variety of implementation options provided by USP standardization of technology imposes no limitations of imagination, innovation and user leadership with respect to new best practices, killer applications and executional excellent among the operator and manufacturer communities.

This paper explores how the adoption of USP by cable broadband operators and equipment manufacturers can transform operational efficiency and enable the creation of new revenue streams - outcomes of contemporaneous value in operations centers and boardrooms.

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