Managed Services and Outsourcing

Network operators outsource all or parts of their network, OSS and BSS for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Improve efficiency and reduce costs
  • Improve performance and customer experience
  • Deliver new services such as “cloud computing”

Coleago has worked for mobile and fixed network operators throughout the Managed Services (MS) life cycle to reduce risk and maximise benefits. Our projects have addressed all aspects of network and BSS scope: passive infrastructure, RAN/access, transmission, core, OSS, BSS; design, build, operate/maintain; and, legacy and new technology/systems. Our consultants have extensive experience and work as an integral part of your programme team, supported by our practical, structured methodology and tools.

The following sections and downloadable white papers provide some basic advice for operators at any phase in the life cycle: outsourcing for the first time, during the life of the contract or when a contract is nearing expiry. Contact Coleago if you would like to discuss your circumstances and how we might support you.

Outsourcing for the first time?

We start by developing or reviewing your overall sourcing strategy to ensure that it aligns with your business objectives and plans. Furthermore it must anticipate significant events that could occur during the life of an MS contract, such as spectrum changes, network sharing, M&A, etc. We analyse the main sourcing options in terms of benefits, risks and ability of the MS Providers (MSPs) to deliver solutions. During this phase we work with all stakeholders to build consensus and support.

If the sourcing strategy identifies attractive outsourcing options, we will lead or support your team through the procurement phase to engage with the MSPs and eventually conclude an agreement (or agreements in the case of multi-sourcing) for the optimal solution. In this phase, we will also help design your future retained organisation in terms of processes, people/roles and systems.

Once an agreement is signed, Coleago can assist with the transition to the new outsourced arrangement, in particular to transform your retained organisation and ensure that network or BSS performance is maintained throughout the period.

How well is your outsourcing relationship working?

During the life of every MS contract, it is worth undertaking a review of how well it is working – regardless of performance against KPIs. Almost certainly there are things that could be improved which may result in changes to personnel, training, processes, the contract (e.g., KPIs), etc. and will benefit both parties.

Coleago uses a structured interview process with workshops to identify and prioritise all areas for improvement. We work with personnel from different organisational levels in the operator and the MSP to ensure we cover all viewpoints.

At the very least, an operator should undertake one of these reviews one to two years before contract expiry to inform the decision about what to do thereafter.

What should you do if your MS contract expires within the next two years?

Start planning well in advance. Managing a contract expiration will need almost as much calendar time as it did to establish the original contract. Even if you expect to renew the contract with the current MSP, you may need to go through some form of competitive process (RFP) to ensure that they are still the best partner for you.

The steps are not dissimilar from when you first outsourced. Start by updating the sourcing strategy – without doubt the business objectives and plans have changed. Equally important is to understand how the MSPs have changed since your original agreement was signed. Their positions in the global market will have changed and their capabilities in your local market may also be different – for better or worse.

Possible outcomes from the sourcing strategy review range from extending the contract with your current MSP through to transitioning all or part of the scope to another MSP or back in-house.


Stefan Zehle

T: +44 7974 356 258

Graham Friend

T: +41 79 855 1354

Chris Buist

T: +43 664 352 1068