Friday Jan 20, 2012

Gain the Customer-Service Advantage with Agile Order-cycle Processes

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are faced with declining voice revenues; hyper-competition from increasing number of IP network based providers and customer demand for integrated telephony, mobile, TV and internet services. While “Triple play” or “Quadruple play” offerings have become the norm, CSPs are experiencing increasing customer churn and revenue-leakage arising from errors and delays in order management across order-capture and order-provisioning.

Let me outline the operational challenge that limits the pursuit of streamlined and integrated order orchestration processes. Legacy OSS/BSS systems have stove-pipe order management systems and processes that are aligned to customer segments, service types or service bundles. This has the following implications:

  • increased complexity in on-demand and converged services provisioning
  • poor estimation of actual demand (in terms of order being processed in the BSS systems) and thus poor network capacity and inventory planning
  • stop-gap workarounds for order orchestration unable to cope with increasing order volume and converged service offering complexity

So what are the business implications for a CSP of a fragmented order-cycle?

Firstly, this leads to revenue leakage stemming from order fallout due to the following factors:

  • delays in orchestrating orders such as service bundles across OSS/BSS silos
  • errors in provisioning converged services due to fragmented view of orders e.g. "triple play"

Secondly, CSPs experience customer churn with dissatisfaction resulting from

  • in-flexibility in changing in-flight orders without un-doing them or incurring a penalty
  • expectation-reality gap with untimely and error-prone provisioning belying CSP promises

One possible solution lies in building a light-weight BPM layer between customer-interaction channels and OSS CRM systems as well as between BSS Order Management systems and the OSS silos (in some cases the OSS SDP layer). The benefit of a single order pipe and centralized order orchestration layer will be as follows:

  1. Improved tracking and status reporting of multi-part orders e.g converged services
  2. Timely and accurate provisioning with "in-flight" order customization and lower error-rates of multi-part orders
  3. Lower order fallout and abandonment resulting from reduction in order processing error-rates

Below is a concept architecture for overcoming the organizational, technological and converged services complexity to achieve order-cycle agility.


While Service Delivery Platforms can and have unified the order flow within individual OSS, BSS and organizational silos, the frontier in customer service advantage lies in unifying order flows at the edge to deliver consistent experience to external stakeholders especially customers. Moving to next generation services creates an opportunity to differentiate through timely and accurate provisioning of converged services.Hence CSPs need to harmonize order-cycle processes, across traditional OSS/BSS ‘silos’ and multiple business units, to deliver true on the promise of offering single-point-of-contact (SPOC) converged communication services for businesses and consumers alike.

About

A business centric perspective on Private Cloud, Data-center Modernization and EAI.

Author:
Sanjeev Sharma
Twitter: @sanjeevio

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