Customer experience relies on the ability of oprators to not only roll out, bundle and reassemble innovative services faster, but to also successfully provision and bill the orders according to customer expectations.
With so much energy going into BI, analytics, data warehousing and other initiatives to get the right products to the right people at the right location and time, it makes no sense to lose an order once you've "captured" the customer.
To shorten the lag between the time a service order is placed and the time it takes to get a service provisioned and into billing and CRM systems, operators need to transcend the "dumb-pipe" mentality and become true enablers in the value chain. That means embracing order management as something that is just as important as sales. That shouldn't be difficult to accept since order management can be a key enabler of a positive experience after an individual or enterprise is convinced to trust what you say about a certain service or product.
That change of mindset isn't so easy when order volumes from consumer and enterprise customers are rising at such a rapid rate.
There's no question service providers are handling an unprecedented number of order revisions and cancellations, which of course has led to high order fallout and billing discrepancies.
The problem is operators are bogged down in manual processes, fulfillment workflows, orchestration and decomposition rules, which are needed for every new service. Too often, they continue to create product-focused applications and functional fiefdoms created by silos of fulfillment systems. Quite often, usage records end up in error logs and customers and revenues are lost. This is particularly true for CSPs deeply rooted in legacy systems; fulfillment systems are not designed to handle such large numbers of orders and the ensuing changes. They cannot automatically decompose and reassemble pieces of products and services because of the number of custom-built, product-based applications.
"When you look at Asia, operators have had to slap together legacy systems to meet marketing demands, which means they can't model and manage product portfolios in efficient ways, which means business processes suffer," says Rolf Eberhardt, global practices principal at HP communications and media solutions.
"It's not good that they often have to implement products as many as three or four times - first modeling something in CRM, then modeling it again in billing, and then again in middleware, and then again in the portals for self service."