Wholesalers bolster customer interaction

Paris Burstyn/Ovum
15 Nov 2012

Growing revenues and profits in wholesale telecom markets requires close relationships between suppliers and their customers.

As customers add solutions and value-added services to their traditional transport capacity purchases, they expect wholesale suppliers to understand their businesses and their customers in ways that enable the wholesaler to collaborate on developing customized solutions.

To encourage close working relationships, wholesale telecoms carriers employ a combination of person-to-person and automated customer interfaces.

Ovum’s recently published report Customer Interfaces for Wholesale Intermediaries examines how wholesale suppliers improve their customers’ business efficiency by strategically deploying different types of interfaces — including APIs, portals, extranets, and personnel. Our analysis shows that wholesale carriers use their customer interfaces to win, maintain, and grow their revenues while improving performance.

Person-to-person and automated interfaces serve different needs

Person-to-person interfaces include account teams, network engineers, maintenance teams, and contact centers. Automated interfaces include portals, websites, extranets, and published APIs that enable direct links between OSS/BSS systems. The scale and scope of wholesale transactions as well as the need to accommodate various indirect channels differentiate wholesale portals from their retail counterparts.

Automating transaction-oriented processes (e.g. adding capacity, initiating and tracking maintenance requests) frees wholesalers’ staff to collaborate with customers, develop solutions, and sell new services.

From the beginning of the wholesale supplier-customer relationship, customers will need their wholesalers’ automated interfaces to support high volumes of low-value transactions. As the relationships evolve, wholesalers and their customers may want to work more collaboratively.

When that occurs, the level of person-to-person support must increase proportionally to the degree of service complexity required. In every case of personal communications, the suppliers’ and customers’ team are supported by automated tools that link OSSs and BSSs.

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