Managing Communications Companies

Managing - Managing Communications Companies on a Low-Cost and Flexible Infrastructure in an Internet Environment Definition A robust Web-based

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Unformatted text preview: Managing Communications Companies on a Low-Cost and Flexible Infrastructure in an Internet Environment Definition A robust, Web-based provisioning solution enables a cost-effective, streamlined approach for superior customer service when provisioning complex services. Overview This tutorial explores service delivery in today’s competitive marketplace and asserts that a Web-based provisioning solution will lower operational costs, increase efficiency, and propel product/service rollout. Topics 1. Introduction 2. Service Delivery Today Self- Test Correct Answers Glossary 1. Introduction To stand out, communications companies must be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors in terms of service offerings, quality of service (QoS), and support. To stay ahead, service providers must strive for the highest customer satisfaction by being able to deliver and offer unmatched customer support quickly and accurately. To prosper, they must also lower operational costs and increase efficiencies. Whether a company is an established service provider or the new kid on the block, the key to gaining and keeping that additional subscriber comes down to one crucial issue: service. New technologies and deregulation are dramatically changing the landscape for communications companies worldwide. From voice to data, legacy services to Internet services, traditional wireline to wireless and broadband, and monopolies to competition, the industry is moving at lightning speed and evolving into a fiercely competitive market dominated by the Internet. Communications companies built the Internet, but nobody controls it; it is driving tremendous growth of the communications industry into areas previously unimagined. The convergence of switched and Web-based offerings brings to the forefront new communications technologies and next-generation network services. Everywhere, new businesses or new services are quickly expanding to take advantage of the Internet. These businesses are expanding and bundling new Web-based voice and data services such as digital subscriber line (xDSL), virtual private networks (VPNs), wireless Internet protocol (IP), unified messaging, and voice over IP (VoIP). For customers, this means an almost dizzying array of choices in services and providers. The Internet has empowered customers with a wealth of information, along with the ability to make choices easily and rapidly. What does this mean for business? Customer loyalty is rapidly diminishing, and soon changing providers will be as easy as clicking a mouse. To thrive—or even merely survive—businesses must operate at unprecedented levels of effectiveness and meet and exceed customers’ increased expectations for responsiveness and personalized support. The Internet is changing all but one aspect of business. A company still needs good relationships with its customers. In fact, the Internet makes that more true now than ever before. Rapid provisioning of services and effective customerrelationship management helps communications companies become successful ebusinesses by helping them attract, retain, and profit from customers. 2. Service Delivery Today Service provisioning in today’s competitive marketplace involves myriad layers of complex business issues unique to the communications industry. Customers expect near-real-time delivery of new services—no mistakes, no delays. Can support systems accommodate rapid subscriber growth? Some companies may be faced with manual or semiautomated processes, multiple or inflexible activation technologies, and disconnected silos of information. A business’s biggest competitor may also be its network supplier, making service assurance more difficult. Or perhaps a company must deal with how to comply with numberportability requirements in the multiple locations it may operate. To stand out, communications companies must be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors in terms of service offerings, QoS, and support. To stay ahead, service providers must strive for the highest customer Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 2/12 satisfaction by being able to deliver and offer unmatched customer support quickly and accurately. To prosper, they must also lower operational costs and increase efficiencies (see Figure 1). Figure 1. Process Diagram As communications companies fight to retain and expand their subscriber base, the need to deliver world-class service is paramount. High customer satisfaction rests on the ability to deliver service with speed, accuracy, and responsiveness. The extent to which a company can address the following issues will determine the effectiveness of its service-delivery platform: Rapid Product/Service Rollout Time is of the essence, and quick and accurate provisioning is essential. Are multiple applications for activation functions, manual processes, and disparate islands of information preventing a company from reducing its time to market? The right Web-based provisioning solution provides a unified view of customer, product, and network information and supports automated service activation across any number of network devices from multiple vendors (see Tables 1 and 2). Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 3/12 Table 1. Rapid Service Creation 1 Web-Based Provisioning Solution Challenge multiple activation applications, vendors, and network elements (NEs) causes delays in product rollout and service activation allows creation/configuration of new service and products open standards-based, flexible architecture provides open interfaces that can fully integrate with existing environments unifies and communicates seamlessly with multiple technology and market domains Benefit less time required for reengineering due to flexibility and ease of configuration accomodates rapid subscriber growth through scaleability creates highly adaptable, reusable components with little or no programming requirements disparate islands of information and status tracking availability consolidates service, product, and customer information through a single point of access provides end-to-end view of each order in real time through dynamic summary displays and flow-through statistics manual of semi-automated automates sequencing of events; steps ensures activation processes fulfilled completely and on time by generating sequential line items for execution reduces status tracking workload by 25 percent customer-service representative (CSR) able to initiate activation process faster due to higher availability of information 10 percent increase in orders handled due to improved process and training time accelerates new product rollout by as much as six months Table 2. Rapid Service Creation 2 Challenge Web-Based Provisioning Solution Benefit differentiate highpriority orders enables user to queue order processing by due date escalates orders nearing due date schedules critical events needed to process accelerates activation orders; schedules activations for future process by scheduling time and date future activation dates changes queue priority on orders; changes status of submitted service requests expedites critical service requests that are date and time sensitive decreases average response time for repair requests escalates trouble tickets nearing or past repair due date Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 4/12 ensure completion provides user interface to repair and retry of service activation order that failed during fulfillment requests notifies appropriate groups of failed service activation and allows query and view of all parameters on work order that failed translation improves activation completions decreases response time to those experiencing failed service activation escalates failed order requests Streamlined Provisioning of Complex Services Provisioning wireless IP or broadband services requires a robust provisioning solution that can automate and manage the activation process, updating all of a company’s information support systems. Subscribers can be activated immediately, where and when they want. All necessary information is exchanged dynamically to establish service within minutes. A robust, Web-based provisioning solution will enable a cost-effective, streamlined approach for superior customer service when provisioning complex services. Increased Customer Satisfaction through High QoS Customer satisfaction hinges on high-quality service, responsiveness, and support. The key is to know about possible service disruptions before they happen and then take steps to resolve the problem. The right Web-based provisioning solution provides network auditing and repair-management capabilities to enable proactive service management (see Tables 3 and 4). Table 3. High QoS 1 Challenge Web-Based Provisioning Solution Benefit complex product fulfillment flexible architecture allows rapid and standards-based communications with other carriers reduces number of new applications needed to support new industry initiatives multiple services, products, and supports new industry initiatives, such as bundles number portability (NP) and partner carrier transactions new industry initiatives supports activation based on newer technologies, such as advanced intelligent services based on networks (AINs), frame relay, and new technologies asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) NP compliance obtains and converts customer orders that require NP into NP transactions receives ported number information and provisions customer on appropriate NEs Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org increased customer acquisition and retention due to competitive service offerings simplifies fulfillment process allows multinational carriers to meet different regulatory requirements enables NP compliance by Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 5/12 specified date increased revenue for operators customer control of order process increased customer retention, acquisition, and loyalty application programming interface (API) access to critical provisioning and troublemanagement functions slow service enables subscribers to check the Web directly for status reports as well as for ordering service eliminates waiting time for customers enables work to flow electronically across improved responsiveness to organization and business entities; provides customer visibility to company processes and able to extend hours of resource utilization operation, leading to increased customer satisfaction Table 4. High QoS 2 Challenge Web-Based Provisioning Solution Benefit communicate order status information and prioritize orders reports order status by providing end-to-end tracking of cutomer, network, and product information increase in customer acquisition and retention; greater revenue generation determines provisioning actions based on analysis of related orders more efficient handling of customer inquiries collects network events and errors and enables notifications; reports on failed service orders able to meet commitment dates by managing pending orders troubleshoot existing service-related problems obtains service-level agreement (SLA) information on customer account to identify possible SLA jeopardy or violations detect and correct potential servicerelated problems determines nature of service degradation and potential SLA violations or jeopardies; sets threshold levels against QoS parameters provides proactive fault management to identify and resolve customer problems before they surface key steps recorded in industrystandard database; creates service activation history high level of data integrity reduces activation and repair queries NEs and launches tests cycle time through test systems to diagnose and correct problems with service information updates (requires data duplication) reduces errors and inconsistency in information allows system to recover in case of a Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 6/12 communication or system failure able to effectively monitor and implement SLA Lower Operational Costs and Increased Efficiencies Considering the pace of merger and acquisition activity in the communications industry, the issue of integrating hybrid networks and multiple switching technologies is critical. High costs associated with changes in business processes require streamlining operations. The Web-based provisioning solution’s flexibility and scalability enables a company to interface to third-party inventory and workforce management systems and integrate with existing environments and new technologies. Web-based provisioning also supports automation of manual activation steps, minimizing the risk of human error and the need for costly rework (see Table 5). Table 5. Manage Operating Costs and Increase Revenue Challenge Web-Based Provisioning Solution Benefit cost of multiple activation and assurance applications single platform for all service-related activities, for multiple technology activation, and for support of new industry initiatives lower operating costs due to replacement of many applications with single platform unified view of customer, product, and network information 20-percent potential increase in total orders provisioned increases present value of product profits by five percent due to 1/2 year potential product deployment acceleration cost of initial infrastructure investment modular architecture enables lowers capital costs and integration to existing systems, so initial expenses by decreasing setup can be minimal, but ready for required investments future growth rapidly adds new sales accomodates modification and channels with minimal fundamental changes to system infrastructure investment associated with changing market cost of human resources (compensation and training) end-to-end configuration for multiple services from one application set; can modify attributes, relationships, and interrelated parameters of new services and products with little training Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org less need for scarce, costly programming resources reduces training costs reduces CSR, provisioning, and assurance headcount Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 7/12 high level of automation and ease of use costs by 19 percent enables plug-and-play capabilities prioritizes flow of administrative requests to the NEs provides Web interface for customers to directly order service and track order status cost of human errors requires data duplication enables proactive management by allowing carrier to detect and resolve service problems through performance monitoring and audit functions reduces provisioning and assurance rework by eight percent by closely managing services to ensure accuracy lower fallout management costs NP NP allows subscribers to keep their telephone numbers regardless of service provider. Different regulatory requirements in different countries and regions as well as multiple network technologies make implementing NP difficult for network operators. The right Web-based provisioning solution provides a flexible NP solution that can simultaneously support regulatory requirements as well as various network technologies. Self-Test 1. The key to gaining and keeping additional subscribers is service. a. true b. false 2. Deregulation did not have a dramatic effect on the landscape for worldwide communications companies. a. true b. false 3. No one communications company controls the Internet. a. true b. false Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 8/12 4. Customer loyalty is increasing in the communications industry. a. true b. false 5. The Internet is changing all but which of the following aspects of business? a. time to market b. communication c. customer relationships d. operational costs 6. Multiple applications for activation functions reduce time to market. a. true b. false 7. With a Web-based provisioning solution, customers may be activated in a matter of hours. a. true b. false 8. It is possible to know about service disruptions before they happen. a. true b. false 9. Which of the following is not true of Web-based provisioning solutions? a. They enable a company to interface to a third-party inventory system. b. They retain manual activation steps. c. They enable a company to integrate with the existing environment. d. They enable a company to integrate with new technologies. 10. If they change service providers, subscribers must always change their telephone numbers. a. true Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 9/12 b. false Correct Answers 1. The key to gaining and keeping additional subscribers is service. a. true b. false See Topic 1. 2. Deregulation did not have a dramatic effect on the landscape for worldwide communications companies. a. true b. false See Topic 1. 3. No one communications company controls the Internet. a. true b. false See Topic 1. 4. Customer loyalty is increasing in the communications industry. a. true b. false See Topic 1. 5. The Internet is changing all but which of the following aspects of business? a. time to market b. communication c. customer relationships d. operational costs Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 10/12 See Topic 1. 6. Multiple applications for activation functions reduce time to market. a. true b. false See Topic 2. 7. With a Web-based provisioning solution, customers may be activated in a matter of hours. a. true b. false See Topic 2. 8. It is possible to know about service disruptions before they happen. a. true b. false See Topic 2. 9. Which of the following is not true of Web-based provisioning solutions? a. They enable a company to interface to a third-party inventory system. b. They retain manual activation steps. c. They enable a company to integrate with the existing environment. d. They enable a company to integrate with new technologies. See Topic 2. 10. If they change service providers, subscribers must always change their telephone numbers. a. true b. false See Topic 2. Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 11/12 Glossary ADSL asymmetric digital subscriber line AIN advanced intelligent network API application programming interface CSR customer-service representative xDSL digital subscriber line IP Internet protocol NE network element NP number portability QoS quality of service SLA service-level agreement VoIP voice over IP VPN virtual private network Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 12/12 ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/15/2011 for the course ECON 1102 taught by Professor Jahis during the Spring '09 term at University of Minnesota Crookston.

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