Today’s consumer demands consistency — be it online, on the move or in any physical location. The services offered to consumers must be robust, consistent and optimal in their inception. Any slight weakness will contribute to losing competitive advantage or reputation.
Let me provide an example that may occur in any consumer orientated business: capturing and fulfilling service orders. If this is not integrated across all delivery channels and IT systems then associated business processes will be unable to access data that may be critical, for example about each individual customer’s history. A customer’s order history and payment behavior is crucial for accepting or declining an order/application as well as minimizing simple purchase abandonment midway due to poor consumer interaction or response. This is just one of the many processes in any business that is important for revenue protection and maximization.
If you think of the exchanges between the consumer and the business… transactions and interactions have to follow different and diverse routes involving many different systems, with such systems being deployed over a period of many years producing a complex heterogeneous multi-vendor, multi-device, and multi-technology infrastructure. This is challenging on a number of levels, from quality, performance, reliability and accuracy to name just a few.
In telecoms, NGOSS or, more recently, Frameworx from the TM Forum, recognize the need to look to integrate operational and business processes. But this is not just relevant to telecoms, it is just as important to other business domains including financial services, utilities, etc. Ensuring operational and business support systems are working effortlessly together is imperative and critical in all consumer type businesses where interaction with consumers and internal business areas is a common feature of day to day activity.
A financial organization or a communication service provider requires Business Process Management (BPM) where a systematic, standardized, optimal approach to making organizations’ business workflow more effective, efficient and capable of adapting to the ever-changing environment is possible. BPM needs to be in combination with a service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach where application components provide services to other components via a common communications protocol. With all these factors (and lots of acronyms BSS, OSS, BPM, SOA, B/OSS, etc.) it is possible to have operational and business systems working cohesively together.
The natural next step is the rationalizing of the many IT systems, such as mediation layers, ETL, and enterprise application integration that have been built or deployed over time into a framework for data synchronization and complex event processing. This ‘plug and play’ single layer type approach to resolving the complexity in data management allows the business to more easily monetize the rich information held and moved between all these systems and, in turn, gives full visibility and intelligence on its business from managing capacity, identifying revenue leaks, identifying marketing opportunities or having accurate forecasts.
You should not build a great building on a weak foundation – similarly, corporations need a sound infrastructure to achieve success in business. When thinking of transformation and digitization and the other hot topics such as Big Data (topics on the minds of many C-level telecom executives as we move into 2016), having a single product that provides harmonization, standardization and reliability to the business and operational support strategies is crucial to build a sustainable, transparent and future-proof business.
This article was originally published on the corporate blog of Neural Technologies. It has been reproduced with their permission.