For an organization the size of British Telecom Group, one of the world’s leading telecommunications and network providers, managing its contracts with multinational clients is an enormous task involving multiple workflows. As a leader in B2B services, the brand embarked on a company-wide initiative to transform the governance, forecasting, and reporting processes it uses to manage its highest-value, bespoke contracts. Bound by strict governance and compliance rules, British Telecom needed to align its systems with its group-reporting requirements while providing complete auditability. It planned to digitize its legacy spreadsheet-based contract governance reporting (CGR) process with a transformative platform that would accelerate operations, consolidate data, improve forecasting, and meet compliance standards. An enhanced platform would also enable teams to shift their focus away from granular data to larger-scale insights (driven by automated analysis), helping identify areas where contract performance could be improved. This broader visibility would also result in more efficient, seamless experiences for customers and play a significant role in continuing to build trust with them. Through this fundamentally transformed automated contract management framework, British Telecom could use its data more effectively to realize greater business value and ultimately maintain the brand’s leadership status with its global customer base.
British Telecom and Wipro collaborated to replace British Telecom’s Excel-based process with the cloud-based Anaplan platform and significantly integrated the data sources. Deployed in nine months, the unified system enabled contract managers and accountants across the company’s global operations to standardize and verify the data required for full profit and loss (P&L) analysis. This allowed teams to consistently and comprehensively monitor contract performance, including financial forecasts. The new platform provided a digitized single source of truth, eliminating manual processes and data silos, while also giving data access to teams across the world. By embedding the business policies on financial treatments, forecast thresholds, and reconciling financials into the CGR system, British Telecom expanded its ability to take a standardized approach to surfacing insights from the vast amount of data for each contract. The new CGR platform also enabled teams to work with higher-quality data and established greater trust about the data’s accuracy. This data-driven approach meant that teams could focus on meaningful conversations and make more informed decisions about improving customer service, contract performance, and customer experiences. The improved accuracy also enabled sales teams to better predict market demand.
Reviews and reporting operations were greatly accelerated and fully auditable, and British Telecom developed greater visibility across the entire reporting process, benefitting everyone from lead managers to the C suite. This expanded transparency allowed the enterprise to gain clarity around a contract’s data path, showing who accessed contact data and when. The telecom leader also improved its agility with new reporting capabilities that provided valuable insights in a much faster timeframe than British Telecom’s previous system. Wipro’s Expert Assist module provided a way to spotlight and visualize key contract data, including profit margins and risks, to help reviewing managers during the review process. Reviewers could also compare contracts and determine how well they’re meeting specific business targets.
In addition to the technical advantages delivered, it was critical that the 800 users were migrated to the new process and supportive of the change. The company deployed a significant level of resources to a change management strategy combined with effective communications to help British Telecom’s teams and stakeholders across time zones adopt the solution’s unique benefits and begin their journey to full automation. Designed with compliance regulations in mind, the solution ensured the company’s contract governance process would align with industry standards (e.g., financial treatments of risk, revenue, and margins) and allow external auditing evaluations to be less resource intensive.
Using its new platform, British Telecom transformed its contract management governance, compliance, and forecasting to become a more data-led, streamlined enterprise. The platform functioned as a trusted repository from which downstream teams, such as product lines, can improve offerings to the market, helping solidify its leadership in the telecom industry. The transformed contract governance process resulted in over 800 global users receiving access to more accurate, timely, and higher-quality information, enabling teams to make important business decisions and discussions around that data. The standardized data-entry process increased productivity while reducing contract-reviewing processes by two weeks..
By reengineering the legacy processes to adopt the new automation, workloads were reduced as team members no longer had to juggle different spreadsheets and systems. Due to the streamlined processes, the organization increased its data flow rate and improved its end-to-end oversight operations. The new business logic could be deployed within 24 hours worldwide, rather than 6 months using the previous system. Additionally, the improved internal experiences led to a better understanding of contract dynamics. The enhanced system also ensured British Telecom could fulfill its necessary compliance requirements covering auditing and reporting, with policies in place to enforce compliance standards across multiple countries that had previously locally interpreted the policies differently.
With a digital, standardized approach for collecting, reporting, and analyzing data, the telecom leader could more effectively monitor the performance of its highest-value contracts across its geographies. During the reviewing process, which is a key compliance and governance component, contract teams and managers gained the ability to collaborate more easily and make better informed decisions based on the analytics surfaced by the platform. The improved processes and accelerated cycle times resulted in better service for their logo customers.
The new CGR system enabled financial benefits as well, with the platform projected to save over £4.3 million on operational costs over three years (including profit margin improvements and reductions in service-level credits). The project’s range of comprehensive benefits enabled the brand to be more customer-focused and better prepared to respond to increasing market demands.