There is a great surge of new services, applications and devices that communication service providers (CSPs) and telecom equipment vendors have to deal with today. Voice, data, video, Internet, content, gaming, location based services, enterprise integration and commerce are being rapidly bundled with a baffling number of heterogeneous devices in association with a growing number of independent partners. On one hand, these are exciting developments as they serve customer needs and open fresh revenue streams. While on the other, they present a threat to customer satisfaction levels and customer retention. This is because a complex product portfolio impacts order management and fulfilment in ways that CSPs are still trying to understand and optimize.
Why the Order-to-Activate Process looks different today
Several CSPs have attempted to address the challenges posed to their order-to-activate process. The outcomes have largely fallen short of expectation. This has made CXOs cautious as they want to do more with less and they want to do it faster.
The Three Corner Solution
For an order-to-activate strategy to be workable and acceptable it must first focus on three underlying areas - customer experience, cost optimisation and cash flow / revenue management. When these three are scrutinised and improved, the order-to-activate process stands a better chance of being aligned with current business needs.
The benefits of ripping and restructuring the order-to-activate process are innumerable from a CSP perspective. With increased revenue through early billing there is an improvement of 15 per cent in order to bill cycle time. There is cost avoidance which involves 15-20 per cent reduction in engineering visits and 10 to 15 per cent improvement in inventory utilisation and a 15 to 20 per cent reduction in test. There is cost reduction as well with reduced customer churn through predictive analytics.
The crux of a CSP is that as technology and network proficiencies improve, so should processes that define customer satisfaction and revenue management. Digging into every aspect of the order-to-activate process, upgrading it and streamlining, is an immediate way to ensure that service management becomes a way of creating a differentiator as well as leading to revenue growth.