As communications service providers increasingly focus on the customer, many are tackling the fundamental problem of getting a larger number of products to market faster, for example, by strengthening their offers by implementing centralised, co-ordinated product catalogue functions and automating the product lifecycle.
Likewise, many are integrating their customer interaction channels across contact centre CRM, web self-service portals and in-person interaction, as well as upgrading back office systems to implement integrated fulfillment.

“Whether one is wired, wireless or cable; legacy or ‘greenfield’; incumbent or competitor; quickly launching offers with the appropriate order management capability is a struggle. Communication technology, by itself, is no longer seen as the source of competitive advantage for CSPs.

“Rather, they are increasingly focusing on customer metrics, including speed of delivery, accuracy of order processing, and performance to differentiate themselves from their competitors. At the same time, as mass market communication services fade into the sunset, the demands on operators increase,” says Anton van Heerden, GM at Altech ISIS.

To meet these needs, a collaborative, cross-departmental effort and a comprehensive IT solution are essential.

“Service providers who excel in rapid offer introduction and efficient order delivery gain a strong competitive edge in today’s complex business environment,” says Van Heerden.

“They must continue to integrate and automate order management, CRM, and provisioning functions to drive both time and cost out of the definition and delivery of customised service bundles and customer self-service to enable a unified process across the business. This is less a physical integration problem, and more logical and functional integration is required to operate across all functions and systems.”

In helping its customers achieve this, Altech ISIS makes use of the Oracle Order Service Management (OSM) suite of products, and is one of the few companies in South Africa with the requisite skills to use this software to its full potential.

Oracle’s OSM manages the order fulfillment lifecycle across enterprise systems – including billing, shipping, and workforce management – while also managing and tracking service fulfillment activities across activation and inventory applications.

“Oracle OSM is built specifically to help CSPs address their long standing challenges in the end-to-end lifecycle of order management starting from offer design and launch, all the way through to order fulfillment and billing activation.

“Its advanced capabilities for synchronised offer and service fulfillment design, automated order fallout management and in-flight order change management provide service providers the most advanced set or productised capabilities in the industry,” explains Van Heerden.

“It is service and domain agnostic and can be used either across the entire enterprise or within a single domain to address discrete needs.”

He adds that Altech ISIS’ unique skills set enables the company to ensure that the software delivers on its promise of a more responsive infrastructure.

“Each solution has the potential to be a unique combination of numerous complex services, features, and functions. Each one, then, also has unique requirements for order decomposition and delivery. Having the right skills is essential in ensuring that the Oracle OSM delivers the right combination.”