Service delivery in the telecommunications and ISP industries is becoming increasingly complex. As CSPs build layers upon layers of processes and systems to support their products, these systems become constraints, resulting in slow and inflexible service delivery with high-order fallout. This puts pressure on people to fill in the gaps, leading to growing operational expenditure costs. As a result, CSPs become constrained and unable to respond to business goals such as creating new products, improving quality, increasing speed, and lowering prices. Traditional order-management and workflow systems exacerbate the problem.
To address this, it is crucial to simplify and automate service delivery. In this article, we will explore how to approach transforming service delivery, the challenges faced, and the benefits of data-driven delivery.
There are four reasons why complexity snowballs in service delivery:
- New product development: Each new product adds a layer of complexity to the existing system, which becomes difficult to streamline.
- Most new products fail: Many new products do not reach a point of “constant returns to scale,” leading to high costs and complexity that continue to exist as a hidden tax.
- Technology churn is messy: When customers migrate to a product enabled by new technology, the migration process is much more complicated than adding a new customer.
- Operating constraints: Service-delivery teams are expected to deliver new products, more services, reduce the cost of fulfillment, speed up service delivery, and improve quality, all while keeping costs flat or decreasing.
To address these challenges, we recommend creating a clear view of everything that is important, bringing immediate insight into end-to-end performance and processes. This will enable action, allowing you to regain your agility and deliver on new asks in parallel. You can then terraform existing services, bring value to legacy services, and enhance operations.
However, there is a catch. Projects require adaptation of core IT systems performing workflow, order-management, and automation. Many established providers use traditional order-management and workflow systems, which have not dealt well with the snowballing complexity. As a result, order fallout in some environments is as high as 70%, leading to delayed or lost revenue.
One solution is data-driven delivery, such as the Twyn platform. Twyn integrates with popular systems, allows for easy control of data, and offers insights into performance and flow from data. With Twyn, you can take action and create new flows and automations in minutes, easily reuse configurations across different services, and achieve a shared single-view of all builds and runs. Additionally, Twyn offers a digital customer experience, allowing you to understand how customers wish to be serviced, navigate how to establish and run the project, and interact and collaborate with the customer.
In conclusion, the telecommunications and ISP industries must simplify and automate service delivery to remain competitive. By using data-driven delivery solutions like Twyn, CSPs can overcome the challenges of complexity and achieve greater agility, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
What is in this article:
- Service delivery within CSPs gets increasingly complex.
- Layer upon layer of processes and systems built to support products become constraints.
- Slow, inflexible with high order-fallout.
- People need to fill in gaps resulting is growing Opex costs.
- Constrained, unable to respond to business goals: new products, higher quality, faster, lower price
- Exiting & traditional order-management / workflow systems, not helping.
How we can help:
- Create a clear view of everything that is important. Bring immediate insight into end-to-end performance and process.
- Enable action: Get your agility back. Pragmatic workflow and automation.
- Start by creating value: deliver on new asks in parallel. Then terraform existing services: bring value to legacy services and enhance operations.
- Start benefiting from digital optimisation and digital customer experiences.
Full article starts here...
Lets frame the problem
Most established operators of technology based services make their money by connecting many customers to a network or service platform.
Services are most often composed of equipment, networks and platforms configured to enable specific customer value.
An operator will typically offer a range of services across domains (for example: mobile, FTTH, fixed access, Internet, MPLS VPN, VoIP, Hosting, Security, etc).
But every service is different. Each underpinned by some form of build practice (people, processes, systems, data) which prescribes tasks which need to be performed onto broad array of equipment / networks / platforms.
A mature operator could well have:
- Around 12 major practice patterns (associated with primary technology);
- more than 200 service practice variations;
- tens-of-thousands of orders in progress;
- pipeline of new products in development;
- backlog of operational enhancements desperately needed.
Four reasons complexity snowballs
New product development.
During product development the service-delivery team develop an understanding of how technologies combine within your existing eco-system and make whatever changes are required to organisations, processes and systems.
Most new products result in:
- Extension of scope and functionality in core IT platforms.
- Addition of new technology and systems.
- Creation of new process and modifications to some common processes.
- As experience delivering a new product grows, incremental provisioning / fulfillment optimizations are identified.
It is often very tough to make even small adjustments to streamline delivery.
Most new products fail
Most product business cases also included a base assumption that the “build” operation will achieve economies-of-scale for each service.
According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, 80% of new consumer products fail.
In our experience, this characteristic is true for CSPs. A high proportion of new products / technologies don’t result in the commercial success envisaged. They do not reach a point of “constant returns to scale”.
What happens most of the time?
- You invest in developing a new product, supporting technology and the delivery capability.
- Demand for the product is weak.
- Some product is in commercial operation, but the number is much lower than planned. Sub-scale.
- It is very difficult to decommission the services you have sold. It can be expensive and challenge your credibility.
As a result, costs and complexity get baked in and many products continue to exist as a “hidden tax” within the business.
Technology churn is messy!
CSPs are also faced with technology induced churn. Customers migrate to a product enabled by new technology.
For example, an existing MPLS network will be re-contracted onto a solution based on SDWAN technology.
This migration between products is much more complicated than adding a new customer as many more use-cases need to be supported.
Against this backdrop of ever increasing complexity, a service-delivery team are given targets to:
- Support new product delivery,
- Deliver increasingly more services,
- Reduce the cost of fulfilment,
- Speed up service delivery,
- Improve the quality.
In most cases the cost is expected to remain flat or decrease. With a “do more with less” or “zero based budgeting” mandate. A scarce system.
How might you approach the problem?
Most likely setup a team to do some analysis?
- Understand the dominant end-to-end patterns and flows within your environment.
- Attach instrumentation / analytics to systems in the pattern and surface performance insights.
- Identify problems. Easy to spot: delivery bottlenecks, redundant activities, high-average task durations and high-order-fallouts.
- Identify areas with the greatest leverage and make an improvement. Projects where a small change will result in a large benefit.
The result of the analysis is always very similar:
- Simplify business processes — fewer, leaner steps. Rooted in outcomes.
- Increase automation.
- Make manual tasks more efficient.
- Increase quality of task outcomes — reduce fallout is critical.
- Decommission products, processes and systems.
Projects require adaption of core IT systems performing workflow, order-management, automation.
Can your business make the necessary changes?
Or have you lost your agility and are unable to take reasonable action.
Traditional systems cannot keep up, unlikely to help.
At the core of most established providers is some form of order-management / workflow system, typically forming part of some complex, expensive, fragile, set of inter-connected systems.
These traditional order-orchestration / workflow systems have not dealt well with the snowballing complexity we described above.
It is estimated that order fallout is some environments is as high as 70%, leading to delayed or lost revenue.
Solutions are everywhere
Many of the large global software companies built impressive new order management / fulfilment platforms.
Most common themes and capabilities:
- Catalogue based (build up a library for reuse)
- Embrace agile and collaboration (product development is slow because it is waterfall)
- Standards (TMForum)
- Sexy design-time user interface
Unfortunately, new offers are incremental extensions of process-engine technology and business model which has been identified as end-of-life.
While it is important to bring agile and collaborative methodologies to “design-time” activities, operations teams are still compromised.
Twyn, data driven delivery
Integrate. Understand. Act. Often.
Twyn is designed to enable graceful introduction and migration in such environments.
Connect the systems you have, and use today,
Keep using what you like,
Replace or augment. Twyn delivers best practices in a number of domains.
1. Integration is easy
Connect in easily to popular systems.
- Embrace your Excel and custom databases.
- Connect to APIs in minutes.
- Zero-touch interoperability with Open Digital Architecture and Open APIs systems.
As a data-driven platforms, Twyn behaves more like a “Business Intelligence” technology than a traditional order-management system.
Initially it might make sense to deploy as an SaaS overlay:
- Lightly connecting to primary data sources.
- Deliver immediately on a few new asks in parallel to existing systems.
2. Get control of your data
Data must form the foundation of any transformation. But first it needs a make-over – cleaned, cut and shaped into a capable base.
Smartly transform and aggregate your data so it is brutally simple.
- Easy, open access to transformed data.
- Find, navigate and act on relationships and associations which where invisible.
3. Understand performance from data
Once data is connected into Twyn, a range of instrumentation and analytics becomes available.
“we need to let the data speak”
Get visibility into what is important. Quickly identify problems like:
- delivery bottlenecks.
- redundant activities.
- high-average task durations.
4. Understand flow from data
Digital footprints in your data is used to extract the processes actually being followed in your business. Understand where delivery is delayed and things are going wrong.
“data has a better idea”
How often is work completed out of sequence?
In which tasks is the most time lost?
Process Mining is a process analysis method that aims to discover, monitor and improve real processes (processes not assumed) by extracting knowledge easily from available event logs in the systems of current information of an organization.
It goes beyond the pure presentation of the key data of the process, recognizing the contextual relationships of the processes, presenting them in the form of graphic analysis in order to diagnose problems and suggest improvements in the quality of the process models.
With Process Mining it will be possible to detect or diagnose problems based on facts and not on conjectures or intuitions. Process mining seeks the confrontation between event data (observed behavior) and process models (hand-made or automatically discovered).
Process mining is integrated into Twyn. In smart graphical views you can see the sequence and timing of task completion.
Bring immediate insight into end-to-end performance and process.
5. Take action
Twyn gives you your agility back.
- Create new flows and automations in minutes.
- Easily reuse what you configure across different services.
- Process library with out-of-the-box processes based on industry best practices, including access, network, voip, cloud, mobile and SME.
- Within a graphical user interface, a sequence of desired activities and actions are mapped to your data, resulting in a workflow or automations.
Configure these to meet your requirement and publish.
Twyn’s data-engine enables:
Small purpose built flows.
True rapid prototyping of flows
6. Digital customer experience
Twyn will get you in control of your data.
By looking at data from across your business, understand how you customer wishes to be serviced.
- Understand the existing services used by a customer.
- Navigate how do you best establish and run the project.
- Achieve a shared single-view of all build and run.
- Interact and collaborate with the customer.
Our collaboration capabilities will transform how you think about Customer Experience during service delivery.