Enterprise Services: Reconfiguring the Wheel Instead of Reinventing It

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1 TELCORDIA IS NOW PART OF ERICSSON SINCE JANUARY 2012 white paper Enterprise Services: Reconfiguring the Wheel Instead of Reinventing It Abstract More and more Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are finding great opportunity in the enterprise services market. Meeting the demands of that market, however, calls for the ability to customize services on the fly, dynamically. This is difficult, if not impossible, with traditional approaches, but can be achieved by componentizing and reusing existing assets, processes, and data.

2 Page 2 of 5 The Dynamic Nature of the Enterprise Services Market The compelling economics and flexibility of Ethernet and IP VPN technologies are driving a substantial service uptake by enterprise customers. These technologies can support a mix of applications at a relatively low cost, including video conferencing, disaster recovery, high-speed file transfer, VoIP, Internet access, and virtual private networks. The overall value proposition is so attractive that Infonetics Research expects global Ethernet service revenues to double to $33 billion by Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are competing fiercely for this new business. Telco, cable, utility, and other CSPs are continually scrambling to differentiate their services to keep up with both the competition and customer expectations. Perhaps the best way to differentiate is to play a greater role in helping enterprise customers sustain their own competitive edge. The more their telecom services can be dynamically customized, the more they can express and differentiate themselves and by being able to offer such services, the more competitive the CSP becomes. However, while dynamic customization is attractive in theory, providing it can be an operational nightmare. Ethernet and IP VPN technologies are much more conceptual in nature than the more physical, hardware-based technologies of the past. This makes them more flexible and fluid, but it also makes them more abstract, which can exacerbate commonly existing continuity problems. In a typical Order-to-Cash process, product information is often siloed within functional groups or can even be known only to specific individuals. Even without service customization, this can cause fulfillment delays, service breaks, and ineffectual services support. High-level customization demands strict continuity and a highly disciplined Order-to-Cash process structure that, in most cases, do not exist. You Want What?!? Enterprise services require increasingly complex designs, involving many moving parts and parameters for multiple locations and services. Adding to the complexity, these designs must continually change to accommodate more and more frequent shifts in customer business objectives. Those design changes also have to occur more quickly, as enterprises begin joining consumers in the demand for instant gratification. Contrast those realities with the current method of fulfilling these services. It s mostly manual, built upon multiple, disconnected systems. Best practices are not centrally documented. Visibility of network equipment usage is poor. As a result, nearly every new service order means reinventing the wheel. Delays and errors are common. Service complexity and the frequency of change make the coordination of logistics and processes difficult. Fragmented underlying platforms present huge obstacles to the delivery of a cohesive and consistent customer experience. In turn, that causes customer confusion and dissatisfaction, which can result in loss of business. The situation calls for a new method of operation, enabling higher levels of service customization, achieved faster and more reliably (first time right), and at a lower operational cost.

3 Page 3 of 5 Customer A Customer B Customer C Service Order: VPN automatically re-routed around network congestion or outage automatically re-routed to use underutilized transport facilities VPN Figure 1: Present Method of Operation VPN with policies to re-route traffic upon network congestion or outages VPN with policies to re-route traffic to use under-utililized transport facilities Managing Change Through Reuse The key is reuse dynamically assembling differentiated value from mostly existing assets, processes, and data. This requires a more structured and disciplined approach along with a high degree of consistency in processes and data. To be most effective, the scope needs to transcend Order-to-Cash and include Idea-to- Implementation, the process of turning a product manager s idea into a realized offering. With enforced consistency across both of these process areas, all intelligence gathered during Idea-to-Implementation can be leveraged to better automate Order-to-Cash and enable dynamic changes to running services. The same policies that guide product selection can also drive order decomposition, reducing errors and allowing faster, more reliable offer realization, fulfillment, and service alterations. Consistency starts by consolidating systems into one standardized platform with centralized or federated data. This platform coordinates a large number of functions previously considered disparate in nature, from component creation to offering assembly to service qualification to order processing. A consolidated environment allows a more accurate understanding of product creation and offering assembly, for more effective qualification. Proper qualification, in turn, leads to faster order processing with fewer errors. The end result is a streamlined, more reliable Idea-to-Cash platform that promotes component reuse during customization.

4 Page 4 of 5 With reusable components, customized offerings can be created on the fly from a common set of standardized, proven building blocks, and at minimal operational cost. These components include policies, workflows, rates, Quality of Service (QoS) parameters, etc. Each offering can provide differentiated value to customers even though its basic structure may resemble thousands of others. Offerings can also be modified faster to accommodate changing customer needs. Higher levels of consistency make process automation more reliable. It also promotes reuse, thus giving CSPs the needed flexibility to dynamically assemble, on the fly, the most appropriate offerings. The underlying platform leverages a common set of reusable components as much as possible to reduce operational costs. That way, by using more of the same, CSPs can afford higher levels of customization so that they can differentiate themselves to compete in this growing market. Reconfiguring the Wheel Instead of reinventing the wheel, reusable components let you simply reconfigure it as needed. With service functionality released from a monolithic product code, the componentized offering can be reconfigured with no or minimal coding. Customer A Customer B Customer C Service Order: VPN automatically re-routed around network congestion or outage automatically re-routed to use underutilized transport facilities Catalog of Reusable Components Congestion/Outage Routing Logic Basic VPN Offer Traffic Engineering Logic Automated Using Consistent Business Rules VPN Figure 2: A Better Method of Operation VPN with policies to re-route traffic upon network congestion or outages VPN with policies to re-route traffic to use under-utililized transport facilities

5 Page 5 of 5 The increase in service flexibility and speed of change can be dramatic. As an example, imagine a CSP that has created a portfolio of high-quality, multipoint-based enterprise services. Anticipating customer requirements, these services were built to meet a premium, gold level service level agreement. However, sales efforts reveal that many customers are in cost-cutting mode and want service levels that are only good enough. Previously, this would essentially mean starting from scratch. The new services would have to be built and coded to meet the unexpected market demands. The original services would provide little or no foundation, since records and information would likely be lacking due to staff turnover, poor documentation, and other reasons. Using reusable components, the CSP can respond quickly to the change in marketplace requirements. The service schema of the original services can be kept, and components supporting the gold level features are easily removed. Process and data consistency shortens the testing cycle, and the new offerings can be delivered with the speed and reliability customers expect. Conclusion The enterprise services market represents a high-revenue, high-growth opportunity for communications service providers. But differentiation depends on the ability to provide dynamically customized services that allow customers to maintain a competitive edge in fastchanging business environments. It is quite expensive to dynamically customize services using traditional technologies and methods. A cheaper solution is found in a consolidated platform providing accurate, consistent data and enabling consistent processes across Idea-to-Implementation and Order-to-Cash. The high level of consistency allows the componentization of service features and specifications, and the components can then be assembled, reassembled, and reconfigured to provide reliable, customized enterprise services that can be changed as quickly as customer business needs change. In this way, CSPs can cut operational costs, increase automation, improve operational visibility, and, most importantly, differentiate themselves in the enterprise services marketplace. For more information about Telcordia, contact your local account executive, or you can reach us at: (U.S. and Canada) +44 (0) (Europe) (all other countries) Copyright 2010 Telcordia Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. MC-COR-WP-022

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