Streamlining the communications product lifecycle. By Eitan Elkin, Amdocs

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1 From idea to Realization Streamlining the communications product lifecycle By Eitan Elkin, Amdocs

2 contents Sigh No rest for the weary 01 Documenting the challenge 03 Requirements for a solution 07 The way forward 09 Building the business case: The payback from PLM 11 The Amdocs Product Lifecycle Management Solution 13 A final thought 15

3 Sigh No rest for the weary If you re dealing with enterprise product management, you re running twice as fast just to keep up. On one hand, you re packaging new offers as fast as possible to generate new revenue. On the other, you re struggling through multiple systems, inconsistent data, and manual workarounds to keep the process moving forward. No matter your specific role, you ve got a huge portfolio to manage, relentless pressure to get new offers to market faster, and customers that expect a better experience all around. As the head of enterprise architecture for one global service provider put it: The market is far more competitive now and unit prices are much smaller so we need to be much smarter and more competitive with compelling offers. This means we cannot go through the long development life cycles of before and we have to drive costs out of the system. The lack of a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution is a critical gap in our current software infrastructure stack. True enough, but easier said than done! Enriching your portfolio, shortening time to market and increasing success rates doesn t happen overnight. It s a complex operation with lots of moving parts and you re working with serious resource constraints, constant politics, and legacy systems that slow everything down. 01 Two main challenges which revolve around PLM are the general lack of an integrated PLM solution and an essential agreement among key marketing and IT stakeholders on the need for a solution that addresses core challenges and serves the needs of all contributors to the success of PLM. 02

4 Documenting the challenge Most service providers do follow a high level formal PLM process with a fairly standard set of stages. Standard PLM process Configure Process Define Evaluate Describe Design Test Sell Monitor Retire and Plan Deploy Campaign But simply having a process in place does not mean it s an effective one. PLM has always been challenging in large organizations. As service providers transition to always-on, converged networks, however, the scope of the challenge has become much greater. There are five dimensions of PLM today that put severe stress on effective operations: 1. the size of the portfolio. The number and complexity of product and service offerings has exploded in recent years. Majority of service providers have more than 450 distinct products and services in their portfolios, and the search for new sources of revenue virtually guarantees the numbers will continue to grow. 2. The number of stakeholders. Primary stakeholders in the product lifecycle process work in marketing, R&D, product management, finance, IT, network, sales, and customer service. Most providers have people directly involved in planning, defining, and managing products and portfolios. Meanwhile, the traditional PLM model that keeps everything inside company walls is falling apart as growing networks of partners become ever more important to offer development, launch and management. 3. the demand for new products. Service providers today are launching at least 50 and sometimes 200 or more new offers each year to remain competitive and satisfy an ever widening range of subscriber expectations and demands for personalized variants and packages. Service providers in emerging markets, on average, launch almost twice as many new products as those in more mature markets

5 4. time to revenue. Bringing new products to market requires enormous collaboration across the various stakeholder groups. Some tasks can work simultaneously, such as product marketing, customer service training, and sales; others need be sequential, such as testing and quality assurance. Average timelines to get from initial idea to sales and revenue can range from weeks. 5. the number of stakeholders. Most service providers rely on a hodge-podge of systems, applications, and both manual and automated processes across multiple divisions and functions, including product catalogues, charging and billing, CRM and network and service management. Internal training and marketing Retesting Development Idea Business case Timeline: weeks Financial analysis Approval The end result, all too often, is critical gaps in process efficiency. Through the course of the product lifecycle, users generate and distribute data that remains inaccessible to other stakeholders; standard tasks are reinvented from scratch time after time; and critical information is created, edited, and forwarded via multiple spreadsheets, presentations, and project plans without consistent standards, supervision, or enforcement. All this leads to shortfalls in critical areas of PLM, including product quality and compliance, cost, time to market, cross-functional collaboration and operational efficiency

6 Requirements for a solution So what does a PLM solution require to be effective and address the challenges that are common to service providers across the globe? First, there s a need to understand that PLM is not just technology or a group of people collaborating. It s a combination of both. It involves a single shared view of product and service information, process automation, product lifecycle process optimization and change management. Looking at specific functionalities, there are 5 key requirements that are needed for PLM today: Centralized repository with a 360 view of product and service information: Enables high levels of collaboration and flexibility across the organization as processes need to change, at least partially, to accommodate different offerings. Cross-functional collaboration today is rife with slow, manual processes, miscommunication, and missed handoffs. A comprehensive process-led business solution: Optimized human interaction capabilities and automation that supports a wide range of standards Better planning and reporting capabilities: Fragmented PLM data and systems make it extremely difficult to monitor and answer critical questions such as the timeliness and impact of individual launches and the profitability of specific offers. Improved PLM provides a clear view into these and other key concerns. Integration with network planning: Smartphones and proliferating applications put tremendous pressure on network capacity but gaps in PLM make it difficult to align events in the BSS layer organizationally and technically with network requirements to insure appropriate investment. Improved PLM provides tighter connections with network planning to help ensure the right capacity investments at the right time. 07 Product requirement management: Internal, customer, and competitive dynamics almost guarantee that product requirements change as products move through the lifecycle, such that final products are often quite different than those initially planned. Improved PLM would support consistent tracking, documentation, and measurement of those changes. 08

7 The way forward Taking into account Amdocs own experience in PLM projects, there are four guidelines which service providers should bear in mind when exploring new PLM solutions: Maximize existing assets: The practical reality is that most service providers have substantial PLM-related assets that are currently underutilized. In other words, the people, processes and systems are mostly in place already to support a more effective approach. Focusing first on maximizing the value of existing assets can generate important improvements across the PLM eco-system. Emphasize incremental improvement: Although improving PLM is clearly a priority with substantial revenue implications, big bang overhauls are extremely difficult to manage and fund. It s generally better to focus on a series of incremental steps that make a difference in their own right, such as consolidating ordering and billing data, moving toward a single product catalog, and streamlining critical processes. Ensure stakeholder access: For service providers, the most frequent points of failure in PLM come in the connection points across departmental lines. Particularly in large organizations, the sheer number of people and functions involved (product managers and marketers, business analysts, IT and network managers, etc.) makes efficient coordination and collaboration extremely challenging. Zeroing in on the core challenges of information access, sharing, and collaboration yields significant benefits in relatively short order. Invest in an enterprise product catalog (EPC): The one critical gap in many PLM environments is a central product catalogue. Multiple catalogues result in fragmented and inconsistent product data which form the base of essential PLM systems and processes. In this context, critical steps such as product configuration demand elaborate and often manual efforts to ensure product quality. As such, attempting to streamline and better integrate PLM across the organization in the absence of a centralized catalog greatly increases the difficulty of the initiative

8 Building the business case The payback from PLM The business case for investing in PLM improvement rests on a set of hard and soft benefits: Time to market Streamlining PLM through increased automation accelerates time to market, allowing more tasks to run in tandem and reducing time-consuming administrative work that can cause delays. Optimized processes Increased automation makes it easier for service providers to take advantage of early successes and quickly move toward more substantial growth and a competitive advantage. Customer loyalty Improved product quality and accelerated time to market through more efficient PLM inevitably leads to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty and, ultimately, reduced churn. Increased revenue Faster time to market, improved product quality, easier scaling, and reduced churn all translate directly into higher revenue. Cost savings Increased automation and process transparency greatly reduce inefficiencies such as duplicate work, administrative overhead, and overly redundant systems while capitalizing on opportunities for cost savings

9 The Amdocs Product Lifecycle Management Solution The need for speed, quality, and collaboration across the product lifecycle is driving the need for PLM software solutions that are more simple, flexible, and reliable. PLM Consulting Services Enterprise Product Catalog Pre-packaged business processes Business Process Manager Core elements of the Amdocs Produce Lifecycle Management solution include: Amdocs Enterprise Product Catalog: A single, centralized source for all product and service information that enables faster and cheaper product development, greater accuracy in order management and fulfillment, and more transparent and reliable portfolio management. Business Process Management: A process framework layer and editor that enables clear and consistent development of data, communication, process management, and reporting for all stakeholders and activities across the PLM eco-system. Pre-packaged business processes embedded into the business process management engine that are based on Amdocs Consulting best practices and allow quick implementation and robust reference framework. Consulting services offering product rationalization and simplification, PLM services and organizational change management services from Amdocs Consulting to ensure maximum benefit to the organization. The Amdocs Product Lifecycle Management solution, based on the Amdocs Enterprise Product Catalog, removes the costs of manual processes, strengthens enterprise collaboration, and puts performance-based business decision-making at the center of product strategy. With the Amdocs Product Lifecycle Management solution, services providers move product ideas through the launch process faster while ensuring the quality of business requirements, keep costs under control while improving innovation, and offset product and project risk by ensuring appropriate approvals and procedures every step of the way

10 A final thought Tackling PLM problems while you re already racing just to keep up with daily demands is no simple task. It can be exhausting simply thinking about the myriad of people-process-technology issues that need to be addressed. Avoiding the problems now will only make them tougher to contend with down the road. On the flip side, the benefits of improved PLM are substantial. The fundamental agreement among key stakeholders that product quality, compliance, and improved collaboration are critical areas which need to be addressed should make it easier to get started. And the four guidelines noted earlier should help define the way forward. Your customers are waiting! For more information on the Amdocs Product Lifecycle Management solution, visit

11 This document may be shared, distributed and displayed (but not for consideration of any sort) only unchanged and in its entirely and provided that this notice and the copyright notice are not removed. This document is presented and made available for informational purposes only. The information contained in this document represents the current view of Amdocs as of issuance and is provided as is. Amdocs expressly disclaims all conditions and warranties, either express or implied, including but not limited to any and all implied conditions or warranties of merchantability, title, non-infringement, or fitness for a particular purpose. IN NO EVENT SHALL AMDOCS OR ITS LICENSORS OR AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR SPECIAL DAMAGES OF ANY SORT, WHETHER ARISING IN TORT, CONTRACT OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF BUSINESS, PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, OR LOSS OF DATA, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS DOCUMENT OR THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN, EVEN IF AMDOCS HAS BEEN INFORMED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES Amdocs. All Rights Reserved.

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