Service Delivery is the process of activating a product or service for a particular customer. In the Quote to Cash realm, the term provision is used for products and services that are digital or network-oriented – things you cannot touch or hold. Fulfillment is the term typically used for physical goods that are exchanged at a point of sale location or delivered to the end customer by a field technician or via shipping.

From a customer experience perspective, this is where the exchange of goods and services take place, and where the benefit of the product or service purchased is realized.

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Effective monetization architectures carefully balance the concept of provision and bill. One of the best measures of an effective process is when the number of services provisioned or active equal the number of services that are being billed. Due to a variety of factors, these numbers can be out of sync, representing lost revenue if there are more active than billed services, or potential customer service issues if the reverse is true.

Service Delivery Components

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Physical Inventory

Physical inventory represents the inventory of tangible products that are available to customers such as wireless handsets, servers, customer premise equipment (CPE), or many other products.

Physical inventory is critical to service providers, including telecommunications (handsets, CPE, ports, etc.), infrastructure as a service (cages, racks, servers, etc.), and any company that requires a physical device to deliver the product or service (such as a GPS unit, time clock, or set-top box).

A best practice regarding physical inventory and the Q2C process is for the system to ensure that when a customer receives a quote for physical products, the corresponding products are available in inventory to be fulfilled. Those units must be reserved for the customer.

When the products are not available during the selling process, it frustrates customers and puts entire deals at risk.

Logical Inventory

Logical inventory represents the non-physical assets a company owns, such as phone numbers or IP addresses, which are crucial to tracking a product or service. These items aren’t physically stored in a warehouse or data center.

Logical inventory is a key requirement in the service provider space such as with telecommunications and infrastructure as a service.

Professional Services Automation (PSA)

Professional services automation, along with the closely related project and portfolio management (PPM), can be software applications or groups of applications that track project metrics such as time recording, billing, reporting, and utilization. The primary purpose of these applications is support and tracking of the company's operational aspects for implementation of their solutions. In short, these solutions monitor implementation, engineering, or product teams.

This allows the provider to gather metrics and data to improve efficiency and decrease costs, labor, and time-to-service for customers.

Workflow Management (WFM)

Workflow management (not to be confused with workflow management applications) is the process of coordinating the employees and contractors who deliver service to a customer in the field. This can be done at a customer location, or within some segment of the network used to deliver service to a customer.

An excellent example of this is typically B2B telecommunications or B2C cable TV activation, where an engineer or network technician needs to be on-site (colloquially called a truck roll) to activate a service.

Provisioning

In the Quote to Cash realm, the term provision is used to describe the activation of products and services that are digital or network-oriented. When a company turns on cable, internet service, or Netflix, they are provisioning their service.

It should also be noted that provisioning is tightly aligned with a company’s billing system, its usage processing, and is often a trigger in the revenue recognition or financial management system that earned revenue is realized.

Fulfillment

Fulfillment is to physical inventory what provisioning is to logical inventory. Specifically, fulfillment is the exchange of a physical product. Regardless of whether the product was picked up from a company retail location, delivered by a field technician, or received via a shipment, it should be treated as a separate, independent line item in a company's billing and revenue recognition systems when the physical inventory and the logical inventory are not delivered in parallel.

People, Process, and Technology of CRM: SFA

People

Service Delivery responsibilities generally land squarely on a company’s operations team. They are tasked with turning up a service, arranging a delivery or truck roll, and exceeding customer expectations, among a myriad of other duties. The customer service and customer success organizations are also integral to the service delivery realm, as they are that omnipresent link between customers and the back office.

The product team and finance group, along with legal, are also part of the success equation related to service delivery.

OPERATIONS

PRODUCT

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Customer Service

FINANCE

LEGAL

I.T.

Process

ATG maintains a set of 99 key business processes to support the management of customers and revenue for service providers. Twenty-three of these processes originate or are impacted by, the service delivery function. Below are the key processes that touch service delivery, categorized by the organizational unit that owns the process:

OPERATIONS

Service Provisioning / Activation

The process of activating or de-activating a service or product for a particular customer.

OPERATIONS

Professional Services Automation

Tools and processes related to management and deployment of professional services.

OPERATIONS

Inventory Management - Physical

The process a company uses to manage the consumption and replenishment of tangible inventory levels.

OPERATIONS

Inventory Management - Logical

The process a company uses to manage the consumption of non-physical asset inventory levels including inventory creation and deletion.

OPERATIONS

Quote - Product / Service Approval

Configuration of required approvals for products, services, discounts, and pricing configurations prior to the sale.

PRODUCT

Bundled Product Introduction Process

Configuring and introduction of a bundled product or service to the product catalog and supporting systems. Includes definition of product/bundle attributes, pricing rules (usage, recurring, non-recurring), discounts rules, product/service lifecycle, revenue recognition, and reporting attributes.

PRODUCT

New Product Introduction Process

Introduction of a new product or service to the Product Catalog and supporting quoting, ordering, contracting, provisioning, ticketing, invoicing, payment, usage, and revenue recognition systems. Includes definition of product attributes, pricing rules(usage, recurring, non-recurring), discounts rules, product/service lifecycle, revenue recognition, reporting attributes, and bundling concepts.

PRODUCT

New Product Introduction Process - Mobile

Configure attributes and introduce new products and services, with specific focus on making the product available on mobile devices.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

New Customer Onboarding

The process of creating a customer account, properly provisioning products and/or services, and communicating welcoming messages.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Social Network Monitoring

A way to track social media traffic and information and gather the "Voice of the Customer."

CUSTOMER SERVICE

End-Customer Self-Help

The way a customer can resolve problems on their own.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

End-Customer Self-Help Mobile

The way a customer can resolve problems on their own via a mobile platform.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

End-Customer Account Maintenance

The methods by which a customer can manage their own account details via customer portal, website, within the product, etc.

FINANCE

Revenue Recognition Processing - Contract Line Item Segmentation

Methods used to categorize contract items to ensure revenue is recognized properly.

FINANCE

Revenue Recognition Processing - Earned Trigger Processing

Method for appropriately triggering revenue recognition events.

LEGAL

Contract Lifecycle Management

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) supports the process of negotiation, redlining, electronic signature, versioning, and storage of contracts.

LEGAL

Export Compliance Processing

Managing and adhering to the federal and international export compliance requirements.

I.T.

Cross-Training of Monetization Ecosystem Components

Process for training organizational resources

I.T.

Maintenance & Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem

Process around assuring that all touchpoints and connections in the ecosystem are optimized and working to their full potential.

I.T.

Monitoring & Testing of Vendor Functional Releases

As ecosystem components release updates and patches, each is checked and tested to confirm all systems are working together as required by the business' requirements.

I.T.

Security Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem

Process for maintaining and controlling access and permission to ecosystem components.

I.T.

Vendor Management of the Monetization Ecosystem

Management of ecosystem component vendors including proactive communication of changes and general relationship nurturing.

ALL

Daily, Periodic, or Ad Hoc Reporting (ETL, Report, Dashboard)

Movement of data between domains to create a single source of truth for reporting and dashboarding. Includes key metrics such as revenue analytics and other KPIs

Technology

In the Monetization Ecosystem, service delivery technology is broken into three solution types.

Professional Services Automation (PSA) – software used to monitor implementation, engineering, and product teams.

Inventory Management – solutions that can usually handle both physical and logical inventory processes.

Network Management – solutions that are often used to solve communication and system inter-operability issues, plus support managed services and the outsourcing of products and services.

Key Service Delivery Vendors

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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1982
HQ: Chesterfield, MO
Company Type: Public
Website: www.amdocs.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Amdocs provides software and services, enabling digital and network transformation through delivery expertise. Offerings include business support systems (BSS), operational support systems (OSS), open network solutions, Internet of Things, big data analytics and entertainment and media solutions. Amdocs lead-to-quote solution seamlessly integrates with any Salesforce automation and backend BSS/OSS systems to maximize current systems and processes.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Billing & Collection
  • Usage Processing

TARGET MARKET

Amdocs targets organizations primarily in communications, media and financial services providers and digital enterprises. Target organizations are medium to large enterprises.

CUSTOMERS

  • Dish
  • T-Mobile USA
  • Vodafone
  • Sprint
  • Verizon Wireless
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2009
HQ: San Francisco, CA
Company Type: Privately Held
Website: www.financialforce.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

FinancialForce is a provider of customer-centric cloud-based ERP applications. Built on the Salesforce Platform, FinancialForce delivers financial management and services automation abilities. The solutions allow for the quick adoption of new business models, automation of finances, business growth, and predictive service delivery.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Order Management
  • Service Delivery
  • Billing & Collection
  • Payment Processing
  • Tax Management
  • Commission Management
  • Product Catalog Maintenance
  • Usage Processing
  • Business Intelligence
  • Financial Management
  • Revenue Recognition Management

TARGET MARKET

FinancialForce targets organizations in many industries that are generally medium to large enterprises.

CUSTOMERS

  • Salesforce
  • Seagate
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Red Hat
  • Adobe
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1876
HQ: Stockholm, Sweden
Company Type: Public
Website: www.ericsson.com
Delivery Method: Cloud or On-Premise

OVERVIEW

Ericsson has over 140 years of experience in the communications industry and offers BSCS iX, a convergent, end-to-end billing and customer care system for any type of communications service provider. A component within the BSCS iX solution is Charging and Billing in One that allows businesses to handle all customers and services in a real-time, streamlined, converged charging and billing system. The software covers prepaid and postpaid, voice and data, fixed and mobile, and retail and wholesale models.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Order Management
  • Service Delivery
  • Billing & Collection
  • Middleware & Connectivity

TARGET MARKET

Ericsson targets organizations in the telecommunication and IoT industries. Target organizations are large enterprises, but Ericsson has a product subset for emerging telecommunication companies.

CUSTOMERS

  • Entel
  • Veon
  • T-Mobile
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2010
HQ: London, England
Company Type: Privately held
Website: www.kimbleapps.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Kimble Applications helps professional service businesses by offering professional services automation (PSA) to improve business performance, increase visibility during engagements, and provide enhanced company collaboration. Kimble provides tools for resource scheduling, timesheets, forecasting, and revenue recognition. The system integrates with Salesforce and is mobile optimized.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Service Delivery
  • Revenue Recognition Management

TARGET MARKET

Kimble targets organizations in many industries. Target organizations are any size and those who operate in the professional service business.

CUSTOMERS

  • Belmar Consulting
  • ThingLogix
  • Red Stack Tech
  • Velrada
  • Rittman Mead
  • 3D Communications
  • CloudSense
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1998
HQ: San Mateo, CA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.oracleservicecloud.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Oracle Service Cloud, a Professional Service Automation (PSA) Solution, offers B2B, B2C, and field solutions that deliver frictionless Customer Service experiences. In one platform, you can connect data, workflows, assets, and service teams and utilize IoT monitoring to diagnose problems or trigger/manage real-time events. Powered by AI and machine learning, Oracle Service Cloud helps teams complete repetitious tasks to free up time for service teams to deliver expert and customized customer experiences.

PRODUCT & SERVICES

  • Service Delivery
  • Knowledge Management
  • Customer Service
  • Reporting and Dashboards
  • Order Management (OM)
  • Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ)
  • Customer Experience
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

TARGET MARKET

NetSuite targets organizations in many industries, including fashion and apparel, manufacturing, software, financial services, and nonprofits. NetSuite targets mostly mid-sized businesses to enterprise.

CUSTOMERS

  • Bosch
  • Vodafone
  • T-Mobile
  • Radius Bank
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1998
HQ: San Mateo, CA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.netsuite.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

NetSuite, a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution, gives professional services organizations the ability to run their core business operations including project management, resource optimization, and billing and revenue recognition. Utilizing a powerful software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite, NetSuite supports the entire professional services delivery lifecycle, delivering end-to-end automation and visibility.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Service Delivery
  • Global Business Management
  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Human Capital Management (HCM)
  • Professional Services Automation
  • Analytics
  • Business Intelligence

TARGET MARKET

NetSuite targets organizations in many industries, including fashion and apparel, manufacturing, software, financial services, and nonprofits.

CUSTOMERS

  • EPEC Engineered Technologies
  • Lovesac
  • Baker
  • Thrive Market
  • Bankrate
  • Kronos
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1995
HQ: Austin, TX
Company Type: Public
Website: www.uplandsoftware.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Upland is a cloud-based Professional Service Automation (PSA) solution that promotes a collaborative streamlined project execution.  Upland utilizes integrations to predict revenue and profitability through the interactive use of dashboards and reporting. Other services Upland has include staff utilization, capacity planning, resource management, schedule management, and collaboration.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Service Delivery
  • Business Intelligence

TARGET MARKET

Upland targets organizations in many industries. Target organizations are generally medium to large enterprises.

CUSTOMERS

  • Franklin Energy Services
  • Autodesk
  • SpringCM
  • IntraHealth International
  • OpenBet
  • JDA Software