Order & Contract Management
Order Management and Contract Management implementations result in a number of benefits, including automation of approvals and execution, consistency in legal language, visibility throughout the contract lifecycle, and a central repository for storage.
Contract Management is made up of the automated processes and manual interventions in creating, storing, and referencing a contract for service. The ability to closely associate the details of a client’s contract to their customer account and product records allows an organization to accurately reflect usage and revenues, create retention marketing campaigns based on contract expiration dates, and forecast revenue and earnings as part of the company’s financial management system.
Bundles are groups of products or services sold together with special terms and conditions such as discounted pricing or special product or service offers. Bundle Management assists order management systems by enabling them to handle the complexities of bundles typically seen in the service provider space.
A bundle is often presented to the customer as one product but really a bundle is a collection of specific products and services. All the constituent line items have different and unique attributes, and may all be provisioned in different ways. An order management system must identify the characteristics of each individual product or service, preserve the concept of the bundle, and then pass the information to downstream systems.
Approvals are a key component to both contract and order management systems. In order for approvals to be effective, they must be communicated automatically to the right people, provide visibility to those involved, and be actionable to all participants. When a contract or an order satisfies certain criteria, approvals are triggered and sent to relevant parties. The approvals are typically sent via e-mail, but they can be sent via text message or other forms of mobile communication.
The approval notifications either contain enough information to allow the user to make an actionable decision, or they redirect the user to the originating system where they can view details of the contract or order. Once an actionable decision has been made, the contract or order is automatically moved to the next logical step, and the process is repeated, or it reaches a completed state.
Order Decomposition refers to the ability of an order management system to break down and accurately track the different components necessary to activate or “turn up” a product or service.
For example, imagine a customer purchases internet service from a local telecommunications company. The order is for internet service, but there are many individual components that are contained in the service and must be tracked. A physical modem is sent to the customer, the DSLAM is turned on at the local exchange, a truck roll may need to be initiated, and the customer may need to connect and activate the modem once they receive it.
All of these steps need to be tracked individually and completed before billing can be initiated.
Workflow, or business process management (BPM), is a set of tools, methodology, and training for defining business processes across an organization. Workflow tools allow an organization to manage these business processes more effectively, providing:
- Visibility to real-time status of in-flight processes
- Specific task lists that allow everyone to know what they are assigned and it should be completed
- Reporting to understand the efficiency of processes
A workflow environment provides a number of high-level benefits, including:
Workflow streamlines business processes by immediately routing tasks to the right people at the right time, and escalates if it is not done on time.
Workflow enables expense reductions by more efficiently managing transactional workload.
Workflow provides the ability to manage and audit business processes. SLA’s with customers and, efficiency plans for internal staff are greatly facilitated by analyzing workflow trends.
Often times an order management system needs to interface with 3rd party vendors to manage fulfillment of particular goods and services. Traditionally, the term Gateway is used to describe the ability to integrate with 3rd party systems. Today, this integration is common and a basic requirement of all Q2C systems. This integration is commonly performed through web service APIs.
Much of the onus for Contract Management falls to the Finance and Legal teams, while Order Management responsibilities span the Operations, Sales, and Product organizations though some processes and technologies are shared. Below are all of the teams within a company that typically participate in Order & Contract Management.
ATG maintains a set of 75+ key business processes to support management of Customers and Revenue for Service Providers. Sixteen of these processes originate, or are impacted by, the Order Management and Contract Management domain. Below are the key processes that touch OM/CM, categorized by the Organizational Unit that owns the process:
Credit Check Management – The process of verifying customer credit history.
Commissions Processing – The process of tracking sales commissions and sales rewards programs.
Revenue Recognition Processing: Contract Line Item Segmentation – Methods used to categorize contract items to ensure revenue is recognized properly.
Revenue Recognition Processing: Earned Trigger Processing – Method for appropriately triggering revenue recognition events.
Renewal Processing – Methods used to renew a customers services, may be manual or automated.
Partner Transaction Management – Management and integration of any of third-party resellers/partner transactions including selling, licensing, and billing.
Promotion & Discount Introduction – The configuration of promotions and discounts of new products or services.
Order Management – The business processes related to customer orders for products or services.
Contract Lifecycle Management – Going beyond creating and managing customer contracts to minimize risk and cost as well as shorten sales cycles.
Maintenance and Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem – processes around ensuring that all touch points and connections within the ecosystem are optimized to their fullest potential.
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.
Vendor Management of Monetization Ecosystem – oversight and communication duties of ecosystem software components and their vendors, including management of vendor road map and change logs and general relationship nurturing.
Cross-Training of Monetization Ecosystem Components – process for training organizational resources on the appropriate software systems.
Security Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem – process for maintaining and controlling access and permissions to ecosystem components.
Data Stewardship Across Monetization Ecosystem – process of assigning ownership and sources of truth for data within the organization.
Daily, Periodic, or Ad Hoc Reporting (Extraction, Load, Report, Dashboard) – movement of data between domains to create single source of truth for reporting and dashboarding.
Order and Contract Management technology is often part of a vendor’s CPQ offering, although there are a few options to purchase solutions piecemeal. The Key Vendors section helps delineate which vendors offer these services as standalone solutions.
Detailed: People | Process | Technology
Key OM/CM Vendors
HQ: Chicago, IL
Company Type: Privately Held
SpringCM Inc. is a global leader in content cloud services for enterprise companies. SpringCM develops and delivers affordable, easy-to-deploy document management and workflow solutions in a completely web-based environment. SpringCM provides a contract management system application that streamlines the contract lifecycle. Additionally, they offer a digital asset management system that automates processes and workflows around managing content. SpringCM also produces a software application that enables customers to manage sales quotes, proposals, and contracts generated with configuration price quote software. SpringCM’s products include:
- Workflow Tools
- Mobile and Security Features
- Elimination of Manual Steps in the Business Processes
In addition to these features, SpringCM applications leverage all the advantages of the cloud: reduced costs for infrastructure, applications, and storage as well as automated maintenance, configurability, scalability, and mobile access.
Spring CM targets fast-moving organizations in the financial services, legal firms, advertisement agencies, and media companies within the public sector that range from mid-sized businesses to global enterprises.
Google – American multinational technology company specializing in internet-related services and products
Facebook – social networking service
Case New Holland (CNH) – world leader in agricultural and construction equipment
enova – part of a publicly traded company called Cash America that focuses on direct-to-consumer lending
HQ: Dublin, CA
Company Type: Public
CallidusCloud is a leading provider of cloud-based sales, marketing, and learning solutions. They enable organizations to accelerate and maximize their lead to money process with a complete suite of solutions that identify the right leads, ensure proper territory and quota distribution, enable sales forces, automate configure price quote, and streamline sales compensation — driving bigger deals, faster.
Their Cloud Computing platform enables customer access to:
- Rapid time to value
- High availability
- High performance
- Bullet-proof security
- Anytime, anywhere access
CallidusCloud tends to target small, medium and large enterprises across multiple industries globally that want to optimize the lead to money process to close more deals for more money quickly and efficiently.
ADT – supplier of security systems, home automation, alarms, and video surveillance
AVG – specialist in computer security software
DirecTV – provider of satellite-based digital television service
Siemens – engineering company with divisions in industry, energy, healthsure, and infrastructure & cities
Telefonica – global provider of broadband and telecommunications
HQ: San Francisco, CA
Company Type: Privately Held
DocuSign is a company that specializes in electronic signature solutions. With DocuSign, companies are able to accelerate the movement of contracts, approvals, and workflows using Digital Transaction Management (DTM) and eSignature solution, their key offerings.
DocuSign also integrates easily with systems and services their customers are already using such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, and Apple.
DocuSign targets companies of all sizes across various industries. These industries include real estate, financial, travel, and agriculture, among many others. Over 100,000 companies and 50,000 users in 188 countries have used DocuSign.
SugarCRM – an open source software company specializing in CRM solutions
Community Energy – provider of electric power to residential areas
Expedia – world leading online travel booking site
LinkedIn – professional social network site
Yamaha – designer and manufacturer of musical instruments and audio equipment
HQ: San Jose, CA
Company Type: Public
Adobe eSign Services (formerly EchoSign), with Adobe Document Cloud, provides web-based digital electronic signature solutions. The company’s technology attaches a digital signature to secure electronic documents and creates electronic records of agreements, transactions, and electronic commerce to and from documents in various formats. eSign services offers the following features in their business and premium solutions:
- Send documents for signature and track responses in real time
- Store signed documents and audit trails automatically
- Store frequently used documents as reusable templates
- Create a branded signing experience for customers
- Embed forms with signing capabilities
- Enhance security with two-factor identity verification
- Use turn-key integrations and robust APIs for rapid deployment with enterprise applications
- Customize signing workflows and fine-tune sender experiences to speed signing and improve compliance
- Get advanced administration options to support robust enterprise requirements
With Salesforce integration, Adobe eSign services has been a consistent AppExchange favorite since 2006.
Adobe eSign services tends to target a wide range of company industries including high tech, data storage, and cloud-based companies that range from mid-sized businesses to global enterprises.
NetApp – International Fortune 500 company in the computer storage market
TiVo – global leader in the advanced television services market
Shred-it – information and document destruction company
HQ: San Mateo, CA
Company Type: Privately Held
Apttus develops cloud-based quote and renewals management software. Apttus provides Quote-to-Cash, Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) and Contract and Revenue Management solutions using SaaS applications and modules. Apttus utilizes the Salesforce1 platform to automate business functions and drive the business process between the buyer’s interest in a purchase and the realization of revenue. Applications include Quote-to-Cash Intelligence (Analytics), E-Commerce, Configure Price Quote (CPQ), Renewals, Contract Management and Revenue Management.
- Configure, Price, Quote – intelligently configure, price and quote new deals, sales and renewals within the Salesforce platform to realize bigger deals, shorter sales cycles and higher win rates
- Contract Management – improve contracting responsiveness, efficiencies and oversight while reducing risk and cost
- Revenue Management – track revenue from initial opportunity to recognized revenue, reduce leakage by managing rebates, revenue schedules and royalties
Apttus’ target market consists of companies of any size across many industries looking to automate or streamline their billing process while using the Salesforce platform.
DocuSign – A Digital Transaction Management network
CenturyLink – A global communications, hosting, cloud and IT service company
Salesforce – A global leader in CRM and cloud computing
Akamai Technologies – A leader in Content Delivery Network services