Order Management (OM)
Order Management implementations result in a number of benefits, including automation of approvals and execution, visibility throughout the contract lifecycle, and a central repository for storage.
Bundle ManagementBundles 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.
Detailed: People | Process | Technology
Key Order Management Vendors
HQ: Chicago, IL
Company Type: Privately Held
HQ: San Francisco, CA
Company Type: Privately Held