Service Delivery

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.

Service Delivery

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

Service Delivery

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.

Detailed: People | Process | Technology

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.

Process:

ATG maintains a set of 75+ key business processes to support management of customers and revenue for service providers. Nineteen 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:

Customer Service Organization

End-Customer Account Maintenance – the methods by which a customer can manage their account details via a customer portal, website, etc.

End-Customer Self-Help – the processes and assets in place to allow a customer to resolve issues and answer questions on their own.

End-Customer Self-Help (Mobile)  – processes and assets in place to allow a customer to resolve issues and answer questions on their own via a mobile device.

Customer Success Organization

New Customer Onboarding – the process of creating a customer account, properly provisioning products or services and communicating welcoming messages.

Product Organization

New Product Introduction Process – configuring attributes and introducing new products or services to the product catalog.

New Product Introduction Process – Mobile – configure attributes and introduce new products and services made available on mobile devices.

Bundled Product Introduction Process – the configuration and introduction of grouped products and services to the product catalog.

Operations Organization

Service Provisioning & Activation – the process of activating a service or provisioning a product for a particular customer.

Professional Services Automation – tools and processes related to management and deployment of professional services.

Physical Inventory Management – the processes a company uses to manage the consumption and replenishment of tangible inventory levels.

Logical Inventory Management – the processes a company uses to manage the consumption of non-physical asset inventory levels.

Finance Organization

Revenue Recognition: Earned Trigger Processing – method for appropriately triggering revenue recognition events.

Legal Organization

Export Compliance Processing – managing and adhering to the federal and international export compliance requirements.

Revenue Recognition: Earned Trigger Processing – method for appropriately triggering revenue recognition events.

Revenue Recognition: Contract Line Item Segmentation – methods used to categorize contract items to ensure revenue is recognized properly.

I.T. Organization

Maintenance and Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem – processes around ensuring that all touch points and connections within the ecosystem are optimized to their fullest potential.

Vendor Management of Monetization Ecosystem – oversight and communication duties of ecosystem software components and their vendors, including management of vendor roadmap 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.

All Organizations

Daily, Periodic, or Ad Hoc Reporting (Extraction, Load, Report, Dashboard) – the movement of data between domains to create a single source of truth for reporting and dashboarding.

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

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

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

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

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

ESSENTIALS

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

OVERVIEW

NetSuite OpenAir, 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-services (SaaS) suite, NetSuite OpenAir supports the entire professional services delivery lifecycle, delivering end-to-end automation and visibility.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Service Delivery

TARGET MARKET

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

CUSTOMERS

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

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1977
HQ: Redwood City, CA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.oracle.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Oracle’s E-Business Suite Workforce Service Delivery offers workforce management solutions for forecasting labor, workload demand, defining and assigning of schedules to meet business objectives, capturing time worked, absences, adherence to schedules, and productivity. Oracle’s software additionally assists organizations to adhere to labor laws and pay rules.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Service Delivery

TARGET MARKET

Oracle targets organizations in many industries and of many sizes.

CUSTOMERS

  • AT&T
  • Exelon
  • Freddie Mac
  • National Instruments
  • Dell

ESSENTIALS

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

OVERVIEW

Tenrox is a cloud, workflow-driven, modular solution that empowers a company’s project workforce locally and provides visibility globally. Tenrox makes it possible to manage globally dispersed customers, projects and teams regardless of their time zone or physical location. It can eliminate need for the spreadsheets and custom-built applications enterprises use to fill the gaps caused by disconnected, inadequate systems. Integration with leading accounting, payroll, financial, CRM, and project management systems is built-in.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Service Delivery
  • Business Intelligence

TARGET MARKET

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

CUSTOMERS

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

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