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David Mangini PhotobwBy David Mangini, IBM’s BSS/OSS Global Solution Owner

Recently in the news we’ve seen many Service Providers making moves:  either their in talks about acquisitions (such as AT&T in the US) or re-focusing their investments in other providers (such as Vodafone). Still others are actively looking to expand into new areas with new offerings.  These changes increase shareholder value – but they also create a need to consolidate and optimize business processes and operations.

So it’s unsurprising that more and more frequently, I am having conversations with telecom executives about the challenges of preparing their operations to support these changing business models. They tell me about the multiple billing systems, the order fulfillment systems that can not provision bundled offers together, and the legacy business processes that still experience high rates of exceptions and order fall-out.

But while transforming processes to keep up with the business is necessary, changing them can be slow and disruptive to the core business.  A careful, planned approach like Business Process Management (BPM) is needed – I’ve seen many cases where it has helped turn rigid service offerings into a flexible process flow that serves the needs of the business with:

  • Improved efficiency by consolidating workflows for multiple products into a single bundled offering
  • Increased order accuracy through automation that reduces order exception handling
  • Faster activation with automated order fulfillment processes
  • Better revenue management by consolidating multiple billing systems

IBM calls this Smarter Operations.  It’s all about making business processes more flexible and streamlined so that they can add tangible value to the business and support new directions.

New business ventures also benefit from Smarter Operations.  Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) recently announced a new, landmark nation-building engineering project to offer broadband services across Australia. In their case, they’ll build Smarter Operations from the ground up by adopting the best practices of an entire industry, avoiding the pitfalls others have faced.

Next week, we’ll be at IMPACT 2011 talking to over 115 Communications Service Providers about their plans for growth and the smartest way to prepare for the future.  You can follow along by watching the key note sessions on Livestream.

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