Operators have a huge amount of systems that are responsible for delivering services to subscribers in the network. The middleware holding it all together will typically have a waterfall life cycle where marketing needs join a queue which will see their requirements hit the streets between six and nine months later. Merging service provisioning and self-care into one just isn’t working. While services don’t change often, marketing requirements for offers around these services change on a weekly basis.
Big Bang Replacement is a Scary Proposition
Many have taken this approach only to see it go way over budget, take far longer than expected or fail altogether. The purists want the nirvana architecture with a single system responsible for all provisioning and integration in the network but you can’t please them all the time either. It’s time to take a different approach. Splitting out the functions for subscriber engagement and offer provisioning from service provisioning makes sense.
Deploying an Adjunct
Don’t replace middleware. Just reduce the scope it has to hold up your business by moving functions to an adjunct platform. This adjunct platform to middleware integrates purely with the highest value engagement channels and the systems differentiate the services based on the offers the subscriber has purchased. It does not provision the service itself. Focusing on this subset of channels reduces complexity further and still hits the vast majority of the subscriber base.
Adopting an agile approach to this adjunct system means changes can be rolled out with fine granularity. These changes are less complex in nature as they are only every incremental. As such, risk is diminished. The adjunct system, designed for real-time and focused on the high value sales channels, will mean the most relevant offers are in the hands of the subscribers in weeks, not months.
Operators Will Win or Lose
Subscribers who have a channel that gives them full visibility and control will engage with that channel. Enhance that again with clever features such as usage profiling, projections and personal settings and they will be hooked. Trials have proven that with such a portal in place, subscribers engage. Their experience improves, their loyalty increases and best of all, it becomes the best channel for upsell the operator could ever hope for.
Subscribers are being freed from historical 24 month contracts through regulation in many regions. They will no longer be stuck waiting for their contracts to end. Operators who adopt real-time engagement first in their market will win big. The operator who adopts it last will be left wondering what happened.