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Project Telecommunications

Project Telecommunications

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Published by smart_neo24
Telecommunication project.
Telecommunication project.

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Published by: smart_neo24 on Nov 18, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The worldwide telecom industry is in a strong growth mode. In fact, telecommunications hasbeen one of the most dynamic industries in terms of rapid technology advancementcombined with deregulations. The industry’s overall revenue is estimated to be over $1.3trillion (2007). A few well-known names in the telecom sector are Sprint, Cable & Wireless,Telstra, AT&T, China Telecom and Reliance Communications. These companies and severalother similar industries are conventionally known as ‘Communication Service Providers’ (CSPs). They cater to a wide variety of cross sectional industry sectors be it IT, Bio-technology, Health Care, Manufacturing and even a residential consumer.SAP leverages its solutions for CRM, asset life cycle management, supply chainmanagement and financials to address the business needs. Built-in adapters connect all SAPmodules to enable users to extract the data needed to accomplish their respectiveprocesses. If necessary, SAP also offers open-ended integration tools with other systems toconnect and complete the processes.A customer life cycle process in a telecom industry can be broadly classified as – Pre-Sales,Sales, Order Administration & Provisioning, and Customer Support.All individual sub-functions can be grouped into each of the above processes to understandthe requirement of IT tools / technology to effectively carry out the process. Dependingupon the business strategy and positioning, typically Pre-Sales starts with campaigns andextends up to identifying prospective customers. However, telecom products are unique andneed to be bundled / configured to meet each customer requirement. Quotes will need to beworked by a technical team. Upon the customer confirming the order, the provisioning teamworks on order fulfillment and customer acceptance. They will give the necessary inputs tothe billing team to complete the billing process.Then the customer support team takes over and makes itself available for any supportrelated issues / queries. Each of these processes will need robust tools to capture, share,and for timely analysis of technical / business data to effectively carry out the businessfunctions. Multiple IT systems to meet the needs will add to the performance andmaintenance issues.While the business process of each company varies with the business strategy and productpositioning, SAP captures the best business practice across the industry. SAP alsorecommends implementing its ERP as much out-of-the box as possible to leverage the bestpractice. This will enable quicker ROI to companies and easy to maintain or upgrade theapplication later. The business process explained above relates to the best practiceapproach for a CSP. Each business function, however, needs to be broken down into specificunits.The customer has a choice of accessing through the Web, email, phone, partner or fieldrepresentative. During this prospecting process, SAP unifies multiple channels throughwhich the customer can access, thereby enabling sales or marketing personnel to get a 360-degree view of the customer. This sharing of prospect or customer information is extremelyimportant from the point of view of new client acquisition. In addition to effectively
capturing the customer needs using the SAP CRM module, during proposal building stage,each service can be combined or bundled with other products and sub-services.This is where SAP’s product configuration and bundling come in handy. Price calculation canbe done faster using the pricing engine. This flexibility reduces the time to market andaddresses customer needs uniquely. Following the quote stage, once the customerconfirmation is received, contracts or agreements can be captured in SAP and orderprocessing commenced. Order types could vary among New / Change / Cancel / Add-on.Each order type can be processed as per the data required and associated workflows. Theorder status can then be tracked and once completed, the customer, service and contractdata will be sent to billing. The modules are integrated on the same SAP platform and hencereduce redundancy.In terms of customer support function, issues can be broadly categorised into Networktrouble tickets and Customer trouble tickets. The former is created by CSPs themselveswhen there is a network outage and multiple customers on the network get affected.Customer trouble tickets are those where there is a fault for a specific customer. In eithercase, SAP CRM service module can address the issues and track the complete trouble ticketcycle.SAP also equips field service engineers with the knowledge base, based on historicalresolution cases. This will enable quicker resolutions and easier adaptability for new serviceengineers. In case companies are looking for spare parts planning SAP has ready modulesto cater to.With its rich functionality, SAP supports end-to-end business processes for a customer-centric organisation. SAP solution maps recommend the best practice approach to meet thevarying demands of the industry and help companies to stay competitive in one of the mostdynamic markets.
The author is Principal Consultant of SAP practice with MindTree Consulting Limited,Bangalore.
The global economic downturn has forced companies across the globe including Indiancompanies to adopt various cost-cutting measures to sustain their bottom line. However, Indiancompanies seem to be a step ahead when it comes to thinking ahead. SAP Indian sub-continentmanaging director Ranjan Das shares his insights on how India stands differently in the times of slowdown. He highlights some of the changing trends in enterprise mobility space and telecomsector, and goes on to clarify the SAP/ERP ambiguity, in an interview with FE's AyushmanBaruahWhat are the challenges faced by companies globally? Do you perceive India any differently?The global credit crunch has impacted all companies globally, including India. The segment thathas been hit hardest, especially in India, is the SME sector. Given that the revenues are goingdown for most companies, everyone wants to trim costs. But the key difference lies in the factthat, in addition to cutting costs, Indian companies are also thinking ahead. Most Indiancompanies are already taking this as an opportunity to leapfrog the competition because therewould be new things and newer business models when the good times are back. Most companiesin India are really interested in adopting best practices. The next set of best practices is likely tocome from India.What are the changing trends in the enterprise mobility space?The enterprise mobility space is certainly one of the hot spots. As enterprise mobility usingsmartphones becomes a business necessity, SAP and Research In Motion (RIM) are working toaddress the needs and expectations of business users through an integrated solution that enablessecure real-time access to SAP's Customer Relationship Management solution. The integratedsolution benefits organisations with enhanced employee productivity and service whileempowering mobile users with the ability to access critical customer information. The integratedsolution also leverages the inherent security, management capabilities and efficiency of theBlackBerry Enterprise Solution and introduces a number of key innovations for mobile CRM.What are technology trends in the telecom spaceThere is an increasing demand for enterprise-wide business solutions for sustained growth in thetelecom sector. SAP is leading the foothold in the market owing to its diverse and flexiblesolution portfolio. Eight of the top 11 telecommunications service providers comprise of SAP'scustomer base. This includes TTSL, BSNL, Vodafone, among others. Fundamentally, alltelecom companies are building an IT platform in order to achieve more efficiency, adopt best practices from other telecom companies and be able to enter new markets, businesses and business models. In terms of technology, the trend points towards adoption of enterpriseapplications like Enterprise Resource Planning, CRM, Billing and Provisioning, etc.How do you react when the terms SAP and ERP are used interchangeably?SAP is a business software company that does three things. It automates and optimises business processes, offers best practices, and gives you the tools and the data to make decisions. In manyyears that I have been with the company, I have never seen SAP as an ERP-only company.

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