Dec 13, 2010
This article By Susana Schwartz has been taken from Connected Planet. To see original article click here.
Rapid growth by acquisition meant the network operator needed to rein in disparate business processes and workflows
Atria (soon to be acquired by Rogers), is a fibre-optic network provider of metro Ethernet to businesses and institutions in Ontario, Quebec. The company had grown through the acquisition of eight different networks in a three-year time period—the result of which was multifarious workflows, back-office systems, records, and management.
Atria needed to drive new revenues by bringing its different networks into a common product suite based on a unified set of business rules. It therefore embarked on an OSS/BSS overhaul over the course of 6 months, during which it implemented ConceptWave’s Order Care product for consolidation of quote-to-cash business process fulfillment.
Connected Planet spoke with Ian Collins, President of Atria about the OSS/BSS overhaul and why it’s important for companies competing in high-capacity data services.
Connected Planet: What has been the main benefit of what you just went through—not only the past six months, but the past year or so?
Ian Collins: We know that we have to capture whatever is being overprovisioned or underbilled so we can mitigate revenue leakage. We believe we’ll recover enough in a year or so to get ROI on this project, as we gather recurring revenue as a result of our efforts every month.
The process refinement and data validation will enable us to have a 360-degree view of each of our customer orders and services so we can do better target marketing and boost post-sales support.
We are moving toward a portal application, where customers can go online and do their own order and trouble ticket management 24/7, so without this, it would have been impossible to accomplish. Having all the information up to date and in one location will be invaluable to us in terms of productivity, customer satisfaction and also, now, our ability to integrate with Rogers once the acquisition is complete.
Connected Planet: How did the project begin?
Ian Collins: We launched “Project Harmony” about August of ’09, where we gathered subject-matter experts from different stakeholders to map out workflows and create new business rules. We gathered people from pre-sales to billing so that included operations, field operations, network operations, planning, finance, sales, marketing and product development. That took about 10 months and we were done by spring 2010.
Parallel to that work, we bought the ConceptWave provisioning tools to develop and automate the workflows, as well as track and report on them.
Basically, we mapped our workflow and processes and converted them into our applications so the steps and tasks would be automated for individuals engaged to do the work as services are provisioned or as pre-sales are carried out. The conversion took about six months. Simultaneous to it, we integrated the front end with salesforce.com, which our sales force uses for CRM. We used integrators and ConceptWave programmers to build two APIs between the order care system from ConceptWave and the salesforce.com system.
Connected Planet: What’s ongoing now with the project?
Ian Collins: For the next 18 months, we’ll continue with data validation of all orders, which entails looking at all exiting customers and services and validating they are provisioned and billed properly by mapping all billing records to customer ports and matching them to customer orders.
Connected Planet: Will this make you more competitive?
Ian Collins: The large incumbents are our competitors as well as ISPs, so we see in customer satisfaction surveys that they want better service and support from their providers, and we think this application gives us the ability to beat them in that ability.
The fact we can see all up-to-date information in one location and have changes go in immediately means we have full visibility of customers and their orders and their histories. It’s a departure from where we were; a huge improvement.