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Service & data integration: how to manage a multi-provider environment

 | 3 min read
Service & data integration: how to manage a multi-provider environment

To be able to deliver the latest and greatest services to customers and clients today, telcos must employ different vendors, subcontractors, and technology partners to fulfill market needs.

While this allows organizations to cover all the bases, it also means disparate data sources, different technologies and schemas, and distinct internal workflows and processes—all of which can result in a disjointed customer experience, all the way from sales to service.

So, how do you create a single customer-facing organization that seamlessly provides high service quality?

Service Integration and Management (SIAM): What you need to know

With multiple interlinked system to work with in a complex IT supply chain, telco organizations need to integrate enterprise platforms, data sources, and business processes into one end-to-end service management workflow. This is called the SIAM (Service Integration and Management) approach.

There are many things to consider in service and data integration. Working with multiple data sources presents a need for bidirectional integration in near real-time. The type of data being exchanged needs to be considered as well, with different data models and data requirements to deal with for data cleansing.

When utilizing web and cloud services, you will also need to consider the different API gateways involved, and how any updates on these will need to be automatically carried over to ensure continued bidirectional data synchronization. An effective SIAM strategy will address these issues and more.

SIAM provides a layer of management and control over internal and external service providers in an efficient and smart manner. It allows everyone involved in service delivery—from the internal customer service team to external technicians—to collaborate and coordinate to meet SLAs, fulfill business requirements, and ensure customer success.

Aside from streamlining processes and workflows across parties, SIAM can also help bring down costs by eliminating silos and maximizing the usage of IT resources.

There are different ways you can implement SIAM: you can appoint someone internally to coordinate all providers, work with a managed service provider (MSP) to handle all functions, or even hire one of your trusted suppliers or partners to act as the service integrator. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages and the best one to take will depend on your services’ complexity and delivery goals, but each will take you a step closer to a more coordinated service-supplier landscape.

SIAM in action for a Fortune 500 telecom organization

Case study 1:  Problem in service inventory

A fortune 500 telecom organization spent 8 to 10 business days to extract customer service subscription data due to having multiple third-party providers with disparate platforms. Client faced challenges with how labor-intensive and error-prone the extraction process turned out, resulting in decreased customer satisfaction, missed revenue opportunities, and security issues.

The telco organization decided to adopt SIAM in the form of a centralized service inventory platform that integrates data from various systems. This facilitated access to information on inventory and customers across multiple platforms and parties. Operational and sales team were empowered with accurate service inventory intelligence, helping them upsell, cross-sell, and offer recommendations to customers—in near real-time. Role-based access also enabled privacy and data security.

Case study 2:  Problem in the incident and problem management process

To ensure reliable service delivery, a telecom organization needed a reliable link between an external customer’s incident management tool and vendors’ internal tools. Disjointed business process caused delays in issue resolution and a lack of standardized API interface led to high integration costs and challenging maintenance requirements.

By implementing SIAM, the organization was able to build a data integration solution that facilitates seamless data flow between systems and a master ticketing system.  The customer would be able to create an incident and receive issue updates from vendors in a more efficient manner. What’s more, the approach could also be reused to avoid future integration issues and rapidly onboard incoming vendors.

Ensuring service quality with SIAM

Service delivery in the telecom industry has many moving parts—multiple parties, different data sources, and various platforms ranging in complexity and technology. Implement SIAM to simplify the process and gain some level of control and performance management across all these areas.

To effectively manage a complex IT supply chain, a reliable Service and Integration Management strategy is critical. With an integrated approach to service delivery, streamline workflows, bring down costs, boost customer satisfaction, and increase transparency over the IT organization.

About the author

Fiona Villamor

Fiona Villamor

Fiona Villamor is the lead writer for Sryas, a global technology company that delivers powerful insights and business transformations at scale. In the past 10 years, she has written about big data, advanced analytics, and other transformative technologies and is constantly on the lookout for great stories to tell about the space.

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