One of the most interesting initiatives from the TeleManagement Forum (TMF) is the definition of the eTOM Business Process Framework. eTOM is the “Enhanced Telecoms Operations MAP”.
eTOM is based on the Telecom Operations Map (TOM), which is a high-level reference process model for Operations and Management in a modern telecommunications company.
The Telecom Operations Map was developed to drive a consensus around the processes, inputs, outputs and activities required for service provider operations management. It serves as the blueprint for the definition of standardized business processes and provides a reference point for internal process reengineering needs, partnerships, alliances, and working agreements with other providers.
So what is the benefit of eTOM to Technology and Operations Managers ? Apart from the benefits of adhering to standardised business processes (lower implementation costs, more 'out-of-the-box' functionality, lower upgrade costs, etc), this series of blogs will demonstrate how Salesforce can be used to quicker implement powerful and flexible business processes that provide conformance to eTOM.
This is the first in a series of blogs which will introduce the eTOM framework and a practical approach to implementing conformant process flows. Throughout this series of blogs, reference is made to the following diagram which is presented in the TMF recommendation GB921 Business Process Framework:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): This horizontal functional process grouping covers customer requirements and includes the functionalities necessary for the acquisition, enhancement and retention of a relationship with a customer. It provides for customer service and support and includes multiple channels such as storefront, telephone, web or field service. It is also about cross selling and up selling, retention management and direct marketing for the purpose of selling to customers.
CRM also includes the information related to personalising, customising and delivery of a service to a customer, as well identifying opportunities for increasing the value of the customer to the business. CRM applies to retail as well as to wholesale interactions, such as when an enterprise is selling to another enterprise that is acting as the "retailer".
CRM Support & Readiness processes ensure the support capability is in place to allow the CRM Fulfillment, Assurance and Billing processes to operate effectively. The responsibilities of these processes include, but are not limited to:
- Provision of sales, product and customer process infrastructure;
- Policy support and decision support knowledge for customers and customer interactions (including billing activities), sales activity and sales interactions, and product offerings;
- Management & analysis of sales campaigns (including direct and outbound calling);
- Management and analysis of sales activity and sales opportunities (including funnel and prospect analysis and support);
- Maintaining and managing stocks of marketing collateral to be distributed using the Marketing Fulfillment processes
- Maintaining inventories to support the sales, product and customer data required by the FAB (Fulfillment-Assurance-Billing) and CRM OS&R (Operational Support & Readiness) processes
- Monitoring and reporting on the capabilities and costs of the individual CRM FAB processes
- Longer term trend analysis on product, sales and customer FAB processes in order to establish the extent to which enterprise targets for these processes are being achieved and/or the need for the processes to be modified.
Customer Interface Management: eTOM integrates customer interface management for FAB including the following:
- Manage Contact - Manage all contacts/requests between potential or existing customers and the enterprise.
- Manage Request (Including Self Service) - Manage all requests (inbound and outbound) made by potential and existing customers.
- Analyze & Report on Customer - Perform all necessary analysis on closed requests and on customer contacts and generate related reports.
- Mediate & Orchestrate Customer Interactions - Ensure that transaction message structure and interactions conform to agreed, externally defined standards used by the enterprise and its customers.
Selling: manages the selling process including:
- Manage Prospect - Match identified leads with the most appropriate products and ensure that these prospects are handled appropriately.
- Qualify & Educate Customer - Ensure that the business agreement between the customer and service provider is based upon mutual understanding.
- Negotiate Sales - Close the sale with terms that are mutually agreeable to both the customer and the service provider.
- Acquire Customer Data - Record all pertinent customer data.
- Cross/Up Selling - Ensure that the value of the relationship between the customer and service provider is maximized by selling additional, or more of the existing, products.
Marketing Fulfillment Response: it includes functionalities necessary for defining strategies, developing new products, managing existing products and implementing marketing and offering strategies especially suitable for information and communications products and services:
- Marketing and offer management – manage market and product strategies, pricing, sales, channels, new product development (and retirement), marketing communications and promotions.
- Issue & Distribute Marketing Collaterals - Issue and distribute marketing collateral (i.e., coupon, premium, sample, toys, fliers, etc.) directly to a customer.
- Track Leads - Track leads generated through marketing, or that arise in the course of business.
- Manage Customer Billing - Ensure effective management of the customer's billing account
- Manage Customer Payments - Collect payments made by the customer and reconcile the payments to the invoices.
- Manage Customer Debt Collection - Collect past due payments from the customer.
- Report Customer Order Handling - Monitor the status of customer orders, provide notifications of any changes and provide management reports.
- Track & Manage Customer Order Handling - Ensure customer provisioning activities are assigned, managed and tracked efficiently to meet the agreed committed availability date.
- Close Customer Order - Close a customer order when the customer provisioning activities have been completed.
- Complete Customer Order - Manage customer information and interactions after customer contracts or associated service orders have been finalized and during the order completion phase.
- Isolate Customer Problem - Identify the root cause of the customer problem.
- Create Customer Problem Report - Create a new customer problem report.
- Report Customer Problem - Monitor the status of customer problem reports, provide notifications of any changes and provide management reports.
- Track & Manage Customer Problem - Ensure that recovery activities are assigned, coordinated and tracked efficiently, and that escalation is invoked as required for any open customer problem reports in jeopardy.
- Correct & Recover Customer Problem - Restore the service to a normal operational state as efficiently as possible.
- Close Customer Problem Report - Ensure that a problem affecting the customer is solved
Customer QoS/SLA Management
- Access Customer QoS/SLA Performance - Manage the overall assessment of the customer QoS/SLA performance.
- Create Customer QoS Performance Degradation Report - Create a new customer QoS performance degradation report.
- Manage QoS/SLA Violation - Ensure that the customer and the relevant internal processes are informed of service quality degradations and violations and that action is undertaken to resolve the degradation or violation.
- Track & Manage Customer QoS Performance Resolution - Efficiently assign, coordinate and track specific customer purchased product offering related performance analysis, restoration and improvement activities, and escalate as necessary.
- Report Customer QoS Performance -Report on the customer's QoS/SLA performance.
- Close Customer QoS Performance Degradation Report when the performance of the customer purchased product offerings has been resolved.
Billing and Collections Management
- Apply Pricing, Discounting, Adjustments, & Rebates - Ensure that the bill invoice is reflective of all the commercially agreed billable events and any bill invoice adjustments agreed between the Service Provider and the customer.
- Create Customer Bill Invoice - Production of a timely and accurate invoice in accordance with the specific billing cycles.
- Produce & Distribute Bill - Physical production and distribution of bills to customers in accordance with the specified billing cycle.
- Create Customer Bill Inquiry Report - Create a new customer bill inquiry report and provide access to the report as required and as authorised.
- Authorize Customer Bill Invoice Adjustment - Adjust the customer's bill invoice based on detailed assessment and/or policy.
- Track & Monitor Customer Bill Inquiry Resolution - Efficiently assign, coordinate and track specific customer bill inquiry.
- Report and Close Customer Bill Inquiry - Report on the customer's bill inquiry and close once the inquiry/complaint has been satifactorily resolved.
Retention & Loyalty
- Establish & Terminate Customer Relationship - Verify the customer identity, manage the customer identity across the Enterprise, and manage termination as appropriate.
- Build Customer Insight - Ensure that Service Provider and the customer feel confident that the relationship is founded on up-to-date, accurate and legally compliant information.
- Analyze & Manage Customer Risk - Ensure that a consistent customer risk assessment is used across the Enterprise and ensure that risk analysis is based on information collected from all processes.
- Personalize Customer Profile for Retention & Loyalty - Provide the personalization opportunities for customers that will encourage them not to switch to another Service Provider.
- Validate Customer Satisfaction - Validate that predicted/expected value is delivered by the solution and initialize the after-sales processes (billing and assurance).
As we have just learnt, eTOM is a business process framework organized as a hierarchical process listing or decomposition. It does not contain process flows as such. Trying to engage with potential clients in process discussions with eTOM, and having no process flows will be a dead-end discussion.
In the next series of blogs, I will be focusing on some relevant process flows. These are typically named “X to Y” to reflect the nature of the flow; eg “Lead to Order”, “Quote to Cash”, etc. TMF have produced an addendum to GB921 (Addendum E) which covers a number of these process flows. This will be used as the basis for describing a practical implementation approach for these as well as a number of other pertinent flows.
End of Part I