Why Do Order Fallouts Happen?
One of the top factors contributing to order fallout propensity is the complexity and newness of a service. For service offerings that have existed for many years, operators have established a good understanding of how to accurately capture orders, validate them, and design and deliver them at minimal costs. But as newer services increase in complexity, the volume of failed orders steadily increases in kind.
Plain old telephone systems (POTS), for instance, are considered a relatively low complexity service, and make up only about 2 to 3 percent of failed orders. Service complexity rises slightly more with services like Ethernet, private line and broadcast video, with the fraction of fallout orders usually in the range of 12 to 15 percent. On the other hand, services such as IP VPN, unified communications and vLAN are a relatively new breed of telecommunications services and are very complex in nature, resulting in about 25 percent of order fallouts. Now, imagine the service complexity and ensuing order fallouts that operators will see as they transition to virtualised environments like SDN and NFV!
2. Poor Order Quality
While complexity significantly influences the likeliness of order fallout, the top reason for their propensity is poor order quality, which causes about 20 percent of failed orders in the initial months of a service.
Order entry systems typically rely on standard templates without consideration for things like specific configuration requests or up-to-date information on the availability of network and IT resources. As a result, a gap emerges between what the system thinks can be delivered and what can realistically be delivered.
This kind of validation technique can be extremely damaging when it’s applied later in the order orchestration process (and it often is), causing duplicated efforts and even further delays. Other circumstances can exacerbate the issue, including inflight change requests by the customer, which forces the operator to repeat the order validation process. Poor inventory records can also cause detriment. Because order entry and validation processes rely heavily on accurate inventory, inaccurate records can lead to ‘false positives’ or ‘false negatives,’ resulting in the wrong allocation of resources.
Each of these factors on their own – let alone, combined – not only produces high costs for operators, but also a very protracted order process for the customer, and ultimately, a damaged customer experience – something digital and communications service providers cannot afford.
Clearly, there is a strong need for operators to deploy more robust order validation techniques, especially during the earlier stages of the order capture process, to reduce order fallout potential.
3. The Power of Cloud-Based Order Management
Cloud-based sales or CRM platforms, in particular, that are unified with end-to-end order management systems are increasingly being looked to as means of combatting order fallout, by enabling increased responsiveness and reduced costs. Having an automated solution to capture and manage orders, so digital and communication service providers can conduct more seamless handovers between sales and delivery teams throughout the lead-to-cash cycle is a must.
When a cloud-based system is combined with strong feasibility and validation processes, based on both product and service catalogues, operators can enjoy more efficient and accurate service delivery. Bringing enhancements like this into order management systems will be essential as network services continue to evolve towards virtualisation, and accurate and efficient service order orchestration becomes a primary competitive differentiator.