What is a Converged Partner Management Solution?
Converged partner management is a unified solution which caters to the entire gamut of partner needs of a telecom operator. The platform addresses the needs of both traditional and digital partners by spreading across different domains and helps to handle the complex relationships between the suppliers and vendors of the telecom operator.
Why you need a Converged Partner Management Solution
Over the last decade, digitalization has transformed the communication service provider (CSP) landscape. It has created a need to achieve market differentiation in response to the evolving customer profiles and prevail over emerging challenges from disruptive services. Telco revenues from legacy voice and SMS are on the decline and there is high CAPEX associated with network innovation. Telcos can turn this around by evolving as Digital Service Providers (DSPs). But the biggest challenge in this transformation is to bring both traditional and new digital partners together to create an integrated industry specific solution. But the success rate of these partnerships and integrations is very low as it comes with multiple challenges. Inefficient partner onboarding process, tariff management for multiple plans, billing and invoice reconciliation while taking OPEX into consideration. Based on a research 70% of partnerships fail due to trust and clarity of business relationships. There is a need of sustainable partnerships which can create value for everyone in the ecosystem.
In this scenario, a converged partner management approach proves beneficial from both business and service perspectives. From the business perspective, a converged platform will help to visualize the partners’ business. It will consolidate partners into a single contractual binding and bundle the offerings, settlements, and payments across the entire domains. A converged partner management solution packs features that give CSPs freedom to experiment with NGN service offerings such as content management without having to worry about the scalability of its billing function. The solution enables telecom operators to have all their business partnerships in one single place and makes it easier to access information and make efficient business decisions. This is especially important as different partners insist different models in measuring the business impact and ROI.
How to Choose the Right Converged Partner Management Solution
Selecting a partner management solution to manage your partnerships efficiently is not an easy decision. The solution should complement the operations of the service provider and offers features and functionalities that remove operational errors and smoothen the partner management process.
Below are the key features you should look for in a Converged Partner Management Solution
Partner Self Onboarding: The partner onboarding platform can support self-boarding, manual onboarding and in some cases, a mix of both. The self-boarding platform will play a significant role in the digital era, giving the DSP the ability to perform most of the onboarding activities by automating the process like partner scoring on configurable KPIs and other partner details.
Partner Scoring- Pre-Onboarding & Post Onboarding: Partner scoring can assist an operator to take pre and post onboarding decisions based on business KPIs, and this can be combined with standard agreed contracts to make the complete process automated.
Defining the Partner Business: Defining the businesses of both traditional and digital partners is a complex process especially in the context of service offerings, revenue sharing and service agility. The business for traditional partners such as interconnect revolved around exchange of voice, SMS and usage of other services so the contract includes bilateral deals for settling the traffic and event rates. On the other hand, contract with digital partners like OTT players, content providers, VAS companies, MSOs, integrators, app developers, IoT and M2M service providers involves complex revenue sharing model as the settlement may be based on usage of resources, impressions/ clicks on the website, readings from metered equipment, among others. A converged partner management solution will help telcos to implement revenue sharing models that can be fixed, shared or a hybrid depending on the nature of the partner business.
End-to-End Billing and Settlement: Helps the business to define rules and apply them to the events acquired to generate the final revenue figure to both the DSP and the partner. The system achieves this through accurate rating and charging, real-time updates, and on-time bill and statement generation.
ETL (extract, transform, load) to Track and Process Events: The ETL tool is required to process different types of events from various sources and transform them to respective entities by extracting the relevant information. Considering the dynamic and open nature of the DSP ecosystem, the ETL tool should be flexible enough to handle the frequent onboarding of new partners and build mediation capability supporting ingestion and normalization of data from multiple partners in different formats.
Partner Communication and Self-Care: A converged platform should enable a consolidated communication portal to manage all the operational aspects of the business including contractual updates, bills, settlements, credit debit notes, trouble ticketing, and dispute management. The portal should also be integrated to the backend systems to orchestrate each operational aspect towards the respective system for action and resolution. Finally, it should feature open APIs that enable quick integration with third-party systems.
Visibility of Partner Business: Real-time visibility ensures transparency across the businesses. Through real-time analytics of reports, alerts and notifications, the converged platform can enhance the visibility and reporting across different channels.
Are You Ready?
New age partnerships require transparency and trust between the partners to create a robust ecosystem. A Converged Telecom Partner Management solution will help telcos to manage these new age partnerships efficiently and enable them to drive new business models. This will also reduce the time to market for new offers and packages and allow telcos and partners to acquire new customers and add new revenue streams.
Are you ready for a converged partner management solution to succeed in the new age digital ecosystem?
Sunay currently serves as the Product Director of Partner Management portfolio at Subex. He specializes in Telecom Partner Settlement, Digital Billing, Route Optimization and Interconnect Billing. He has 12+ years of experience in the Telecom Industry. He is also a keynote speaker in forums like GSC and an active contributor to online forums related to partner settlement.