Simplifying Contract Management over Blockchain

With the evolution of 5G, sharing of infrastructure and assets between telecom infrastructure companies and CSPs is the need of the hour. The vast operations cost involved in maintaining infrastructure and assets by CSPs is critical for optimizing and sharing infrastructures resources. CSPs need to get into an agreement with several new vendors and other CSPs as partners to meet the new business expectation. Infrastructure sharing will improve the business experience where competitors become partners to reduce their investments. Infrastructure sharing includes the mast, sites, tower, and many more. Other than this, CSPs also offer services associated with Virtual reality, IoT devices, 5G slices, etc. This requires regular onboarding of new partners to help them offer and deliver these services to the end-users.

Once a CSPs or vendor gets into an agreement with CSPs to share their assets or provide a service, they need to maintain the contracts, which is currently a manual process or is done using a basic document management system. This data is maintained over excel or an open-source system in most places, leading to delays and errors. Currently, complexity in infrastructure sharing requires follow-up and closure of commercial agreements, which get delayed due to the complexity of negotiating the terms and conditions within timelines, which further delays the onboarding of suppliers and vendors. Due to the current situation, partners’ onboarding is a critical function at the same level as commissioning management, dealer management, tower sharing, etc.

Due to the absence of standard policies across industries, it’s challenging to keep track of financial transactions, and hence, auditing activities are not transparent. A ready-to-use enterprise solution can be deployed for end-to-end contract management, which will simplify the process by digitally capturing the transactions and transparency in a step-by-step process.

What is Blockchain?

  • Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger for recording transactions, tracking assets, and building trust.
  • A decentralized, distributed ledger that stores encrypted blocks of data and chains them together to form a chronological single-source-of-truth for the data

How can a Blockchain-based end-to-end solution help resolve the above challenges?

Blockchain is a technology capable of hosting smart contracts that comprise the application logic of the system. Smart contracts can ensure the standardization of templates for contracts and agreements where rich queries reside over an immutable distributed ledger. Moreover, smart contracts will ensure the least manual intervention in contract life cycle processes. These processes include:

  • Template authorization
  • Contract creation & review
  • Contract negotiation
  • Contract approval
  • Contract execution
  • Contract renewal
  • Contract expiry

How can a decentralized enterprise solution help?

A decentralized enterprise solution can help to:

  • Productivity
    • Reduce the lead time in contract negotiation and quick onboarding process
    • Digitization and automation lead to a reduction in human resources efforts
  • Efficiency
    • Closure of agreement as per the contractual timelines and real-time tracking of status
    • Capture contract workflow with immutable timestamps, which can be quickly backtracked
    • Implement standard template for contracts via smart contracts
  • Trust
    • Agreement negotiation and T&C get captured digitally
    • Payment, penalty terms, and settlement are captured as per the contract
  • Transparency
    • Any deviation in SLA will be penalized as per the agreed contract automatically
    • Provide real-time reports and dashboard views for operators
    • CSPs, Partners, and regulatory bodies ensure that infrastructure will be shared transparently

A permissioned blockchain with a decentralized database will simplify the process, help standardize the template, and help in the smooth execution of contract life cycle management. Blockchain will ensure that the productivity, performance, and level of trust are better by making terms and conditions of the contract visible and SLA tracking transparent to all end-users at all times, leading to minimum expenses for dispute settlement. Hence, Blockchain can help overcome the challenges of managing the contract lifecycle through a secured network.

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