Let’s start with the last one first – DBA.
In the context of OSS/BSS, DBA has multiple meanings but I think the most relevant is Death By Acronym (don’t worry all you Database Administrators out there, I haven’t forgotten about you). Our industry is awash with TLAs (Three-Letter Acronyms) that lead to DBA.
Having said that, today’s article is about six that are commonly used in relation to end to end workflows through our OSS/BSS stacks. They often traverse different products, possibly even multiple different vendors’ products. They are as follows:
- P2O – Prospect to Order – This workflow operates across the boundary between the customer and the customer-facing staff at the service provider, particularly salespeople. It allows staff to generate and sustain sales as well as checking what products can be offered to a customer. This includes service qualification (SQ), feasibility checks, then design, assign and reserve resources.
- O2A – Order to Activate – This workflow includes all activities to manage customer services across entire life-cycles – from when the customer places the order, to when they start utilising the service/s. That is, not just the initial activation of a service, but in-flight changes during activation and post-activation changes as well (see more here)
- U2C – Usage to Cash – This workflow allows customers or staff to evaluate the usage or consumption (or credits remaining) of a service (or services) that has already been activated for a customer
- T2R – Trouble to Resolve – This “workflow” is more like a bundle of workflows that relate to assuring health of the services (and the network that carries them). They can be categorised as reactive (ie a customer triggers a resolution workflow by flagging an issue to the service provider) or a proactive (ie the service provider identifies and issue, degradation or potential for issue and triggers a resolution workflow internally). (see more here)
- CPQ – Configure, Price, Quote – This “workflow” or tool allows an organisation to efficiently, accurately and consistently generate offers / proposals to customers. Offers may need to incorporate specific customisations or designs as well as calculating quantities, rates, discounts, product features and more. CPQ is a sub-set of Q2C that follows (see more on CPQ here)
- Q2C – Quote to Cash – Starts with lead / opportunity management, goes through the CPQ steps above, but then also includes order fulfilment and billing / invoicing (see more here)
If you’re interested in seeing how these workflows relate to the TM Forum APIs and specifically to NaaS (Network as a Service) designs, there’s a great document (TMF 909A v1.5) that can be found at the provided link. It shows the sub-elements (and associated APIs) that each of these workflows rely on. However, also note that this comes from an outdated version of the Open API suite for NaaS. Version 3 can be found here.
PS. I recently read a vendor document that described additional flows:- I2I (Idea to Implementation – service onboarding, through a catalog presumably), P2P (Plan to Production – resource provisioning) and O2S (Order to Service). There’s also C2M (Concept to Market), L2C (Lead to Cash) and I’m sure I’m forgetting a number of others. Are there any additional TLAs that I should be listing here to describe end-to-end workflows?