OSS Supply chain – Shift No. 1

Shift No. 1: From Cross-Functional Integration to Cross-Enterprise too.
OLD QUESTION: How do we get the various functional areas of our company to work together to supply product to our immediate customers?
NEW QUESTION: How do we coordinate activities across companies as well as across internal functions to supply product to the market?

Laura Ross Kopczak
and M. Eric Johnson in the “MIT Sloan Management Review.”

My guess is that few OSS/BSS are evaluated from the perspective of an entire supply-chain, yet the OSS/BSS suites of many CSPs are able to monitor and/or manage many of the elements that make up an end-to-end supply chain.

In fact most of the large CSPs that I’ve worked with have been built around siloes of knowledge and responsibility, with each silo knowing their key performance indicators deeply, but without having a concept of the end-to-end performance of the supply-chain.

There is a fundamental difference in thinking between OSS implementers and OSS operators. The former creates the tools and the latter uses the tools. The OSS implementer generally just wants to get the tools in and working then move on to the next project. The OSS operator is there for the long-term and wants to use the tools to deliver continual improvement.

Based on this generalisation, the OSS operator would seem best suited to monitoring, influencing, tweaking and improving the end-to-end supply chain. Are your operational groups siloed? If so, who has end-to-end visibility/accountability? Do they look at the whole supply-chain (ie vendors, partners, retailers, suppliers, distributors, transporters, third-party providers, regulators, etc) for efficiency improvements?

It’s possible that subtle cross-domain improvements in a supply chain could actually justify the investment made in an OSS/BSS project (or projects). More importantly, they could represent a strategic advantage for your organisation.

Now let’s re-visit the question of OSS implementers vs operators being the best to visit the supply chain. If the operator (ie the customer) isn’t doing this type of evaluation, does that provide the implementer (ie the vendor / integrator) with an opportunity to provide highly valuable consultancy to their customers right?

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4 thoughts on “OSS Supply chain – Shift No. 1

  1. Hi Ryan,
    (Warning – product mention here!) I could give the example of my Brother’s product ‘SQL Benchmark Pro’, which is a free SQL Server performance management tool & dashboard that collects key performance info (but no data), which his company actively then analyses making suggestions (again for free) back to the relevant owners as to what they could do to resolve obvious issues.
    Some of these environments are quite large, therefore the effects have been significant – resulting in healthy amounts of consulting work and purchase of the paid-for version including access to on-call DBA support.
    Whilst the mapping across to the OSS product space isn’t one to one, perhaps this smaller example indicates that the model you’re suggesting does have legs?

  2. Hi Evan,

    Your brother’s solution proves itself to be a valuable service that customers choose to pay for after the value has been demonstrated. The question is whether an OSS business model could also be built around retrospective payments from happy customers?

  3. Hi Ryan,
    I think the direction the TMForum is taking with respect to the Engaged Party / Value Fabric model reflects the thinking of some very experienced/smart guys, and is directly relevant to these new types of business models. SID 14 contains some quite major structural changes that I imagine would have been bounced around the major OSS vendors first. Perhaps getting this right is as important as management of SDN/NFV?

  4. Hi Evan,
    Sounds like a great topic for conversation once my supply-chain series of blogs comes to conclusion towards the end of this week. 😉

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