Where the money flows, nobody knows

In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.”
Harold S. Geneen

In the world of Telco, there are also two coins. One is technology and one is cash.

Telco and OSS engineers often get wrapped up in the righteousness of technology. Having a B.Eng. and B.Sc. means that I’m tempted to stray down this path too.

But the reality is, to quote an old saying, is that cash is king. OSS and BSS exist not as technological toys for engineers but efficiency engines to give customers the best experience possible. And if customers are delighted, cash tends to follow.

Many staff within telcos have no concept of how the money flows through their organisation, nor do OSS/BSS implementations.

For example, let’s consider the “Lead to Cash” (L2C) cycle as a game of snakes and ladders. The OSS and BSS have the responsibility of speeding up customer activations or TTM (Time to Market) by adding as many ladders as possible through transaction automation and coordination. Unfortunately the reverse is often true, with many snakes being added to the customer activation board, intentionally or inadvertently, slowing down the TTM. I’ve seen situations where much effort has been allocated to initiatives that actually slow down the TTM.

Missed deadlines, lost sales, project delays, SLA breaches, billing errors, incorrect shipping, multiple truck rolls, double handling data, revenue leakage, contract delays and the like often stem from inefficient B/OSS systems, processes and data integrity.

It is the obligation of a CSP’s executive team to:

  1. Know how money really flows through their organisation
  2. Educate their teams about it (not just internal operations teams but external integrators and suppliers too)
  3. Establish the metrics to measure it
  4. Build the systems / processes / data-sets and improve it
  5. Empower the teams to seek innovative ways to refine it further

How often does your B/OSS team focus on flashy new functionality at the expense of improving metrics such as the C2M (Concept to Market), L2C (Lead to Cash), T2R (Trouble to Resolve) cycles?

What have been your most successful initiatives to improve on these types of metrics?

I’ll recount a story tomorrow around a Telco that failed disastrously, going bankrupt as a result of not knowing how the money flowed (or didn’t in this particular case).

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