An Enterprise Product Catalog is often the “heart” of the BSS/OSS ecosystem. It touches and drives everything that relates to what is sold, how it sold, and ultimately how it is promoted, discounted, delivered, and supported. As a result, any Enterprise Product Catalog needs to integrate easily to 3rd party systems. There are literally dozens of systems which an Enterprise Catalog must touch in a working environment. But creating and then utilizing an effective Enterprise Product Catalog can deliver some clear, subsequent benefits – some of which aren’t obvious at the outset, but prove later to be invaluable to the business.
When a CSP decides to adopt an enterprise product catalog approach, often one of the drivers is the need to accommodate the major differences between how marketing teams and fulfillment, or technical, organizations look at services. Technical folks can focus on the complex technology required to deliver and sustain services while providing effective tools for marketing to create and roll out new offers, discounts, campaigns, and promotions to the market quickly. Simply put, the enterprise product catalog should enable a separate but unified experience for each of these groups relating both to what a CSP CAN sell, versus HOW it wants to sell it.
Achieving this dual purpose, and reducing time to market on both sides of the equation, means the product catalog should break services down into self-contained, atomic building blocks that fit together can be used and re-used to build services within the catalog. Leveraging a standards-based data model, such as a TM Forum SID-compliant model, supports the idea of module, reusable building blocks that enable product and service assembly. This componentized, reusable approach is usually central to achieving aggressive time to market reductions. But beyond the obvious – time to market – here 5 other key benefits that CSPs often derive from enterprise product catalog deployments, even if they don’t always expect to:
Looking forward, another potential benefit of an enterprise product catalog is that it can provide a conceptual framework for defining product-centric policies in on-demand, digital service environments that are far more policy-driven. This creates an intelligent touch point between the CSP’s customer- and product-facing business systems and emerging technologies like SDN/NFV and real-time, policy-based charging that can play key roles in service innovation – but only if their capabilities can be harnessed through an intelligent and well defined product catalog. It may make sense for the enterprise product catalog to play a central role in helping a CSP to identify the aspects of these new technologies that can be defined as product components, integrating into offerings, re-used, sold and monetized.
Photo by moogs with Creative Commons License / cropped from original
We have created a low-volume (not-spammy) newsletter so that you can easily keep up with what's going on in the industry.