Telecommunications companies are looking to cloud computing to clean up inefficient processes throughout the sales channel. The products and services in this industry change so often that these companies have become more competitive than ever, with continuously shrinking margins. Flexible front end solutions bring agility to the sales process, providing a future proof solution to front office and extended enterprise portals. As the masses continue to frenzy over new data pumping smartphones, internet connected television, and television connected internet – these organizations continue to face seemingly unparalleled challenges in business agility.
So begins the first of a series of blog posts titled “Telecom Channel Portals 2.0” in which I plan to discuss a few interesting ways that telecommunications companies will benefit in a new age of software. Software as a service is fundamentally changing the cost structure of information technology, and industries in which competition for profits is the fiercest will ultimately be the earliest adopters. The following three applications are common areas of interest for telecommunications companies looking to enter the Saas realm.
1. Marketing Portals
When products and services change as often as they do in the telecommunications industry, disseminating that knowledge throughout agent channels (partners and direct marketing/sales people) is extremely important. Marketing portals give agents and resellers access to up-to-date information from any browser. Sales in this industry are driven by intensive campaigns for which supporting marketing materials and product/service catalogs need to be readily available. There is no better way to manage and to provide this information to agents and resellers than via an online portal.
2. Quoting and Order Entry
Online portals for quoting and order entry increase direct business value for telecom providers and resellers. On either side of the equation, stakeholders get data faster and more accurately, which speeds up customer acquisition while minimizing costs. Telecom providers become more attractive to partners, and the list of benefits goes on and on. By making it quick and simple for the sales channel to give and take information from their provider, business agility is greatly improved.
3. Commission Automation
Online portals can go much further than displaying and collecting information. By including logic into an application, the functionality and time saving capabilities become endless. All too often, we see gigantic excel spreadsheets used for finance-based processes such as tracking commission payments. By automating this process, time is saved, errors are avoided, and transparency is increased. Online portals can be automated and customized for recurring commission structures based on the type of partner and product/services being sold.
These are just three ways that online portals are changing the way information is managed in the telecommunications industry. The reliance on information is so great that adopting cloud computing is almost inevitable.