The Backbone of a Communication Service Provider

Posted by cfaurer on April 2nd, 2014 filed in Frameworx Consulting

Frameworx Domain Model

Frameworx Domain Model

What does a communication service provider offer for sale to the market? What represents to the prospective customer the selections available in the offer? How does the communication service provider know what they’ve sold to the customer? How do they know which parts of what’s been sold are sourced by them and which are sourced from a supplier/partner? What does a customer get for the money they agree to spend to purchase the product? The TMF Frameworx provides a description of the backbone of a communication Service Provider, which organizes the activities of the enterprise to answer the questions posed.

Product-Service-Resource Model

Product, Service, Resource Entity Model

The TM Forum Frameworx model can provide a basis for answering these questions.

  • What is offered for sale to the market?
    • The Frameworx Domain model says there must be something to represent the product that is for sale to the market. The Information Framework entity model shows that it is the Product Offering that is used by a Sales Channel to target a Market Segment in a selected Place to sell the Product Offering at the Product Offering Price. Product Offerings are managed using a Product Catalog. Successfully selling Product Offerings will achieve the goals set by the Market Strategy.
  • What represents to the prospective customer the selections available in the offer?
    • The Frameworx Domain model says that the offer is made up of Resources and/or Services, which may be provided by one or more Suppliers and/or Partners. The Information Framework model shows that the prospective customer is presented with a description of the offer from the information contained in the Product Specification.
  • How does the communication service provider know what they’ve sold to the customer?
    • The Frameworx Domain model says that the relationships between the Market/Sales, Product, Service, Resource and Supplier/Partner information must be known and recorded somewhere so that what is being and has been sold to the customer is known. The Information Framework model shows that this information is represented by the Product Specification, Service Specification and Resource Specification entities and their relationships along with the mirror relationships binding the Product, Service and Resource entities together.
Product, Service, Resource from Supplier/Partner

Product, Service, Resource from Supplier/Partner Model

  • How does the service provider know which parts of what’s been sold are sourced by them and which are sourced from a supplier/partner?
    • The Frameworx Domain model says that Services and/or Resources may be provided by one or more Suppliers or Partners. The Information Framework “Product, Service, Resource from Supplier/Partner” model shows that Suppliers and/or Partners may provide Product, Services and/or Resources to the service provider. The offer will be described to the service provider using the same type of entities already introduced; Product Specification, Service Specification and Resource Specification. What the service provider and then the end customer receives is represented by the Product, Service and Resource entities.
  • What does a customer get for the money they agree to spend to purchase the product?
    • The Frameworx Domain model says that the customer buys and uses the purchased Product and that it is made up of Resources and/or Services, which may be provided by one or more Suppliers and/or Partners as previously discussed. The Information Framework model shows  that the customer gets the Product that they purchased, which was described by the Product Specification and sold through the Product Offering. The end-to-end business process of fulfillment; marketing, selling, ordering, provisioning, configuration & activation is driven by this information – Product Offering, Product Specification, Service Specification, Resource Specification, Resource, Service, Product.

Let’s review these Frameworx Domain and Information Framework models with an example.

Google and HTC partnered to offer the Nexus One smart phone on January 5, 2010. The phone was for sale only through the Google web store and was shipped to the customer location. In the context of Frameworx, a prospective customer viewed the Nexus One Product Offering presented on the web store, which was retrieved from the Product Catalog. The description of the Nexus One was provided by the Product Specification information, which detailed characteristics such as; dimensions, weight, compatible networks, operating system, CPU, GPU, memory, storage, etc. The Product Specification gives the prospective customer the information that they need to make their purchasing decision.

The fulfillment process used by Google delivered the Product to the customer. In this case, the Product realization to the customer was primarily as a Physical Resource. In order to have a working mobile smart phone cellular service is required, which is not offered by Google and must be obtained separately.

In the context of Frameworx, this is a separate purchase of a Product Offering, which is realized to the customer as primarily Customer Facing Service. In the US the Nexus One required GSM service, which was provided by T-Mobile US and AT&T. Once purchased, the customer received a SIM card, which provides the subscriber authentication and identification information required to configure and activate cellular service on a mobile phone. Once again, the prospective customer considered Product Offerings pulled from a Product Catalog and reviewed the details of the Product Offering Price and Product Specification before making their purchasing decision.

Once purchased, the customer received the physical SIM card and a commitment from the service provider that Customer Facing Services would be provided per the Agreement.

So, what has this customer purchased and from whom? Who should the customer call if they have a problem? Do the Parties involved in the customer’s Business Interaction know each other? Do they need to? What happens when this gets more complicated than it is today?

These questions and more can be understood and answered by using the TMF Frameworx suite of standards and best practices to frame not only the questions but also the answers.

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