With the telecom industry only set to grow over the coming years, communication service providers (CSPs) know that the opportunities for them to grow their revenue streams are increasing. However, the industry is fiercely competitive and organisations have to remain agile when positioning themselves as the best option for potential or current customers. With such attention being paid towards the customer's journey deploying a marketplace, or product catalog, could be a powerful advantage for telecoms.
A Product Catalog, in its simplest terms, could be considered a list of all the products or services a company offers. Potential customers can then browse this list and select the services that best suits their needs. When it comes to telecoms however the meaning becomes more expansive. For telecoms a product catalog is a hub that centralises all their business catalogue needs. By deploying a product catalog telecoms can managing technical and commercial catalogs, promotions, 3rd party offers, B2C partners and advertising placements. It opens the door to creating a marketplace for telecom operators. Although there are often differences between each CSP’s product catalog, each will enable the following; resources, services, products and product offerings.
To work effectively a product catalog must be integrated and aligned with other systems, these could include order management or billing systems. There is also an added layer of complexity when considering larger telcos can operate in many countries, meaning their product catalogs often have to integrate and translate across many different languages and currencies.
Telecoms have found the need for product catalogs has been accelerated in line with the digitization of the industry and the rise of digital service providers. Organisations that have embraced a digital-first approach have been able to massively decrease the time taken for their innovations to hit the market. They are also extremely agile and able to respond to competition or market opportunities within an accelerated timeline. One of the ways to enable CSPs to quickly embrace a digital way of working is a product catalog.
By using a product catalogue, or more specifically a cloud-native product catalog, a telecom can display marketplace offers and launch new digital services or products without needing to configure the new offering within separate systems. This is because embracing a cloud-native build allows for seamless integration between existing systems and even third-party applications. There are also a number of other advantages to building a cloud-native catalog. These can include on-demand provisioning, self-healing systems, or allowing the deployment of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence or machine learning. CSPs also have the option to go one step further and make their catalog available on a public cloud, leading to low latency and greater accessibility.
By building and deploying a product catalog, telecoms can expect to be able to rapidly build and test new products based on existing or new templates. These templates or configurations can also be reused meaning new offers can be quickly pushed out, in some cases on the same day as conception, without the need for help from IT staff. They can then deploy these products or services to multiple targeted systems. Telecoms should also expect to be able to utilise innovative technologies like A.I to supplement the delivery options available.
To find out more about telecom product catalogs, get in touch with a member of the Lifecycle Team.