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Partner Management Systems redefine the way services are provided

With the increasing use of smartphone and mobile data, there is an exponential growth in global mobile data traffic. According to CISCO, the global mobile data traffic grew 63 percent to reach 7.2 Exabyte per month in 2016. By 2021, the mobile data traffic is expected to reach 49 Exabyte per month.

Data consumption is likely to double each year paving the way for the new content, technologies and business models that are reshaping the way services are provided to the end-users. Data related services and offerings are going through a transformation. These changes are market driven. The rules and landscape of operations are evolving and directly impacting enterprises, consumers, government organizations and Communication Service Providers (CSPs).

The shift from per unit charging to all-inclusive charging has compelled CSPs to focus on right partnerships. To extend the scope of services, CSPs rely on partners such as telcos, OTT players, SMS/payment gateway, cloud, channel, internet service providers (ISPs), mobile virtual network operator/enabler (MVNO/E), multi-system operators (MSOs), leased line & fiber wholesale partners and digital partners (IoT). Whenever the business models of partners are changing, CSPs are compelled to realign their systems and processes to integrate offerings based on consumer requirements.

In general, a CSP bills a customer under contract for services rendered. The settlement allows CSP to bill the end-user for services used on behalf of all partners including CSPs. However, for this agreement to be valid, CSPs need multiple service providers.

BSS software systems have automated entire settlement process. Helping CSPs accurately record the usage across their networks. CSPs who terminate international traffic can automatically claim legitimate revenue from the originating service provider. Similarly, partner management systems provide similar capabilities to non-telecom partners who provide content, applications and other services.

Lack of synchronization with business models of partners affects service delivery, margins and revenues. The prevalence of different partnership models such as wholesale, sponsorship, revenue sharing and MVNO add more complexity to partner settlements. CSPs should ensure that the relationship with partner result in mutual benefits and the support systems help in managing service needs. CSPs need to transform or reinvent their systems and solutions to ensure that their relationships with partners stay profitable.

Challenges in managing partner relationships

Partner settlement involves onboarding, payments and management of partners who offer multiple services to the same set of customers. The systems used by the CSPs should be capable enough to manage those requirements and deliver necessary outcomes.

Partnership management challenges of CSPs:

  • Managing refunds and offers valid for a short span of time
  • Customer support service costs are sometimes higher than the price of services, resulting in loss to CSPs
  • Erroneous billing, bad debts, frauds and difficulty in subscribed services payment affect the relationships with channel partners
  • Failure of third-party service providers to deliver quality service tampers CSP’s brand image
  • Negative service experience reduces the possibility to upsell third-party services

Partners have a critical role in the success of service providers and enhancing partner profitability is vital for any partnership. Lack of harmonization with partner business models and mismanagement can lead to strained partnerships. The loss of partners can affect service revenues and margins.

Business support systems need transformation from operational to strategic functions. Identifying the right partner settlement solution can help CSPs improve operational efficiency, margins and revenues. Third party solution providers like Sterlite Tech offers an end-to-end automated partner management system that bill, rates and handles the entire partner lifecycle requirements.

Right from recruitment to settlement, Sterlite Tech’s partner management system helps reduce time to market. From quick partnership agreements for new-generation content to superior reach via a partner network, it offers wholesale business information bifurcated into voice and content; thereby helping operators to make informed decisions.

To know more visit Digital Partner Settlement