Breaking Down Barriers: Key Challenges in Implementing Business Process Automation for CSPs

Part 2 of 3 in the "Business Process Automation in Telecom" Series

What Are the Top BPA Barriers and Resolutions That CSPs Implement?

We explored the multitude of benefits that Business Process Automation (BPA) brings to the telecom industry in part 1 of our "Business Process Automation in Telecom" series. While BPA offers transformative change for Communication Service Providers (CSPs), implementing it raises a set of challenges to overcome. Regardless of the size or standing of a CSP in the industry, each must navigate these hurdles successfully to ensure the benefits of automation.

Complex technical network of lines connecting at nodes.

The Technical Complexity involved in implementing BPA cannot be underestimated. It requires a comprehensive understanding of the existing processes coupled with a clear vision of the desired outcomes. The task of integrating automation into the current systems is a technically demanding effort, calling for a carefully orchestrated blend of proficiency and adaptability.

  • Engage with Skilled Professionals: CSPs can seek the expertise of professionals, solution providers, or consultants who have a deep understanding of both the telecom business and BPA. These experts can provide insights, strategies, and direct assistance to manage the complex process of BPA implementation.
  • Collaboration with Solution Providers: Technology consultants can be an invaluable asset when dealing with the technical complexities inherent to implementing BPA. Partners like Seygen help CSPs navigate technical challenges while streamlining their processes. Seygen brings not only its technical expertise but also a deep understanding of the telecom industry to create tailored solutions that align with a company's unique needs and objectives, thus contributing significantly to the effective implementation of automation strategies.
  • Set Up Cross-Functional Teams: CSPs should consider setting up cross-functional teams made up of IT, operations, and business strategy professionals. These teams can collaboratively oversee the multifaceted process of BPA implementation, ensuring all relevant perspectives are considered and any technical issues are promptly addressed.

Resistance to Change is another significant challenge. Human nature tends to veer towards familiarity and stability. Therefore, like any substantial organizational change, BPA can face considerable resistance from employees, especially if they perceive automation as a threat to their roles.

  • Implement Change Management Strategies: Adopting change management strategies can be a significant first step toward overcoming resistance. This can include clear, consistent communication about what BPA is, its benefits, and the reasons for its implementation.
  • Communicate about Job Security: It's important to provide reassurances about job security to employees. This can be done by explaining how BPA will reshape their roles rather than make them redundant, and by providing opportunities for retraining or upskilling.
  • Run Informative Workshops: CSPs could organize workshops for their employees to showcase how automation can help them. Demonstrations of how automation can eliminate repetitive tasks and free up time for more complex, rewarding work can help alleviate concerns and generate employee buy-in.

Data Privacy and Security Concerns are particularly pronounced in an era where data breaches and cyberattacks are prevalent. With BPA, vast amounts of data are handled, often of a sensitive nature. This increases the responsibility of CSPs to ensure stringent security measures are in place, especially in industries like telecom that adhere to privacy and other regulatory requirements when handling sensitive customer data.

  • Incorporate Strong Security Measures: During the BPA design phase, incorporating robust security measures and protocols is crucial. This ensures that the system is safeguarded from the start.
  • Follow Industry Best Practices: Adhering to established industry best practices regarding data security can provide a reliable framework for maintaining the integrity of sensitive data.
  • Conduct Regular Audits: Regular audits of data handling practices and security measures can identify any potential weaknesses and ensure that the security measures in place are effective and up-to-date. This ongoing evaluation and adjustment process is key to maintaining data privacy and security.

Lastly, the Cost of Implementation can be a barrier for many CSPs. The initial setup costs, ongoing training, and maintenance can be high, which may deter especially small to medium-sized businesses from embracing BPA, despite its many benefits.

  • Conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis: Performing a detailed cost-benefit analysis is essential to evaluate whether the long-term benefits of BPA outweigh the initial implementation costs. Identify areas for enhanced tracking and reporting, and consider the expertise (and personal process notes) your staff possesses that isn't documented in your current business processes. This analysis will provide a clearer picture of the return on investment expected from implementing BPA.
  • Monitor Market Trends: The BPA technology landscape is constantly evolving, and solutions are becoming more affordable over time. Keeping an eye on market trends can help CSPs find cost-effective solutions that fit their budget and needs.
  • Consider Accessibility for Smaller CSPs: Due to the increasing affordability of BPA solutions, even smaller CSPs or directory listing companies can now consider implementing BPA in their operations. The decreasing costs make BPA a viable strategy for businesses of all sizes.

What Are the Steps for Successful BPA Implementation?

Successful BPA implementation requires a well-thought-out strategy and execution plan. Here are some necessary steps:

  1. Needs Assessment: Identify the areas of operation that would benefit the most from automation. This might involve input from various departments and should consider factors like volume of work, level of manual effort involved, and impact on customer service.
  1. Process Mapping: Map out the existing process and identify areas for improvement. This provides a clear picture of the current state and helps in designing the automated process.
  1. Choosing the Right BPA Tool: Consider the organization's specific needs and choose a BPA tool that fits those needs. This might involve evaluating different vendors, considering budget, and assessing the level of support provided.
  1. Pilot and Implementation: Implement the BPA tool on a small scale first. This allows for troubleshooting and adjustments before a full-scale implementation.
  1. Training and Support: Provide comprehensive training to the employees who will be using the tool. This is essential for a smooth transition and maximized utilization of the new system.
  1. Review and Improvement: Regularly review the system’s performance and make necessary improvements. This will ensure that the system continues to meet the organization's needs as they evolve.

By recognizing and addressing these challenges and following a methodical approach to BPA implementation, CSPs can successfully integrate automation into their order management process, maximizing its many benefits.

Manual Processes Persisting in the Telecom Industry

Even as automation transforms numerous aspects of the telecom order management process, there are still some manual processes that remain. These can include:

Customer Support: While some aspects of customer service have been automated, like chatbots for initial customer interactions, many telecom companies still rely heavily on human support for complex issue tracking and resolution. For example, addressing unique customer problems or making strategic marketing decisions often require human judgment and creativity. Customers also prefer to interact with a human when dealing with complex issues or making important purchasing decisions.

Network Maintenance and Optimization: While tools and software exist to monitor network performance and flag issues, human intervention is often required to resolve complex network problems and for strategic optimization decisions. Solution providers like Seygen are critical to the analysis of the process and business needs when unique customizations are required in order management optimizations or maintenance.

Sales and Marketing: Many telecom companies still rely on manual processes for parts of their sales and marketing efforts, including creating and managing campaigns, analyzing customer responses, and closing sales deals. Additionally, organizational structures can create real or perceived silos that impact success. Experienced leaders in these areas or BPA consultants can break down the silos to improve cross-functional processes and drive organizational innovation and profitability.

Billing and Revenue Management: Despite the existence of automated billing systems and digital payments, discrepancies, and complex billing issues often require manual review and resolution. In some cases, systems might fail to capture unique billing scenarios or adjustments, necessitating human intervention. Furthermore, the need for personalized customer service in resolving sensitive billing disputes continues to require a human touch, adding another layer to the manual process. Improving automation in these areas could significantly increase efficiency and customer satisfaction.

As we move forward, the successful integration of automation will be a testament to an organization's resilience and adaptability. In the era of digital transformation, the only constant is change. CSPs that embrace this change, learn from it, and use it to fuel their evolution will be the ones to lead the telecom industry into a prosperous future.

Working with Seygen brings a distinct advantage: we firmly believe that your Order Management System (OMS) should adapt to your needs, not the other way around. We value your business requirements and refuse to constrain them within the predefined limits of an OMS. Instead, we invest our time and expertise in understanding the intricacies of your business process. This knowledge allows us to define your business requirements with precision, and then, we customize our SMX API Integration Platform, which relies on robust API integrations to implement your unique Business Process Automation (BPA).

With two decades of experience tailoring order management to meet the diverse requirements of the telecom industry, we’ve mastered a client-focused approach that consistently delivers results. We invite you to experience the Seygen difference for yourself, where your telecom strategy and needs always drive the technology.

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