Flexibility or efficiency?
THE service delivery challenge lies in countering the paradox of flexibility and efficiency. Different customer groups have heterogeneous requirements while you strive for standardisation and efficiency.
Common delivery architectures don’t solve the paradox
The two common delivery architectures for communication services, centrex and stand-alone, both have their strengths and limitations. But none of them are able to match flexibility with efficiency.
A stand-alone solution is in fact a tailor-made communication solution in the customer LAN. It involves manual set-up, integration and maintenance of all applications on a number of dedicated servers.
Adding new applications leads to an exponential complexity, as the integration and set-up is dependent on manual processes, handled by certified engineers. They are in charge of the delivered quality through a self-constructed SLA.
Upgrades are the equivalent of a full re-installation. As a result, most organisations do not perform upgrades on a frequent basis and systems become outdated.
Given the high cost of set-up and maintenance, a stand-alone solution is within the scope of very large organisations only.
The hosted ‘managed’ model, or Centrex, saves a company the hassle of support and maintenance. But its typical architecture only allows a very standardised service, which excludes customisation such as the integration of customer-specific applications.
On top of that, the fact of being on a shared platform is a key security concern to many companies. Especially larger organisations sometimes prefer to control their own applications and services and have them running in their own network.
No compromises on security
Customers want to be safe from possible network failures and require waterproof security, including keeping control over the company’s firewall. This requires a dedicated and isolated environment, whether it is in the customer LAN or in the operator cloud, allowing for customer-specific integrations while security needs are met.
Time is money
Communication needs evolve rapidly and competition is fierce. Therefore, the time-to-market is paramount when launching new services. And once a service is launched, rollout and time needed to implement becomes a key decision factor for your customers.