Product Catalog for Telecom in 2021: Can we make it simple?
Following recent researches, the IT and telecom segment had the largest revenue share of over 20% in critical 2020. So, telecom can rightly boast of a fierce competition atmosphere. The strongest survives here, so each provider tries to offer unique services where it would seem impossible to do so. Here the customer experience comes into play, and companies are desperately fighting for users' attention. A product catalog is one of the most helpful weapons in this fight. "At first glance, the product catalog is a simple cupcake, but in reality, it is a puff cake," said Anatoliy Medvedchuk, Software Architect at XME.digital. We suggest you find confirmation of this statement and discover everything the CSP should know about a product catalog.
Product Catalog as a crucial part of Digital BSS
What is a product catalog? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it is "a list, usually with images, of the products a company offers". So, it is a component that allows customers to evaluate all the provider's offers, choose the most suitable one and purchase it. The catalogs variety is astounding: from elementary pdf files to complex online lists and VR environments. They can be separate for each type of audience or unified, connecting everything that a company "sells".
For example, Vodafone has created a One Enterprise Product Catalog for partners and suppliers. It makes it easy to find and download customer presentations, product overviews, descriptions, and other helpful files. The solution ensures security, convenient management, and unified communications.
For efficient operation, the product catalog is integrated with: the telecom order management system, billing, and CRM. It ensures an individual approach to each client, guarantees a quick response to any request, and the ability to pay here and now.
Sure, a product catalog in the telecommunications industry has its peculiarities. It regulates pricing for a wide range of B2B and B2C users. It is connected with a variety of payment systems. It is often multicurrency and multilingual.
What does a telecom product catalog consist of? An arduous task is assigned to this tool. It has to combine different types of services organically and make them available for purchase in one click. There are four core components of each telco product catalog:
Resources. They are the basis for all the following components. These are a variety of cables, routers, phone numbers, etc.
Services. In simple terms, these are opportunities that can be realized using the above resources.
Products. These are sets of services (like Cable TV, IoT or VPN) responsible for meeting specific needs.
Product offering. Or a complete commercial offer from CSP that customers usually see in the catalog. It includes a product description, terms, and conditions of its usage, its price, etc.
What should be the perfect product catalog for tier 2 and tier 3 providers?
Here it's worth remembering about 5G. According to the Ericsson report, in 2022, 5G subscriptions will become so ubiquitous that they will surpass the one billion units. Its total spread will entail fundamental changes in the telecom business models and services. Based on it, CSPs should choose a catalog
fully adapted to the changes brought about by the 5G implementation;
scalable, since the solution must serve a large flow of users, providing them with a countless amount of services;
allowing easy services implementation, expanding the commercial capabilities;
well-integrated to guarantee not only seamless interaction between internal systems but also effective communication with external ones;
combining BSS and OSS components for centralized, convenient trading;
supporting omnichannel approach to provide users with a flawless experience;
accessible in order to ensure equal opportunities to each customer.
supported by cloud technologies to stay accessible and agile.
Where You Can Find Flawless Product Catalog For Telecommunications (Internet, Mobile, TV)
Traditionally, there are two ways to get hold of any digital product: buy its ready-made version or order a custom development. The product catalog is no exception. You can find many robust SaaS actively used by providers such as Orange or TDC. The most popular of them are Reply Sytel, Comarch, Emeldi, etc. They cover all processes related to offers' delivery, customization, instant checkout, etc.
Development is a more difficult path. It is chosen by a company that needs to regulate complex internal processes, manage relationships with diverse customer groups, etc. The product catalog is not just a place on the portal where you can choose a service. Therefore, its creation requires effort and time.
Designing of such a solution, engineers have to: thoroughly study requirements, work hard on providing resources, integrations, access from various communication channels, billing, which can make payments not only in currency. Meanwhile, developers have to wrap this convoluted system in an interface that even a child can understand. Perhaps the most arduous task here is to transform the complex into the simple.
Software Architect at XME.digital
How XME. Fast Code Platform Helps To Design A Product Catalog
As seen, product catalog development is not an easy task. One of the challenges that engineers might face is the lack of room for error. It will entail a loss of the audience. Therefore, programmers need to test different catalog versions and their operation scenarios. You'd be surprised how much XME. open-source e-commerce platform makes it effortless. The environment allows IT teams to create a prototype in 2-4 weeks and test them for strength.
One more useful feature of the fast code platform is multi-tenancy. It is not compulsory to create each new prototype version separately. It is enough to multiply a certain number of tenants and change each of them according to requirements. Here you can make an unlimited number of mistakes, searching for an appropriate idea. If one tenant doesn't work, you can quickly test another. And so on until finding a perfect version.
And, besides, a pleasant bonus here is the ability to use ready-made, proven scripts. We've turned real-world provider experiences into agile built-in templates. Businesses can configure them following individual needs. It is a plus, considering the tight development timeline and the necessity to provide a final product vision almost immediately. This approach reduces the development cycle by half.
Agree, a product catalog must be flexible. Due to XME. fast code platform, enterprises can design microservices using a popular stack. It helps to efficiently maintain the result and change it in a matter of days.
We support technology and allow you to design robust products ready for future innovation. The 5G proliferation won't be a nightmare for you. Your product catalog will not fail. The fast code platform benefits enable CSP to receive a solution open to new opportunities and ready to use them for its telecom digital transformation success.