Every company wants to be high-tech in their field, using modern technology and software to deploy their products and services to customers swiftly and efficiently. New players have a bonus here because they can integrate the newest methods into their initial business plan, but established service providers must continually renovate their process to stay up-to-date and eliminate swivel chair provisioning.
Most CSPs are older than automation software, and many have been providing in-home phone, and television services since before the web became worldwide. For this reason, many service provisioning processes have legacy steps and procedures that could be streamlined or eliminated by integrating new methods.
What is Swivel Chair Provisioning?
The ‘swivel chair’ system came into existence before modern computing, when office management often meant swiveling between filing cabinets, telephones, and typewriters. Nowadays the phrase is used to represent any gap between processes where data must be manually transferred, often duplicating data entries.
Consider an Internet provider that for some reason still has one database for shipping and another one for customer data. Every time a customer requests new service, a sales representative has to manually copy the client’s name, address, and order information from the sales program into the shipping database. To end the ‘swivel’ between the sales and shipping systems, the provider should combine the two into a single business management data solution – saving valuable time and resources, while minimizing possibilities for human error.
How can companies eliminate swivel chair provisioning?
Especially for large infrastructure companies such as service providers, unifying systems is often challenging, and can only start when the company resolves to go through the arduous process of modernizing old processes.
One way to mitigate this is to automate repetitive tasks that don’t need close attention by scripting an automation program to manage the tedious processes. Tasks like transferring redundant data from one program to another, for instance, could be automated to handle themselves continually or at the touch of a button, simplifying the number of legacy provisioning tasks required of you. Another example is automating modem firmware updates with a solution that includes cutting-edge functionalities to increase the percentage of up-to-date firmware with clear-cut automated rules that minimize service disruptions.
2. Get On the Cloud
Identify opportunities to sync data and reference it from the cloud. One of the main issues of ‘swivel-chair’ systems is that they keep data in separate containers for purpose use. Network admins need to know everything about the networks they are managing, while customer service representatives need to know everything about the customer’s experience and the services provided so far.
When stuck in a ‘swivel-chair’ system, sharing this much data takes extra man-hours to copy over information from separate systems. Cloud storage and access is a great way to unify data that needs to be shared across the organization or within specific departments and can act as a stop-gap measure until full integration is possible.
3. Complete Orchestration
There is no way around it: the absolute best way to solve outdated and tedious swivel-chair provisioning is with a unified management system.
By orchestrating legacy systems across the network, the entire process becomes smoother: Customer issue calls minimize and when they do arise, are resolved in one interaction. Information-sharing among technicians, operators, admins, and customer service is seamless.
With service orchestration, service providers can deploy new services swiftly, customers can order the service online, and the provider can activate it automatically.
There are many solutions for service providers to integrate their legacy provisioning processes into the new world of on-demand software access and upgrades. It’s time to update those old one-purpose management systems! Your customers will appreciate the fast, easy service and your employees will rejoice at the smooth and straightforward interface, replacing that old ‘swivel-chair’ system.