Two of the valuable things you learn during a crisis like the one we’re struggling through are:
- The more people involved in any value-chain process the more complex that process becomes
- The more automation you apply to fundamental processes the more you insulate it from error
One clear and valuable example is eBonding, in which a Telecom Expense Management (TEM) firm establishes resilient connections with many carriers and other service providers so they can serve as a single point-of-contact for customers wishing to provision services for themselves. Instead of having to contact each individual provider involved, the customer goes to a self-service portal and selects the services and specifications they need. From this one portal they can order services, provision them, deploy them, bill them and then manage those services.
A New Verb is Shunned
In today’s fast-moving tech environment new words and phrases are often created referring to things we’ve been familiar with forever. In the case of eBonding, the idea is to reduce or eliminate “swivel-chairing” order placement, that phenomenon that occurs when an order comes in on one system and an operator receiving that order swivels their chair around to another console to enter the order into the provider’s ordering system. There is no better opportunity than this to make errors in transferring data from one system to another.
eBonding often eliminates swivel-chairing assuring more consistent accuracy in transferring orders from an order system to a provisioning system. Not all carriers or other service providers have enabled themselves to establish the required connectivity to conduct eBonding. In these situations, swivel-chairing is the likely strategy for these operations.
Even as we encounter this new verb, we look forward to making it obsolete.
Balancing Convenience with Trust
Examine life in the current environment of isolation and social distancing. The person who is responsible for ordering new telecom-related services is just like every other employee, working from home. This means that an employee working at home who requires a new connection or other service must place their request with another person working at home. How reliable is that? How secure? And what happens if that order processing person is among those whose employment is terminated or furloughed?
Imagine what happens when you eliminate that order processing person from this equation. The employee working at home needed a new connection or service goes to the self-service portal to make their request online. eBonding relays that request as an order to the appropriate carrier or other vendor and returns a receipt advisory. Mission accomplished.
Since the request is processed through the TEM’s portal, the TEM registers the transaction and begins tracking it immediately. Full information from the carrier is also captured right up front in the transaction.
eBonding provides an elevated level of convenience to all users because all transactions travel through one portal. At the same time eBonding makes the TEM operator indispensable in the relationship as all account activity is managed by them. As such, making this work requires a significant level of trust between TEM and client who must share confidence that the TEM will always act in the best interests of the client. When this is working the customer involved saves significant amounts of money and enjoys an optimized, automated, lower-cost telecom estate. Since eBonding handles all required approvals digitally, procurement personnel formerly charged with processing telecom requests are no longer burdened with the multiple steps and specifications, making them available for more focus on other valuable tasks.
eBonding continues paying dividends every time an add, delete or change is required.
Important Now and in the Future
Many changes are being forced upon many companies right now. Keeping track of all the people who are suddenly acquiring telecom services and equipment to enable them to work from home will be challenging. Serving all who are unfortunately being displaced by this crisis, and everyone in between will be difficult if not impossible. The more automation we can infuse into these processes the easier and more traceable these processes become.
To learn more about eBonding and how it can serve you during this pandemic and in the post-crisis era contact Calero-MDSL today. Decades of experience and a track record of customer success make them the TEM who should be supporting your telecom estate.