What Utilities Companies Can Learn from the Telco Industry

Posted: September 12th, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The array of complex services delivered by utilities is far-reaching and continues to grow thanks to increasing demand, uncertain commodity prices and fluctuating regulations. One new report speculates that new technology is a must for the industry, especially given the transformation of utilities from solely energy providers to energy service providers (i.e. efficiency, home services, etc.).

More services mean more complex, internal infrastructure. To stay running, utilities depend on everything from virtual private networks (VPNs) and inter-site VoIP to external connectivity and detailed inventory navigation. The huge capital investments in new networks also need to be justified piece by piece. If these operations aren’t managed properly, there can be bandwidth and connectivity issues.

The average utility has a lot of moving parts, just like communications service providers (CSPs). As with utilities, the pace of change in the telco space can leave businesses scrambling for new solutions. Declining revenues from traditional services like SMS and profit margin threats presented by Over-the-Top (OTT) providers has made adaptation a necessity. Service packages have also become more complex; subscribers want to pick and choose between an array of different services, and customers often want to update packages at a moment’s notice.

CSPs have had to start making some significant changes. A flexible and adaptable approach to product and service management is fundamental in the telco industry today, because creating a new order process for every type of product or bundle offers little-to-no options for scalability.

Utilities, too, have sprawling infrastructures, diverse and enormous user bases and business models that have remained static for decades. Now, some are implementing new solutions first pioneered by CSPs that can help make operations more efficient than ever before.

Keeping Things Aligned with Service Fulfillment

CSPs have increasingly turned to integrated service fulfillment platforms that help bridge customer orders and service deployments. This centralised platform approach offers automated delivery and granular visibility across the order process, empowering CSPs to reduce time-to-market and experiment with new services and bundles.

In much the same way, utilities can benefit from turning to integrated service fulfillment platforms. This technology allows communications within utilities to become streamlined. Comptel Service and Resource Inventory can provide highly flexible, context-sensitive inventory management that is adaptable to changing and converging network technologies, for example. Commissioned services and equipment can be tracked and distributed from start to finish, and network assets can be accurately deployed to maximise utilities’ revenues and reduce their operational costs.

At the end of the day, centralising operations through a fulfillment platform can make utilities leaner and more nimble at a time when adaptability is key to profitability.

Learning from Telco

Right now, the majority of utility companies are growing without a scalable solution in-hand. This can lead to breakdowns in connectivity that result in costly network errors. By moving operations to one central, integrated platform, it’s possible to keep track of everything that goes into the delivery of resources to different sites.

The streamlining of operations through integrated service fulfillment platforms can reduce the total-cost-of-ownership for the utilities industry. CSPs have been managing the massive influx of data through these solutions and other enterprise businesses with complex services and vast infrastructures can do the same.

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