For telecommunication companies, provisioning management oversees the process of preparing and equipping a network to provide new services to customers. Provisioning, at its core, refers to the business-wide configuration, deployment, and management of different resources within an IT system. The provisioning process has in the past been a manual one involving different departments, systems and interfaces. Provisioning management monitors user and customer access rights and privacy while ensuring that everything remains secure.
Provisioning reduces the risk of human error that is caused by an inefficient process. Provisioning management helps to ensure that everything moves smoothly and correctly. By taking the steps to automate telecom provisioning and using provisioning management, businesses can reduce the costs associated with those errors and improve efficiencies across the board.
In today’s world, it has become imperative to work with an automated provisioning system. Automation can accurately manage provisioning and ensure that the end-user has a good experience with services. Most agree that there is a need for automated provisioning, but they haven’t gone as far as to accept that there is a need for provisioning management.
Think about the work that goes into installing a new customer - before the provisioning configuration even occurs, there needs to be a person who determines end points and the VLANs for fiber connection. It needs to be recorded and kept in a safe place. Someone needs to be assigned to inputting information about SAP configurations (lag number, VLAN, ingress policy, egress policy, for example), record customer-specific information into the PTSN gateway or stand-alone SIP, updating ONT firmware and ensuring it is initiated properly, and more. The margin for human error is high due to this manual provisioning. It also slows the activation process down which means less billable service days and less customer satisfaction.
After service activation, customers continue to need support. They may add or drop phone lines and services, change the services they have, and change speeds. All of this requires even more manual provisioning work if there is not automation software. Sometimes, customers will disconnect their services or have them disconnected for non-payment. This is a process that likely happens multiple times every day - often in groups, especially with non-payment shutoffs. Automated provisioning ensures accuracy of not only services purchased but services activated.
With all of the benefits that automated interfaces bring to provisioning, there is another huge benefit which is the integration to the billing system. By seamlessly interfacing with the billing system, customers are billed only what they ordered, 100 percent of the time. Automated provisioning management speeds up the activation and billing for both the consumer and the service provider.
More and more FTTx deployments are underway, many built by existing utilities and municipalities. Existing and legacy billing applications are not equipped to handle the unique demands associated with fiber services and provisioning. This creates inaccuracies due to human error and manual provisioning, as well as slowing down the activation process. Provisioning management makes it possible to efficiently and accurately manage the day-to-day operations of FTTx networks. At the same time, it reduces the number of mistakes and decreases the rate of customer churn because customers are serviced professionally, accurately and securely.
ETI’s automated service management platform allows providers to succeed with FTTx deployments, no matter the lifecycle stage. Provisioning management with ETI includes service address management, work orders, device inventory and prospect tracking to increase the number of subscribers. This set of tools allows for the design, construction, and maintenance of passive optical networks. With the management dashboard, managers and teams can easily see service ratings, subscribers, and services while also looking at work orders, devices, and end-user billing.
Provisioning management services empower CSRs to help subscribers resolve common issues, reducing customer frustration and eliminating the need for truck rolls or escalation to higher-level technicians.