For the burgeoning satellite radio industry, competition drove the market. Improving service delivery meant the difference between continued growth or a quick decline. To address this, the client, one of the world’s most aggressive providers of satellite radio, chose Cliintel to align its billing and operational support systems. The success of this project enabled the satellite radio provider to achieve their aggressive implementation objectives and advance their competitive position.
The client, one of the largest satellite radio service providers offering a digital radio service that transmits 100 streams of digital-quality music and entertainment from its broadcast studios.
Through the utilization of Cliintel’s evaluation framework, the client was able to select the new billing system, configure, implement, convert the old data and scale the new system to 4x its original size in less than 7 months.
The Business Issue
For this industry, the Subscriber Management System (SMS) holds the key to service delivery, facilitating gains in market share and ultimately shareholder returns. The client knew that their current SMS had functional shortcomings that were directly impacting its ability to collect revenue as well as provide the desired level of customer service. The system needed evaluation, and the client was prepared to implement a replacement if necessary. The client needed an aggressive assessment and plan that would work within operational and financial constraints. The focus of the project was to evaluate the current billing system, define desired functionality and select a replacement subscriber management system if necessary.
The SMS needed to:
- Capture and make available timely, accurate, customer and partner data.
- Enable testing and timely implementation of new services, marketing programs, and strategies to leverage continued growth.
- Contribute to the growth and retention of customers, as well as partners, with cost-effective, reliable technologies.
A system strategy would also be developed to enable the client to grow the business aggressively, accommodate new business models, and respond to changing business conditions, without undue expense or over-reliance on manual processes and procedures. Through the utilization of Cliintel’s evaluation framework, the client was able to select the new billing system, configure, implement, convert the old data and scale the new system to 4x its original size in less than 7 months.
Cliintel broke down the work structure into smaller, more manageable processes, which ensured the capture of all business-critical requirements. The methodology allowed for the collection, documentation and prioritization of system requirements without disrupting the ongoing operations of the client, or placing an undue burden on the team members who represented the functional areas. From this foundation, a requirements matrix was developed that enabled the client’s executive steering committee to highlight current critical business needs as well as identify areas requiring enhanced scalability.
Cliintel performed an SMS Gap Analysis on the current system, focusing on the best-practice constructs of features and functionality, adaptability, vendor risk, architecture and scalability, deployability and economics. As a result of this analysis the steering committee concluded that their current SMS provider lacked the stability and scalability the client would require. Cliintel was further engaged to help find a more suitable replacement solution.
This process involved an initial request for information (RFI) from 45 SMS service providers. Cliintel tailored the information requests to the clients business and system requirements and the same six constructs that were used to evaluate the legacy system. Analysis of the responses to the RFI led to the identification of the top five SMS providers, which were sent requests for proposals (RFPs).
Cliintel reviewed the RFPs and created executive “wrappers” for the steering committee, highlighting their evaluations. Invitations for product demonstrations were sent to the best candidates from this group. Cliintel created scenarios to test the extent of product functionality provided by the vendors. Cliintel also created scorecards to assist the client in ranking vendor performance during the demos.
Based upon the demonstrations, requested documentation, and interviews with the potential provider’s customers, Cliintel worked with the client in the selection of their new SMS provider. In addition, Cliintel created a high-level implementation plan and cost-estimates for the implementation, integration and management of the recommended solution.
The Project Results
Cliintel’s SMS evaluation allowed the client to select a system more suitable for their expanding business needs while keeping their focus on their core business. By prioritizing the requirements, the gap analysis enabled functional departments to more fully understand their business and establish a common goal. Through the utilization of Cliintel’s evaluation framework, the client was able to select the new billing system, configure, implement, convert the old data and scale the new system to 4x its original size in less than 7 months.
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