The ability to provision quickly and automatically is critical to building unique and sophisticated service offers. Billing for all services must be unified, and license management must be automated in order to simplify and enhance the customer experience. Product managers should be equipped with a self-service interface for creating and launching new bundles in order to reduce time to market.
Today, broadband and cable providers want to bundle cloud-based messaging, collaboration, and security applications together with internet services. Mobile providers want to attach data plans and mobile device management services to handset and tablet purchases. Hosters and managed service providers want to deliver custom solutions that combine hosted software and infrastructure services into relevant bundles curated for specific customer segments.
In these scenarios, services originate from various sources, so the ability to manage, bundle, and deliver both hosted and syndicated services must also be considered a core requirement.
Syndicated services will help providers to ramp-up a new business line with very low investment. The ability to move those customers in-house to a hosted version of that service in the future must also be considered when evaluating a cloud services platform.
At a minimum, a cloud delivery solution must provide a marketplace or online store that makes it easy to merchandise and sell individual and bundled services. For greater flexibility, look for the ability to replace this component with a marketplace that you build in-house, or with a third-party marketplace solution.
In our next blog post, we will drill into the third critical success factor: multi-channel sales enablement.