Action without vision just passes the time.
Vision with action can change the world.
A new OSS/BSS system is quite a major undertaking by the operators which usually involves many organizational challenges as well as commercial implications. When faced with the option of purchasing a new solution (i.e. CRM, Billing, BI etc.), an operator would like to ensure that the selected vendor meets the requirements of the specific operation while adhering to possible future strategic and tactical direction. The vendor’s flexibility to support both current and future business needs with minimum effort must be seriously considered. Any solution must be evaluated for its Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) together with the functionalities it provides the operator to effectively compete in the marketplace (Time To market reduction etc.).
ATANOO has an all-encompassing offering for the entire vendor selection process, including RFP/RFQ writing, vendor contract and SLA negotiation etc. This article, however, refers to the Vendor Evaluation stage.
To gain a profound view of a given vendor capabilities one has to divide the evaluation process into two major steps:
- Vendors’ Responses: Analysis of the vendor’s RFQ response as submitted without additional interpretation.
- Team scoring: Analysis of vendor responses by expert focus groups according to a predefined high-level criterion. The team scoring is based, besides the responses, on the vendors Presentations workshops, vendor open House, Q&A Sessions, email communications and market experiences.
The diagram bellow describes the four different dimensions representing the evaluation process various axes.
- TAM Applications: A matrix structure based on the application functionality derived from TMForum’s TAM (Target Applications Map) definitions. The functionality is organized in hierarchical order. It is then extended to also contain the specific operators’ functionalities. The most granular levels represent the operator’s current use cases and requested future business functions.
- eTOM Business Process: Most of our customers perceive the eTOM business process map as a desired mode of operation. This dimension assembles the then-current eTOM map into a matrix structure. This structure is used to evaluate the impact of the selected vendor solution on the standard BP map.
- Non-Functional: This dimension contains all so-called non-functional requirements (i.e. operations, security, high availability, business continuity etc.). Industry best practice, is commonly used together with specific ITIL requirements.
- Products and services: This dimension handles product and services families which are relevant to a given current and future implementations. Vendors are usually requested to adhere to such requirements as part of the OOTB solutions.
The abovementioned four dimensions are further split into a more detailed domain view. The dimensions combined with the domains definition are used to compare the various vendors’ responses. Utilizing ATLooks Studio generated analysis together with our experts evaluation, a detailed gap report is created. This report is a synthesis of the vendors’ response and the actual effort as the operator perceives it.
The expert team scoring is an orthogonal evaluation process based on criteria focus groups. Scoring groups are formed according to the operator’s Key Program Objectives. The groups’ two main types are usually the following:
Quality of platform
- Business/Functionality: Adherence to the standards and operator requirements
- Non-Functional Requirements: Ability to implement, migrate to, and operate the system effectively with minimal cost
- Future business: Degree of flexibility, vendor R&D, and add on products which enable the operator to implement current and future services and products
- Out-of-the-Box: The level of functionality, products and services that the operator can use with minimal development and configuration effort
- Platform Risk: An evaluation of the operators’ risk levels when selecting a specific vendor. Risks are viewed as areas that would likely impact program success in terms of meeting overall Program Objectives on time and within budget
Commercial & Vendor
- Commercial terms and compliance: Evaluation of the Terms and Conditions offered by the Vendors in terms of the operator’s Business, Financial, Legal and Procurement expectations. .
- Vendor Viability/ Sustainability: Evaluation of vendors’ Financial Stability, Platform’s Strategic Importance to the vendor, local and strong support availability etc.
- Pricing: Short term pricing and 5 year TCO model as quoted by the vendor.