The shopping habits of today’s consumers are very different to those of ten or even five years ago. Access to the Internet, first via desktop computers and more recently via smartphones and tablets, has revolutionized the way we shop.
Almost anything can be discovered, researched and purchased online and delivered either digitally or physically. But the number of online retailers, the choice available and the complexity this causes can make the task daunting. This landscape also raises issues around trust regarding financial transactions and card payments.
Being able to consolidate the purchase of multiple disparate services through one service provider simplifies things for the customer. This approach also offers communications service providers (CSPs) the potential to offer a broader range of services to enhance their traditional lines of business.
A group of TM Forum members has come together in a Catalyst project to address the challenges to making this a reality.
There are two main roles in each Catalyst: Champions (usually an organization seeking a solution to a problem) and participants (organizations contributing to solving the problem). The champion here is Liberty Global. Participants include: Netcracker; ZIRA; Infosys; ESRI; IBM; Sigma; and TMNS. Working together, these players create an agile, accelerated environment to come up with a solution that everyone can benefit from.
Curing the complexity
The Omnishop Phase 2 Catalyst aims to address the CSPs’ challenges in delivering this consolidated experience to customers with their existing complex architecture and with minimal disruption to the legacy back-end. Key objectives are reducing time-to-market for rolling out new capabilities and offers across multiple channels, and ensuring the customer has a seamless omnichannel experience.
The team will propose an approach for the bundling and ordering of digital services like smart home along with traditional broadband services in a dynamic partner ecosystem. This will include a digital architecture for aligning the different channels with the back-end systems like product catalog, order management and customer management. Decoupling creates a plug-and-play digital sales architecture framework.
The customer will see consolidated services through one service provider so they can buy mobile, Internet and TV services as well as new digital offerings like apps, online TV and Internet of Things (IoT) services. Looking further to areas such as smart cities, citizens could order utility and transport services, for example, through the one service provider.
Consumers will get a one-click environment similar to Amazon where they can buy a bundle or set of services from different providers through the one trusted channel. Operators will have the ability to plug in new services so that they are no longer limited to the traditional communications offerings and they can become a full digital service provider.
The Omnishop Phase 2 Catalyst will be demonstrated at TM Forum Live! 2016 in Nice, France, in May.
Watch this video interview for more information on the Catalyst: