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Service provider profits are slipping through the cracks

Order fallout and inaccuracies can quickly erode operators’ business models

TORONTO —May 8, 2013 Sigma Systems, a provider of catalog-driven service fulfilment products, believes that many service providers are losing profits due to unreliable and inaccurate fulfilment of communication services. “Many of the service providers that come to us for fulfilment solutions say that they live with order fallout rate of five to ten per cent or more,” said Rick Mallon, vice president of marketing and product management, Sigma Systems. “But they don’t have to settle for this.”

According to McKinsey & Company, up to 33% of FTTH Customer Orders fail after order entry and only 20% of FTTH installations are ‘incident free’1. In their haste to roll out new products to attract and retain new customers, many service providers have implemented home-grown or add-on solutions to their legacy inventory-centric fulfilment solutions. However, as networks converge, traditional walled gardens start to crumble, and IP services are bundled with legacy services, the complexity of these services has increased beyond the capabilities of those bolt-on solutions.

If service providers want to tap into value-added services and some of the differentiation they can bring, they need more convergent solutions in their OSS. “Automation is the key to this,” says Mallon. “Service providers can’t afford to have quality issues or order-fall-out and they need to reduce manual steps. Fallout rates should be less than one per cent and every manual step that can be eliminated should be eliminated in order to achieve dramatic cost reductions. We’ve proven this again recently at one of the largest operators in Brazil. Implementing Sigma’s order and provisioning automation product paid itself off in less than 4 months when in production via dramatic reductions in truck rolls and order fallout.”

When it comes to small and medium business subscribers, the cost of order fallout is even greater to the service provider than with residential services. For example, a competitive business voice portfolio is easily five times as complex as residential voice. Features such as authorization codes, auto attendant, hunt groups, click-to-call, simultaneous ring and unified messaging make business voice very complex to automate. Further, the greater amount of information and variables on every order means that the chances of errors grow exponentially.

“If a service provider uses its legacy order fulfilment process – even one that works well for residential voice – mass errors are likely to occur,” said Mallon. “The volume of business customer support calls and order fallout can overwhelm the process, resulting in poor performance, negative customer perceptions, and a limited ability to compete with rival providers.”

SMB customers are a particularly attractive market for service provider cloud brokerage offerings. These applications enable easy access to online backup, customer relationship management (CRM), office productivity and unified communication software, especially for mobile and flexible workforces. Another lucrative market for service providers is machine to machine communications (M2M) for SMBs, such as in-building security, transport and logistics, and goods tracking.

“As demands for these services increase, the cost of errors can quickly erode service provider profits,” said Mallon. “They need to act now to ensure they have a catalog-driven end-to-end order automation and provisioning solution in place that can accelerate order to cash while maintaining healthy margins.”

Sigma Systems’ zero touch order automation and provisioning helps operators enable and manage cloud applications. Its Cloud ServiceBroker is an integrated cloud and network service marketplace and order fulfilment solution that removes operational silos and reduces costs by managing all telecommunications business services, from VoIP to cloud-based applications.

About Sigma Systems
Sigma Systems is the authority in ordering and provisioning converged broadband services. Sigma’s extensible Service Management Platform delivers precise automation for rapid and error-free introduction of new services. Sigma’s SMP provisions all access networks including xDSL, FTTx, 2G, 3G, 4G-LTE and DOCSIS. Sigma’s SMP activates all of the key valued added services including VoIP, IPTV and cloud-based SaaS, and M2M applications. Sigma’s OSS can integrate with your existing legacy systems, enabling you to extend the return on your past investments. With Sigma, you have access to an experienced Customer Enablement team that is committed to superior delivery assurance and empowers you to realize the full benefit of the platform, continuously improve your service delivery, and achieve operational success. For more information about Sigma Systems, visit  and follow the company on Twitter at