New Service Roll-Out Series: The Fundamentals of Prepaid Services Enablement
Launching a prepaid service requires some fundamental B/OSS processes. The fact that it is prepaid can help reduce the complexity involved, but that is not to say that you do not need to consider all elements carefully.
Ultimately, the best solution is one that can be put into place with little to no support and maintenance. When the solution is launched, if it only requires changes to the product catalogue, then you are winning. You should only have to add new service offerings or change your current ones.
So how can you accomplish this? Here are some considerations:
- Self Service: Subscribers must be able to add new services themselves. Any support calls to a service provider are costly. Typically, the subscriber will be able to access new service options through a website or phone app. Business processes should include:
- Registration: the subscriber will register their details. Registration may require behind-the-scenes validation and a verification email or text message. Registration generally requires subscriber details which can be used at a later stage for various types of reports, including tracking purchasing trends on a per-subscriber or service-type basis.
- Subscription: the subscriber should be able to select and subscribe to a service. The service must be delivered to the subscriber by actions taken by the subscriber only. The service options available will give the subscriber the ability to select the right service and view the pricing plans available.
- Service Management: once the service is active, the subscriber should be able to view the remaining volume on his subscription; this may be measured in time or bytes, for example.
- Subscription Extension: the subscriber should have the option to easily extend their current plan in order to ensure continuous service.
- Subscription Scheduling: the subscriber may not want the service right away. For example, they may want to purchase a package that either gives them Internet access during the weekend only, or maybe they want to enhance or turbo-boost their plan during a live event. The ability to set the time that the service kicks in can really enhance the experience of the subscriber.
- Account Management: having the ability to see the account and service history will remove the need for interaction with the service provider.
- Automation: the goal of the subscription process should be to simplify it to the extent that anyone can do it. The more the process is automated, then the simpler it is for subscribers to subscribe.
- Payment: payment should be easy and familiar while ensuring that any payment options are payment card industry (PCI) compliant. Whether directly to a merchant bank or to a wallet or voucher solution, once the subscriber has chosen the service offering then payment can be made to enable the service. There can be other on-demand options here, for example, the service provider may add the charge for any on-demand service to a post-paid bill. In this case, a credit check may be included in the business process to ensure the subscriber is considered credit-worthy.
- Walled Garden: specifically when considering Internet access, regardless of the technology— cable, fiber, DSL, Wi-Fi and so on — all attempts to access the Internet should re-direct to the same portal providing the self-service menu. Depending on the technology, there are different options here, for example, DNS-lying can be used for redirection in a cable network.
- Reports: one significant tool for building a business is the access to information. Being able to understand the habits of subscribers will help to focus and pivot based on the take-up of the various services on offer.
Integration to current B/OSS: a prepaid service can exist independently of any other B/OSS solutions. On the other hand, reusing components of your current solutions can remove the need for retraining. For example, reusing a product catalogue for both post and prepaid subscriptions may make it easier to manage a service inventory. Even if a prepaid solution is maintained independently, there should still be the ability to bridge the prepaid and postpaid solutions. At a minimum, the ability to view service take-up and trends of both postpaid and prepaid services is key to making informed decisions.
For more insight and best practices on launching prepaid services within your existing B/OSS, contact us.