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John Myers

Hey all-

Welcome to my blog. The fine folks at the BeyeNETWORK™ have provided me with this forum to offer opinion and insight into the worlds of telcommunications (telecom) and business activity monitoring (BAM). But as with any blog, I am sure that we (yes we... since blogging is a "team sport"...) will explore other tangents that intersect the concepts of telecom and BAM.

In this world of "Crossfire" intellectual engagement (i.e. I yell louder therefore I win the argument), I will try to offer my opinion in a constructive manner. If I truly dislike a concept, I will do my best to offer an alternative as opposed to simply attempting to prove my point by disproving someone else's. I ask that people who post to this blog follow in my lead.

Let the games begin....

About the author >

John Myers, a senior analyst in the business intelligence (BI) practice at  Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). In this role, John delivers comprehensive coverage of the business intelligence and data warehouse industry with a focus on database management, data integration, data visualization, and process management solutions. Prior to joining EMA, John spent over ten years working with business analytics implementations associated with the telecommunications industry.

John may be contacted by email at JMyers@enterprisemanagement.com.

Editor's note: More telecom articles, resources, news and events are available in the BeyeNETWORK's Telecom Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Recently in Key Performance Indicators Category

With the execution of automated and manual processes becoming more and more important, it is essential to be able to develop KPIs effectively to communicate the status of that performance.  Most importantly is the ability to reduce the time to implementation or the amount of time from the “request” for information to the “delivery” of that information.

One area provides management teams and business stakeholders the most value is to visual process status.  Only understanding one particular aspect of the process can leave CordaLogopotential bottlenecks unidentified.   Seeing the status of the entire process as it is laid out is key to finding those bottlenecks for resolution or assuming an acceptable level of risk

At the recent TDWI Conference, I got to sit down with the folks from Corda to discuss their CenterView platform in regards to process performance management.

Currently on Centerview 4.0, improvements are planned for an early 2011 release of Centerview 5.0.  These will include increasing the velocity of what can be considered already quick implementation timeframes with the Centerview product.

Also, Corda talks about the ability to not just show information from the process being monitored, but to provide ‘metadata’ on how that information is being used by internal teams.  This application usage ‘metadata’ can be used for internal human resource improvement or setting goal targets.

Telecom Applications

As telecom organizations move toward nearly automated processes for operational processes like product/service provisioning; understanding and visualizing those processes will become paramount.  Service Level Agreements (SLA) will drive not only customer experiences, but have an impact on partner agreements as products move from the world of features of the network to IP-based applications that operation on the network

Just as important will be to understand the controls associated with who is using that data/information.  Teams that embrace the monitoring and management of the process KPIs to impact their performance should show associated improvements in their team productivity and KPI goals.

Conclusions

Process management status visualizations will be more important as organizations continue their process automation.  Rapid and effective implementation and iterations of those KPIs could mean the difference between leading and following in a particular industry.


Posted August 20, 2010 3:49 PM
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Psst… Business Process Management (BPM) has a “dirty little secret”….

BPM and practitioners of BPM like to craft beautiful and elegant Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) based process solutions with all the “bells and whistles” associated with the “who, what, and when” that those processes should take.  However, they almost never look at how those processes actually perform.  Oh, sure… practitioners of BPM assume that their processes always perform as expected and/or they perform as intended…

But they rarely look back to make sure the process actually delivers the correct results.

AppleResultsA perfect example of this might be the “analyst community” of Wall Street.  While they don’t put their processes in BPEL, Wall Street analysts have their own defined processes that generate results.  However, rarely do they look back to see if their “prediction” results actually match reality.  Recently, I ran across an article by Philip Elmer-DeWitt that does an excellent job of grading the “process results” of Wall Street analysts looking at Apple.  As you can see, not many analysts did a good job of predicting Apple’s recent revenues report.

Unfortunately, there aren’t as many internal “reporters” who give such good graphical representations of the performance of various BPM processes.

In telecommunications, this concept becomes more and more important as telecom service providers rely more on automated processes to provide event processing and product/service order management solutions.  The BPM practitioners are doing a great job of looking at how to design processes, but rarely do they look at the results of their process.  More often than not they leave that someone else….

Do you agree that telecom BPM practitioners rely too heavily on their design and not enough on their results?

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (@JohnLMyers44) me directly.


Posted February 9, 2010 8:39 AM
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Everyone LOVES customer are self-service…. That is for most customers. Telecom service providers see the ability to lower costs “dealing with” customers and IT departments see the advantages of new IT aspects of the “self-service” relationship ( ie cool new toys… that vendors love to sell as well… ).  However, often times customers aren’t as enthused about the self-service developments.

I found a good article from Francoise Tourniaire about rules for Customer Care Self Service.  Included in Tourniaire’s principles are the following:

  1. Make Self-Service Work for the Customer
  2. Develop Seamless Escalation to an Agent
  3. Promote Self-Service Offerings
  4. Measure Self-Service Metrics

I particularly liked the concept that is first and takes up a significant portion of the article… “Make Self-Service Work for the Customer”.  This is the most important aspect of any self-service implementation.  The provider, IT and the vendor can love the implementation, but if customers start churning due to the implementation… Soon a very “technical” and small customer base will result.

I also would like to point out that “customer care” is not the only aspect…. Customer complaint or venting is also important.  You can learn just as much from a customer compliant encounter as you can from a customer care encounter.  Many “self-service” and “carrier-service” customer care implementations leave that aspect off their “requirements” lists.

Twitter is a good example of how customer can “complain” in real-time while being frustrated with customer care.  Forward thinking organizations are “watching” those avenues and intervening with whatever customer care avenue seems appropriate to the customer.  Again, focusing on customer care work for the customer.

NOTE – I have personally experienced this with Qwest and I have heard good reports about Comcast… again via Twitter :)

Where is your telecom organization when relates to self-service customer care? And new brands of customer complaint?

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (JohnLMyers44) me directly.


Posted July 21, 2009 8:00 AM
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I like to point out that not every KPI makes sense for every organization.  This analysis by Randy Myers points that out very clearly for telecom service providers.

Here’s an example:

BalanceSheets

 

In this analysis, Verizon and AT&T are considered some of the worst telecom service providers…. in the areas defined by the Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO), Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) and Days Working Capital (DWC). However, I would dare say that Verizon and AT&T are significantly better than those metrics indicate.

The better matches than the median would be to compare Verizon and AT&T to each other; and organizations like Frontier and CenturyTel to each other.  This is very comparable to the “rules” for KPIs that I presented in a recent webinar (http://www.grapatel.com/A-GRAPA/07-Library/Townhalls/Best_of_Standards/Meeting6.asp).

What do you think of KPI development rules?

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (JohnLMyers44) me directly. 


Posted June 23, 2009 8:00 AM
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Following up on a blog posting from last week, I found a great article on product and service innovation from by Jeffrey Cohn, Jon Katzenbach, and Gus Vlak.  I particularly like the part about how using "established" metrics can stifle innovation.

I understand that new and emerging products / services need to use the same metrics as established products.  However, they need to have different tolerances.  Gross margin and profit are still key metrics and calculated in the same way.  However, requiring a particular minimum gross margin for all products across the product life cycle is just an excuse to focus on past success and build barriers to entry for new products and services.

Telecommunication service providers need to be mindful of these concepts when balancing their product portfolios and fostering innovation.


Posted February 6, 2009 8:00 AM
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