October 4, 2016 will prove to be a very significant day for the communications market. Salesforce announced their ecosystem map (or reference architecture) for the Communications market. The map includes two of our key partners in the cloud space – Salesforce and Aria Systems. Let me tell you why this is such a breakthrough day.
Communications companies, many of which provide cloud services, have at the core of their customer platforms a billing architecture that is decades old. For years these companies have complained that these billing platforms were always the “long pole in the tent” when rolling out new and improved services and offers. These delays in market response make personalization expensive, improvements in customer services difficult and competitive offers can go months without effective response.
The cause of these delays is clear – the architectural focus of these legacy systems was accuracy and cost effectiveness. They were flexible enough for their day, but the industry has come light years forward in the last two decades – and importantly, so have customer expectations. The Communications industry, at the heart of the digital revolution, dramatically lags in customer satisfaction and customer focus compared to newer players such as the OTT players.
Certainly there have been valiant, and partially successful, attempts to graft onto this architecture CRM, eCommerce and marketing platforms. All of the promised agility of these platforms have been undermined by the old. For all of the change, things still move at the speed of our old billing platforms.
Changing that has proven to be just too hard.
The significance of Salesforce’s reference architecture
This is, in every respect, an architecture designed around your customer, one that starts with meeting their needs through sales and services, incorporates analytics and marketing systems so you can understand and personalize the customer experience, and streamlines billing without sacrificing agility or scalability. Importantly, without sacrificing accuracy! And, cloud billing does all of this without sacrificing efficiency.
It is time for the Communications market to embrace the world they helped create – Salesforce and Aria Systems.