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A joined-up view of inventory: how blockchain is enabling on-demand connectivity

09 Sep 2021
Image-Nick Gliddon

Nick Gliddon

Director, Vodafone Carrier Services

With an ever more dynamic business environment, our customers need much greater flexibility and agility from their communications providers.

Customers need to be able to deploy connectivity across the world, at speed and then flex capacity up or down depending on their business needs. Which means that communications providers need to work together to meet the challenges arising from this increasing demand.

The legacy paradigm of quotes, orders, invoices and settlement mitigates against the quick delivery of international services, and that’s before you factor in human error. It also makes the delivery of cross-partner automation time consuming and expensive.

Ensuring data integrity

Key to speeding up the way in which the communications industry meets customer needs is creating an aligned view of the various components that underpin the customer’s service.

Today, the multiple business partners involved in providing a service keep their own separate records of their agreement. Resources are spent on all sides to update and reconcile each other’s records.

Any misalignment between service components or even the absence of trust in the network creates a requirement for reconciliation and assurance activities. This delays productivity and efficiency and stands in the way of automation.

With a shared, distributed ledger model, businesses can establish greater data integrity, improving quality and speed for the customer. Furthermore, the immutability and audit capability terminate the need for intermediates and improve the partners’ direct working relationships.

Working with partner communications providers, PCCW Global and Colt Technology Services, and leading blockchain company Clear, we’re leveraging blockchain technology to do just that.

The workflows we are establishing, using Clear’s solution, ensure real-time alignment between the partners’ service inventories and allows timely and accurate settlement.

This will lead to an improved customer experience through instant order processing, improved service provisioning and time to market, full transparency and traceability at any time and faster problem management.

Innovating the industry

Inter-carrier trade is in the core of our abilities, helping us deliver excellent, diversified, global data services to our customers.

We are pioneering this collaborative innovation, as we strongly believe that a blockchain solution like this will play a key role in the Telco industry’s transformation, to establish a fully digitalised quote-to-cash service delivery process, and drive standardisation across the network.

The decentralised approach will help cloudify the connectivity market, making it simple for customers to deploy instant on-demand services, scaling them up or down based on demand, while having service agreements that allow this flexibility and settle them.

The success of this innovation will provide a boost for new business partnerships to support new services needed for technologies such as 5G, Edge Computing and the Internet of Things ecosystems.

Discover more about what Vodafone Carrier Services can do for you.

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