Your complete framework for success in the xSP marketplace.
For ASPs, ISPs, WASPs, and other service providers, the business challenges have never been greaterand neither have the opportunities. In Service Provider Strategy, one of the world's leading xSP consultants offers specific guidance on every key element of success: protecting your current customer base, increasing market share, assuring ongoing high-margin revenue streams, and maximizing operational efficiency. Drawing upon experience with 15 of the world's leading xSPs, Anne Burris offers a complete framework for success that reflects a profound understanding of both xSP operations and marketplaces.
Service Provider Strategy contains four xSP case studies, covering North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. It also provides detailed checklists for xSPs, as well as a complete sample business plan. If you want to survive the xSP shakeout-and position yourself for the massive growth that will follow-you won't find a more valuable resource.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SEVEN OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES.1. Level Setting.
History. Why Work with a Service Provider? Why Use the Internet in Business? Trends. New Services. Challenges. Endnote.2. Basic Operational Challenges.
Partnering and Alliances. Organization. Entering the Market. Service Delivery and Provisioning. Customer Care. Billing. Infrastructure and Availability. Summary.
CASE STUDIES.3. Case Studies: An Introduction.
The North American Market. Case Study—PartnerCommunity, Inc. Endnote.5. Asia Pacific—Acer CyberCenter Services, Inc.
The Asia Pacific Market. Case Study—Acer CyberCenter Services, Inc. Endnote.6. Europe—KPNQwest.
The European Market. Case Study—KPNQwest. Endnote.7. Latin America—Triara.
The Latin American Market. Case Study—Triara. Endnote.
THE READINESS PRIMER.8. Introduction to the Readiness Primer.
The Seven Operational Challenges.9. Partners and Alliances.
Partner Strategy. Identify Gaps. Investigate. Negotiate. Contract. Manage. Exit. Case Studies. Summary. Endnotes. xSP Strategy Checklist for Partners and Alliances.10. Organization.
Services Strategy. Organizational Model. Resource Sizing. Organization and Resourcing Models. Outsourcing. xSP Strategy Checklist for Organizational Structure and Resourcing.11. Entering the Market.
Go-to-Market Strategy. Building a Service Offering Strategy (Product). Determining Customer Needs and Market Drivers. Determining the Service Offering. Determining Focus Market Segmentation and Size. Services and Implementation Lifecycle. Services Strategy. Pricing Strategy/Methodology. Determining Cash Flow. Placement and Promotion: The Communications Mix. Value Proposition. Marketing Communications. Service Execution Components. Summary. Endnotes. xSP Strategy Checklist for Entering the Market.12. Service Delivery and Provisioning.
State of Affairs. What is Service Delivery and Service Provisioning. The Service Delivery Interface with the Logical Organization. Generic Service Delivery. Pitfalls of Service Delivery. Examples and Case Studies. Summary. Endnote. xSP Strategy Checklist for Service Provisioning and Service Delivery.13. Perception Is Reality.
Call Centers. Other Ways to Manage Customer Perception. Customer Relationship Management (CRM). How CRM Can Support New Services. An Example of a Phased CRM Implementation. Summary. Endnotes. xSP Strategy Checklist for Customer Care.14. Billing.
Trends Affecting Billing. Main Billing Challenges. Basic Data Pricing. Rating. Rating System Parameters. Mediation. Invoicing. Electronic Bill Presentation—Turning Paper to Vapor. Revenue Assurance. Billing Requirements. Summary. xSP Strategy Checklist for Billing.15. Infrastructure.
Logical Architecture. Scalability. Dependability. Supportability. Security. Manageability. Ongoing Care and Feeding. Case Study—Exodus Communications. Summary. xSP Strategy Checklist for Infrastructure.16. Afterword.
APPENDICES.Appendix A: Definitions.
Sample Business Plan for Best Hosting Company.Appendix C: Sample Service Level Agreement.
Service Level Agreement. Definitions. General Terms.Appendix D: Service Descriptions.
Collocation Services. Limitations. Service Level Agreements.Appendix E: Pricing.
Pricing Level 1: Most Detailed. Pricing Level 2: Intermediate Level. Pricing Level 3: Suitable for Customer Collateral.Appendix F: Sample Cash Flow.
Examples of Assumptions.Appendix G: Sample Customer Questionnaire.
Understanding the Current Environment and Customer Requirements. Service Provider Service Feedback. Service Level Requirements. Pricing.Appendix H: Helpful Associations, Organizations, and Publications.
Associations. Periodicals and URLs. Industry Analysts/Consultants.Appendix I: CRM Process Inputs and Outputs.
Billing System. Order Management. Network Trouble Ticket System. Computer Technology Integration (CTI). Document Management. Geographical Information System (GIS). Data Warehouse. Credit Checking Agency. Foreign Exchange System. Example of Functional Specification with Implementation Timing.Bibliography.
What is an xSP? Why would an xSP need a strategy primer?
Service provider nomenclature seems to change almost hourly: ASP, CSP, MSP, ISP, and so forth. What is fashionable one day is passe the next. A service provider-application, content, management, Internet, and so on-is sometimes forced to re-engineer its image to stay aligned with market trends as a way to assure ongoing revenue streams. Enter the "xSP." An xSP is any service provider, coming from any industry, no matter the specialty that offers goods or services over the Internet for a fee.
This book is written primarily for individuals considering a start in the service provider industry, service providers already in the business, individuals or corporations selling to or working with the service provider segment, and any others interested in a different perspective on what it takes to be successful in this business. Those new to the service provider industry will gain valuable information about the market, key players, and helpful tools to get started. This book is a good review for service providers and will give ideas on how to streamline operations. For those interacting with xSPs, this book gives more detail about the business, its needs, and a perspective about the people in the business. To voyeurs, or those just interested in getting more information about this segment, the book will give a good basic overview of market trends, and generally what it takes to be an xSP.
The book is divided in three parts. Part 1 gives an overview of the market, its operational challenges, and how service providers position themselves. Part 2 is about specific, unique, examples of companies coming into the market. Unique, because these case studies discuss how contributing companies are entering the market, focusing on the challenges each faced, and solved. Part 3 is a more in-depth discussion of the industry's seven operational challenges: organization/operations, partnering/alliances, sales/marketing, service provisioning, customer care, billing, and infrastructure. In-depth is a relative term. Each operational challenge is a complex subject and could be the subject of an entire book. This book, which gives the reader a high-level understanding of the topic, can be used as the starting point for more research. For quick guidance, a checklist is part of every chapter. Appendices round out the book, providing more specific tools to help service providers along the road to success.
No one can be an expert at everything, and the writer is no exception. She would like to thank those reviewers and contributors who helped make this book possible, and those close to her heart, for their patience while it was being written.
The only limitations are those of imagination. That's the good news and the bad news. Hopefully, readers will gain new insight into how to work more efficiently and successfully, while broadening their vistas to creatively face challenges.