The Business Engineer could be a role that, once and for all, answers the eternal question of where BSS should sit within a telco.
For 20 years or so, the debate has been waxing and waning.
Should BSS sit within Finance?
Well, yes, because it is about charging and invoicing and money.
Should BSS sit within Operations?
Well, yes, because it is where the main data flows, and so that is where you can monitor it effectively.
Should BSS sit within Marketing?
Well, yes, because BSS is critical to designing new offers, products and services (or should be!).
Should BSS be within Customer Care?
Well, yes, because CSRs need to have access to charging data to solve customer queries and the majority of customer care calls are about the bill.
Should BSS sit within IT?
Well, yes, of course – because it is an IT system.
Historically, where BSS sat was dependent on region and industry. If you were a utility, then it always sat within Customer Care (the Complaints Department). If you were a telco in SE Asia, it always used to sit within Finance.
The Business Engineer is an intriguing concept, promoted by ‘no-code’ BSS company, Qvantel.
The idea is that every department should have a Business Engineer within it. Using the no-code approach, every department can design and test a new offer or product, thus radically shortening lead-in times for product launches.
Obviously, this does not mean anyone with a good (or not) idea can grab their laptop, pour a glass of something white and refreshing and design the ‘killer app’ late at night.
The Business Engineer sits within each department but is also closely connected to IT and supported by IT, who will continue to have the last word on safely launching new products and services.
It is not a new concept. Years ago, the most innovative approach to Revenue Assurance was one where each department had a Revenue Assurance Manager, whose responsibilities included making sure that the data’s journey through their department was assured at both ends.
In this ever-quickening world, the Business Engineer seems like an approach that will enable a more agile business environment for telcos. And it is one that sits well within the existing telco culture.