Enabling greater customer agility with blockchain-based automated inventory management

Delivering an industry leading customer experience means looking at every aspect of the customer journey to see where improvements can be made. This can range from the ‘big ticket’ items like a new customer contact centre, all the way through to process improvements that might only be visible internally. However, these improvements are often the ones that can have a significant impact on the overall customer experience.

As our customers, and those of our telco partners, push ahead with cloud migration and digital transformation, agility and flexibility are critical to success. This means they need connectivity to be agile and flexible and yet, when it comes to the service quoting, ordering, activation, invoicing and settlement processes, this can be stuck in the old static way of doing things. Manual operations also leave a lot of room for human error to further slow things down.

Colt has been at the forefront of innovation with its On Demand services, enabling customers to obtain quotes, place orders and activate and manage services through an online service portal or via APIs. Colt On Demand is available across our entire network in 51 cities across 24 countries in Europe, Asia and North America.

To extend this automation to the invoicing and settlement process, we’ve been working with partner communications providers Vodafone and PCCW Global, and leading blockchain company Clear, to create a shared ledger view of the services that our customers rely on. This allows Colt and its partners to ensure real-time alignment between our respective service inventories and enables timely and accurate settlement using a decentralised, cryptographically enforced, immutable blockchain-based platform. By using these ‘smart contracts’ we can enable truly fast settlements, delivering quicker value to Colt and its partners.

For us and our partners, this means that we’re saving time, delivering more accurate billing and removing the risk of human error in the process.  It reduces what can take several weeks of intense manual labour due to discrepancies and disputes, down to minutes. It also adds an extra layer of trust between telco partners and will help payments get delivered quicker. Ultimately our customers will see the benefits as the improvement in inter-carrier trade will translate in operational improvements on their end-to-end services.

We’ve been leading the way for the sector with the adoption of blockchain technology since 2018 and we’re proud to be an integral part of this collaborative innovation with Vodafone, PCCW Global and Clear. This new platform has the potential to make a massive difference and, as IoT adoption adds more devices to the network, this approach will become critical in how these end points are managed and billed.

We are excited with this success and looking forward to seeing more companies get involved in the creation of a decentralised marketplace!

Mirko Voltolini is VP for Strategy and Innovation. 

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