Case StudyCustom Software Development

A custom-built tool for a mid-sized UK telecoms provider

The challenge

A mid-sized telecoms provider came to us with the challenge of building them an entirely bespoke CPQ tool. Over time their legacy application had become slow and bloated as they attempted to make it perform an increasing number of tasks.

The system would sit at the heart of their sales and commercial operations and be required to integrate seamlessly into their existing order workflow. It would utilise connections to a cloud-based CRM system, an e-signature platform, a proprietary billing system and their provisioning and service delivery operational systems. These system integrations should automate workflows and processes, reducing the burden of repetitive tasks on their workforce.

The customer required access secured with for internal users. They also required secure access for customers and partners via the web, on both desktop and mobile devices.

The solution

JDLT provided consultancy ...which resulted in the development of multiple original features the customer hadn’t previously envisaged

As with all our engagements, JDLT provided consultancy as a core element of the development process which resulted in the development of multiple original features the customer hadn’t previously envisaged.

Sophisticated product and service catalogue

At the core of the custom software is a powerful and flexible product and service catalogue. It supports multiple pricing algorithms and unlimited dynamic inputs and pricing strategies.

The system supports flexible use with customisable pricing based around configurable thresholds.

All of this retains management control over pricing while giving individual users the appropriate flexibility to shape deals in either a fully-automated, entirely custom or hybrid way. Users are also able to suggest pricing strategies outside their allowed limits which will then be automatically referred to more senior staff for approval.

Automated pricing tests

The management interface allows the product team to build and test new product and service pricing structures before they are deployed. Multiple test scenarios which model pricing outcomes can be set up. These can be run manually during product development or be set to run automatically each time a product or its dependencies are altered. This ensures that the product can have all potential combinations fully priced and tested before being safely released.

Automated quote priority/complexity ranking

Automated quote ranking was built-in to require assistance or approval for complex or high-priority deals, whilst allowing account managers to quickly push simpler quotes out to customers. The ranking system allows management to tweak the priority/complexity algorithm to meet their requirements and their customers’ expectations.

Workflow automation - quotes

Multiple integrations with 3rd-party systems allow tickets to be automatically generated with pre-sales or sales support teams with all the relevant detail populated, simplifying workflows and speeding up the quoting process.

Workflow automation - orders

A document generation engine was built to provide account managers with swift access to the documents they need in order to meet their customers' needs. Multiple iterations of legal, quote and order documents are automatically generated and can be sent to customers for e-signature within a couple of clicks. Upon document completion, details are passed on to appropriate teams for follow up or order delivery.

The process

JDLT managed the entire development project including providing strategic advice and capturing and documenting detailed business requirements. Standard services also included full agile project management and a project reporting service to provide visibility to stakeholders of the project’s progression.

There were several advantages to having JDLT manage the roll out of the new system and retirement of the old. The core of the system was released to replace some legacy functions with further functionality being added in an agile manner. This approach significantly reduced the inherent risk involved in a big bang approach. It also allowed development to progress in an iterative way with users of the new system actively inputting into ongoing development.

The value

This customer’s legacy tool wasn’t built to support many of the tasks it was required to perform. But to enhance such a tool via extension or customisation would have been neither cheap nor easy, and the result would have been very difficult to perfect.

The customer evaluated several off-the-shelf software solutions but none of these could offer sufficient flexibility to properly model their existing product and service catalogue or their existing business processes. Neither could they hope to meet the complex future needs of this rapidly expanding business.

It came at a lower cost than many alternatives, and JDLT continue to support the future scaling and the expanding scope of the tool as the customer’s business grows.

The solution JDLT provided was bespoke and thus a perfect fit. It came at a lower cost than many alternatives, and JDLT continue to support the future scaling and the expanding scope of the tool as the customer’s business grows.

The technology

The API-first approach allowed dynamic user interfaces to be layered on top of the core API, supporting the individual and varied user requirements of partners, customers and internal teams. Several partners have also integrated the core pricing engine directly into their own pricing tools via API allowing the streamlining of partner processes.

An off-the-shelf front-end framework was utilised to allow for lower cost of delivery and less development time whilst allowing for quick and easy UI prototyping and customisation where required.

The system was designed as a hybrid cloud application. Some elements of the application were hosted in a private cloud and some with a public cloud provider. The hybrid model brings with it the significant benefits of reduced cost, increased scalability and greater data security.

Over time elements of the system have been migrated to utilise Serverless technology, further streamlining internal process flows and integrating with the wider business microservice architecture.

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