Blog written by Shahar Steiff, Business Owner – Horizon-3 at PCCW GLOBAL Limited
Today ICT provider processes are formed from multiple legacy systems designed one at a time. Multiple partners in a transaction keep their own separate records using their own proprietary data model. Resources are wasted on both sides to update and reconcile each other’s records and there is no unified data model or process that can tie operations and commerce together. This results in increased manual effort across all parties, data quality challenges, and payment disputes that lead to cash flow delays, and supplier and customer relationship stress.
In this context, blockchain emerged at an increasing pace in the financial sector across banking, insurance, and trade finance, as partners working together can use the technology to create a shared, distributed ledger which has a confidential merged record of company transactions. For the ICT sector, not only will this improve efficiency, quality, and speed of internal processes, it will also strengthen its global ecosystem and help to build the partner’s working relationships and supply chain management.
Colt Technology Services, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, PCCW Global and Vodafone are pioneering a collaborative innovation using a blockchain solution that will play a key role in the ICT transformation, to establish a fully digitalised quote-to-cash service delivery process. The solution will drive standardisation across the network in collaboration with _CBAN and in close relation with GSMA, MEF, ETSI and other SDOs. This includes leveraging ClearX’s blockchain solution to ensure real-time service between the partners’ inventories which allows timely and precise settlement.
What is it about? Matching!
In essence the innovative solution extracts reports of repositories of operational services from each pair of operators, compares those records, automatically identifies matches, and uses AI assisted GUI to allow representatives from the respective operators to resolve mismatches and ensure as many records as possible match.
A feedback-loop (shown as a dotted red line in the diagram above) allows each operator to make the necessary changes in their own internal systems to ensure the resolved mismatches are properly recorded.
We’ve matched. Now what?
Upon completion of matching between the reports billing statements are created that represent services that are ready, and mutually agreed upon, to be invoiced. Each such statement is labelled with a unique ID that is shared between the respective commercial and legal entities using blockchain technology.
The billing statements are used by the respective operators to generate invoices for the respective services. Each invoice includes the corresponding statement ID which allows the respective parties to quickly approve the details and immediately settle said invoices.
A stands for Automation. What about APIs?
The introduction of APIs for communications between the innovative platform and each operator’s existing systems allows closed-loop automation of the end-to-end settlement process, where a future adoption of digital monetary transactions, such as stable-coin or API-driven swift transactions can speed up the flow and enable timely, accurate, undisputed, and frequent settlement.
ICT providers will continue to explore emerging technologies to establish new opportunities for their products and services and to continue to improve their customers’ experience. This decentralised approach will also help to cloudify the ICT market, which will make on-demand services easier for customers.
Who can participate?
All industry stakeholders who trade wholesale data services with one or more of the existing participants are welcome to join this initiative. Contact us to get involved.