The market is filled with different workforce management (WFM) solutions. Yet, while such systems are perfectly suited for SMEs and large enterprises, one of the biggest challenges facing the telecommunications industry is the need to integrate a substantial number of external WFMs into one business appointment management layer. It is common that all appointment requests come through a BSS solution, which becomes a central hub to orchestrate different types of services. The question is, how to make it a single, smoothly working engine.
Why do telecoms need an API-based workforce app?
It’s best if we start from what businesses really need in terms of appointment scheduling. Put simply, organizations need to know when a job can be done, and who is able to take it and complete it successfully in the desired time.
The optimal solution in the complex IT world is a single API which can schedule all types of tasks, taking into account all available resources (including external partners).
A modern scheduling module needs to expose a well-described API. There must be a single end-point to furnish a list of available appointments for originating systems such as BSS/CRM or a self-care portal. Regardless of the organization or employee that delivers the service, it should be easy to use from the perspective of requesting systems. The very best solutions adhere to the TMF646 Open API standard.
A centralized calendar to manage all your partners
Comarch FSM can act as a routing service, or even a WFM-specific enterprise serial bus. The system is able to review the options for task and employee assignment, and recommend the best. By using this tool, it is also possible to manage the availability of field technicians, and to schedule work, hours, holidays and more.
How we can onboard subcontractors?
When it comes to external resources in single scheduling API, there are at least two possible scenarios:
- First, when a subcontractor can be on-boarded easily in the same tool. In this case, the communications service provider (CSP) can be then sure that roster management will be unified across their own and external resources. Unfortunately, that's rather a rare case. Most contractors doesn't want to manage their teams via the ordering party’s toolset.
- The second approach uses Comarch FSM as an ESB routing service. External systems can be called out via APIs to retrieve availability for a given enquiry. The results (typically using a mix of in-house technicians and external partners) are exposed to originating systems via the same common scheduling API (TMF646).
Is it worthwhile and profitable to use the scheduling API in FSM?
The most important business value we gain is the ability to create and use a simplified IT stack, which consists, for example, of a scheduling API for all relevant enterprise applications (such as CRM, OSS, and self-care portals).
It is also a great opportunity to improve customer experience (CX). If you are struggling with thoughts on how to increase customer engagement or satisfaction, be sure to use a system which gives instant response to your customer’s requests, a system that can fetch list of available time slots in real-time, and which is a collection of available techs for the job from all potential fulfillment parties (including own employees and those from contractors).