It’s time to rethink your product catalog

It’s Time to Rethink Your Product Catalog

The modern day consumer lives in a world of endless customization and convenience. From cars to coffee flavors, they want personalized products, on demand, and without delay or confusion. They just want it to be easy and they want it to work. Telecoms are not immune.

From bundling service plans like internet and mobile, to offering flexible pricing, consumers have come to expect CSPs to provide them with exactly what they want, and they don’t care about the hidden complexities involved in delivering it.

The urgency then, for modern operators, is to simplify and streamline how we bring customized products to market– for consumers and for CSPs, their vendors and their future partners. It all comes down to the product catalog, where the buyer meets the seller.


Overcoming a Legacy of Inefficiency

Product data is the proverbial thorn in the side for telecoms, and has been for decades. This issue was borne, in a way, as a symptom of success. As the industry rapidly expanded and innovated, a series of compounding factors led to a beast of a problem.

  • Rapid market changes: The fierce competition of the telecom industry drove companies to continually launch new products and services. This put pressure on telecoms to quickly and continuously update products and services. And that meant reinventing the product catalog over and over again.
  • Data silos: As telecoms built new products and offers at a blistering pace, they used what was available at the time to manage them–separate systems with separate databases. This created a splintering effect that has made it all but impossible to reconcile the data that powers every innovation and business decision.
  • Legacy systems: The lack of flexibility and scalability of existing product catalogs (some decades old) could not handle the dynamic nature of modern telecom offerings. This created a spider web effect, furthering the problem of disparate data sources and multiplying the complexities involved to get a new product to market in a timely and efficient manner.


Altogether, this has put telecoms in a position of having plenty to offer, but great difficulties managing these growing and complex product portfolios–leading to errors, inconsistencies, and inefficiencies in everything from product launches, sales, and revenue reporting, even impacting how CSPs can effectively communicate and, ultimately, sell these products.

The result of these complications have also led to serious consequences for consumers including delays in product innovation and mass confusion in pricing and promotions, product availability and difficulty comparing products. The end result is overall dissatisfaction, lost sales and customer churn.


Charting a New Course

Despite this legacy of obstacles, there are two broad areas of opportunity for operators within the industry:

  1. Flexible infrastructures 
    Integrating silos of data and disparate operating systems such as billing, payments and   subscriptions enables a centralized and standardized product catalog that is scalable and cost-efficient. With this, operators can get their products to market quickly, while offering a level of customization that can seamlessly adapt to market conditions, new opportunities and customer preferences.
  2. Enhanced customer experiences
    Customers can quickly and easily review products and services when operators implement a more flexible and responsive product catalog. In doing so, operators can seamlessly bundle a variety of their products and define flexible pricing to match changing customer demands, ultimately mitigating the majority of current customer concerns.  Offering this level of dynamic customization (and ease of use) reduces churn and opens providers to broader audiences.


The Transformative Power of Product Catalog

The future of product catalogs is one of modularity. These are cloud-based solutions with modern REST APIs that easily integrate currently siloed platforms–transferring the right data to the right place, with instant visibility across all systems and operations, and endless opportunities to easily modify any aspect of the catalog. The result is a giant leap forward in capabilities–such as product bundling and pricing, product updates and new offerings, even integrations with outside systems and vendors when expansion opportunities arise.

With a modern, flexible product catalog, instead of going further into technical debt and expending resources on inefficient implementations, telecom operators can focus on sales and product innovation. We can then benchmark success metrics that will lead to real growth:

  • Increased product sales
  • Faster time to market
  • Revenue growth
  • More rapid product adoption
  • Higher customer satisfaction


The potential of the product catalog has become one of the top priorities for telecoms as it is the point where the business most directly intersects with and addresses the consumer's needs.

As a leading partner for modern telecom operators globally, Wavelo’s Product Catalog has been reimagined and rebuilt from the ground up to be one that is easily defined, simple to integrate, and can be updated across systems in minutes rather than months, providing the flexibility that both the business and the consumer demands for the future. With a flexible and scalable Product Catalog, Wavelo continues our mission to build software that powers communications and connectivity around the world.

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.