It’s just a matter of plugging it in and off it goes… right?
This is the perception of some in the industry of how easy it should be to introduce additional equipment and functionality onto an existing platform. To some extent we agree – it should be that simple. In a perfect world where all published standards are strictly adhered to by manufacturers and network operators alike. If this were the case, Systems Integration (SI) organizations would not have much of a business!
In reality, operators and manufacturers tend to adopt slightly different flavours from the standard ‘vanilla’ as laid down in the specifications and for this reason it is often a lot more complicated than it would at first seem, to add additional equipment to a mature network that was deployed with a different manufacturer’s product in mind.
So how to help clients design and deliver successful products and services to their customer?
Understanding the Requirement
Getting to grips with the requirements of the client from a technical, operational and business perspective at the outset of the project is the key to successful delivery. A systems integration organization must therefore have excellent hands-on experience within the industry and understand the key drivers for the new product or service launch. From the development of innovative strategies and solutions right through to their successful delivery, all of the SI work and support must be based on deep sector insight and expertise. An SI organization must, by the application of technology, help their clients to design and deliver effective products and services that improve overall business.
Some important attributes of a good SI organization
An SI organization with no exclusive alliances with third-party vendors or service providers, means the work delivered, is unencumbered by any considerations other than what is best for the client’s business. The focus can then be fully on the final delivery.
Innovation comes in a variety of forms – in how customers’ needs are identified and satisfied, in business models, in motivating and aligning staff, in the use of technology, the development of bespoke software and systems, and many more.
An SI should recognise that each client and each problem has its own challenges and issues. Solutions are therefore tailored to clients’ specific circumstances. Relationships with clients should be characterised by respect, flexibility and collaboration. Staff need to be fast with responses to client questions and dedicated to achieving the client’s goals.
This is achieved with a focus on detailed implementation, and delivering innovative solutions that achieve lasting change. Projects must be seen right through to the finishing line – and beyond – delivering significant and measurable value to the client.
More than just Experience
Experience will go a long way to achieving success, but understanding the customer is what really makes the difference. The operator’s key concerns around project risk and business delivery must be clearly understood.
The importance of Knowledge Transfer
It is of no value to a client to have a state-of-the-art platform delivering the latest products and services to their customers without the client understanding the operational requirements and the benefits of the system. Knowledge transfer in the form of training and operational support are integral part of SI activities.
Long term commitment
SI is all about the client and their business. Once the integration is complete it’s not a matter of washing ones hands and moving onto the next job. A good SI organization will maintain the relationship and be available any time for support, or further enhancements, or performance profiling, or if anything else is needed.
John Bartlett – BCi Digital
BCi Digital provides a range of professional services and solutions that support content protection.
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