1,000

CLIENT

QUESTIONS

Every year, we answer thousands of client questions impacting every aspect of our clients' operations. 

Here are a few sample lists of these questions, under the different areas of interest:

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT RELATED QUESTIONS

 

From BTS Antennas Project:

 

  • What is Competitor X's future outlook with regard to its product portfolio in the BTS antenna domain?

  • What are the primary product strategies employed within Competitor X’s product portfolio?

  • Which are the most important antenna solutions in Competitor X’s product roadmap for the next 5 years regarding: i. Passive antennas, ii.               Active antennas (semi- and fully- active)

  • How is Competitor X positioning itself with products and services for 5G?

  • What are Competitor X's ongoing plans to enter or develop new wireless business lines?

  • When does competitor X plan its expansions/developments to be introduced into the market? What are they key geographic areas for new market entry?

  • What is Competitor X’s strategy against competitors such as Competitor Y, Competitor Z regarding active antennas?

  • For Competitor X, are passive base station antennas a profit center or are they a strategic product in conjunction with radio equipment (making it a turnkey solution)?

  • What is CSP X's view of Competitor X's product roadmap?

  • What are CSP X's expectations on the quality of antenna products from Competitor A, B, C, and D?

  • How would CSP X rate vendors such as Competitor A, Competitor B, Competitor C, Competitor D and Competitor E on the basis of quality?

  • What are CSP X's quality complaints that have come up in the last two years, with regard to products that may have been supplied by Competitor A, Competitor B, Competitor C, Competitor D and Competitor E?

 

From Carrier Content Strategies Project:

 

  • What are Competitor X's digital services offering when it comes to its Service Delivery Platform (SDP) with analytics, its content management system (CMS), advertising management, its content recommendation engine, and its content commerce solution?

  • How does Competitor X deploy APIs to connect to both upstream and downstream elements of the Pay TV and OTT TV value chain, including BSS / OSS Systems for billing, Value Added Service (VAS) providers, content providers, Set Top Box (STB) software stack, and managed and unmanaged devices.

  • How does CSP X deploy Competitor Y's teams in the following areas: Design / Development of digital content, Testing, IT, Incidence Management, Fulfillment Management, Service Request Management, Orchestration, Subscriber management, Device management, Signal acquisition, On-demand Ingest, Encoding, Advertising assembly, Manifest Assembly, Advertising switching, dynamic data searching


From Carrier E-Commerce Platforms Project:

 

  • Does E-Commerce Platform X provide a sufficiently modular architecture and is it open to allow access to the underlying capabilities of the platform via web services?

  • Is E-Commerce Platform X Java based and does this allow CSP Y's internal development teams to customize the platform to meet their own specific needs and to access the underlying provisioning and activation systems at CSP Y external to the E-Commerce Platform X?

  • Does E-Commerce Platform X provide exposure to the underlying systems functions as consumable services in their own right?

  • Does the core capability of E-Commerce Platform X involve a product catalog, a content management system, a shopping basket, etc.? Are these underlying soft functions exposable in reusable web services?

  • For which customer type (e.g. consumer, corporate) and line of business (e.g. postpaid, pre-paid, TV etc.) was E-Commerce Platform X initially deployed?

  • For which channels was E-Commerce Platform X planned to be implemented (i.e. call center, retail stores, web, smart devices app, etc.)

  • Was E-Commerce Platform X's ordering capability part of the scope? If so what were the planned functionalities to be included?

  • Was E-Commerce Platform X's cataloguing capability part of the scope? If so what were the planned functionalities to be included?

  • What was the target architecture of E-Commerce Platform X? Who masters the products for shopping process? Who for fulfillment?

  • How are existing subscribers managed – in / out of the E-Commerce Platform X?

  • To which underlining BSS systems (product and vendor name) E-Commerce Platform X integrates with (i.e. CRM, Ordering, Billing, catalogue etc.)? Is the integration mechanism design time or run time?

  • Which partners does CSP X work with in designing the user interface for E-Commerce Platform X? Internally, E-Commerce Platform X experts or an external UI/UX expert agency?

  • What are the rates of Order fallouts on E-Commerce Platform X? What is the reason for the order fallouts? How are order fallouts handled? Are most of the order fallouts for digital services or physical goods? Why?

  • Does E-Commerce Platform X integrate with WCMS in its projects? Their own, or third party? What was the integration method?

  • How does E-Commerce Platform X handle personalization, recommendation and targeting? Who provided the recommendations and targeting engine for E-Commerce Platform X?

  • Contact Centre Solutions           What are Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X's main R&D efforts in areas such as UX design, better visualization engine, real-time ingestion capability, social media integration?

  • What are the key strengths and weaknesses of Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X in areas such as: next-best-action capabilities to enterprises, across multiple channels, and real-time capabilities?

  • What is Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X's IVRO functionality?

  • Does Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X offer the integration of acquisition products?

  • What are Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X’s most important capabilities; missing capabilities; capabilities that could be improved?

  • Does Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X have application connectivity issues?

  • What are the challenges that arise in Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X’s portfolio (including challenges due to issues regarding connectivity to applications)?

  • How does Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X deal with changes in the applications, when there are new applications or new versions?

  • What are Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X best practises for their professional services portfolio?

  • What was your perception of the quality of the Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X professional services (PSO) team's management of relationship with customers and partners?

  • How many end users (by solution) does Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X currently have?

  • In your experience, how much data can Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X's platforms ingest?

  • How long does it take to ingest data (xxx days in real time per xxx amount of data)?

  • Are there real-time components to Customer Journey Mapping Vendor X's platform?

  • How does Chat Solution Vendor X define a chat recording channel?  (Is it by Seat? By user? By number of chats? Other?)

  • What type of sophistication and flexibility do current chat solutions from Chat Solution Vendor X offer in the contact center space regarding recording interactions?

  • What are the functionalities of the following features for Chat Solution Vendor X: recording rules based on business data?, rules to record or not record specific interactions or users (for example union members)? flexible interaction retention periods? encryption of chat content?

  • Does Chat Solution Vendor X's chat solutions offer the ability to easily search interactions that are related to a specific regulatory investigation, and to save these interactions pending resolution?

  • Are Chat Solution Vendor X's chat solutions able to analyze chat/text interactions for QM (Quality Management) purposes. For example, interactions over a certain duration, interactions containing specific topics or keywords, interactions with long pauses between responses etc.

  • Do Chat Solution Vendor X's current QM (Quality Management) solutions enable evaluation of chat interactions together with screen recording for a better understanding of agent screen behavior?  For example: for chat interactions with long response times can an evaluator view an agent's screen?

  • Is Product A of Workforce Optimization Software Vendor X's SAAS offering the default option available to its customers?

  • What does Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's deployment flow look like?

  • What are Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's standard deployment timelines?

  • What are Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's common deployment challenges?

  • What are Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's In-house SMS Capability?

  • What are Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's Text analytics capability: Specifically Categorization, Root Cause, and Sentiment

  • How does Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's self-service environment handle language, verticals, and specific customer needs for text analytics? Is this done through a third party?

  • Does Customer Experience Platform Vendor X have Multi-language support? If Yes, which capabilities do they have within it?

  • What are Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's Multi-touchpoint consolidation capabilities?

  • Does Customer Experience Platform Vendor X have third-party survey feed capabilities?

  • Does Customer Experience Platform Vendor X have Structured data analytics capabilities?

  • What are Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's Case Management and Service Recovery capabilities?

  • Is Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's Mobile Dashboarding offered for managers, and how many customers currently use this feature?

  • What are Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's self-service dashboard customization capability – Does this allow customers to create custom dashboards, and access views and reports?

  • What is Customer Experience Platform Vendor X's Application Protocol Interface (API) for clients?

  • Does Customer Experience Platform Vendor X have Ad-hoc surveys capability – If yes, do they provide raw results, or in a dashboard?

  • Does Customer Experience Platform Vendor X provide Response access: Is this accessible via database, the dashboard, or both?

  • Does Customer Experience Platform Vendor X offer Call recording: Is their solution able to provide a link to a recorded call from initial interaction between customer and agent?

  • Does Customer Experience Platform Vendor X offer anything other than SaaS deployment?

  • Managed Security Solutions    What features and capabilities does CSP X currently offer to its enterprise / Mid-size customers in the following areas:

    • i. 24/7 Security operation center (SOC): monitoring, alerting, forensics, remediation

    • ii. Cyber security analytics solutions (Advanced Persistent Threats APT)

    • iii. Unified Threat Management (UTM) and Perimeter security

    • iv. Mobile security solutions (Enterprise Mobility Management, Mobile threat protraction)

    • v. Endpoint detection and remediation

    • vi. Security for Cloud Services such as Office 365

    • vii. Automation tools for example: automation of SIEM (Security information and event management) workflow

    • viii. Self-service portal

 

From Internet of Things Project:

 

  • What are the key M2M offerings of Home IoT Platform Vendor X product portfolio?

  • What products does IOT Asset Management Vendor X have in areas such as Software Monetization, Entitlement and Metering domain for cloud services specifically for IOT use cases?

  • What is the actual working product in context of an enterprise production environment for IOT Asset Management Vendor X and how does this product differ – if at all – from its paper description?

  • Is IOT Asset Management Vendor X's subscription licensing product based directly on their legacy product or is it a new/acquired platform altogether?

  • How does IOT Asset Management Vendor X support a customer with combined legacy software and cloud software services?

 

From Network Function Virtualization Project:

 

  • With reference to implementing NFV, would your organization prefer a best of breed or best of suite approach? (i.e. – One vendor for the entire stack – HW, CMS, SDN and Orchestration, or CMS from one vendor, SDN from Another and NFV-O from another)

  • When using best of breed approach, does your organization prefer:

  • Performing the Systems Integrator role in-house by your staff

  • Using a fully integrated network vendor (such as Ericsson, NSN, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, etc.) as a Systems Integrator

  • Using a completely independent Systems Integrator (such as Accenture, Deloitte, ATOS, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Amsocs, etc.)

  • Please describe the first use cases to be implemented, for example: core networks, enterprise solutions, etc.

  • Please describe the deployment strategy preferred by your organization with regard to NFV. For example: starting from a single use case and then expanding, or first building an infrastructure platform and then, use cases on top of it, or a hybrid approach (developing isolated use cases on top of infrastructure that is partly used in a Software-Defined environment, and partly used in a traditional environment).

  • Please describe the Subscriber Data Management systems and processes established at CSP X.

  • Please describe how other key systems work alongside your SDM system, such as:

  • Home Subscriber Server (HSS), Home Location Register (HLR), User Data Repository (UDR), AAA, ENUM

  • Policy management systems (PCRF)

  • Personalized pricing systems and processes

  • 2G/3G/4G/4G-LTE/IMS

  • Please describe the kind of data housed within your UDR. For example: application data, subscriber data, configuration data, etc.

  • Does your SDM system run on a single database component?

  • Please describe the type of database technology that you would/are considering for your SDM system (for example: Hadoop, MySQl, Cassandra, Other, etc.).

  • Please describe your approach to selecting suitable vendors for your SDM platform.

  • Which SDM vendor do you currently use?

  • Who are the user groups that interact with the SDM platform?

  • In your opinion, what were the key attributes that your current SDM vendor had, that helped them win your business?

  • What are the key technology-based features that you look for when it comes to evaluating SDM systems?

  • What are the main applications that your SDM system integrates with? Which vendors do you work with for these applications?

 

From OSS / BSS Systems Project:          

 

  • What is is the latest Vendor X BSS release? Rx?

  • What is the name and timeline for the next release?

  • Please describe the top 10 Vendor X product strengths

  • Please describe the top 10 Vendor X product weaknesses

  • What is the level of support that Vendor X provides for its OSS/BSS products in the B2B Line of Business?

  • Does Vendor X's OSS/BSS product have a single unified product catalog? Is it central and unique?

  • Does the product catalog serve only the billing module or other BSS/OSS modules?

  • Can the product catalog serve as an Enterprise product catalog, unifying external catalog data?

  • How is new rating logic being configured in the product catalog (hard coded or UI based?)

  • Does Vendor X's product catalog support multi-user collaboration?

  • Does Vendor X's OSS/BSS product support Private Cloud? If yes please describe the supported technology/features

  • Does Vendor X's OSS/BSS product support Public Cloud? If yes, please describe which public cloud platforms are supported and related features

  • Does Vendor X's OSS/BSS product support multi-tenancy? Can Vendor X offer its OSS/BSS product in a SaaS model?

  • Does Vendor X have any compliancy issues to NFV for both Network Elements and integration with BSS/OSS?

  • Are there any roadmap considerations for 5G by Vendor X?

  • Is Vendor X using central unified rater for billing and charging?

  • Is Vendor X using a single customer and product model?

  • Is Vendor X using single CM repository?

  • Is Vendor X using a single management point?

  • What In-memory database technology is used by Vendor X?

  • What is the JEE technology used by Vendor X?

  • What is Vendor X's preferred hardware?

  • What is Vendor X's GR and load balancing architectures?

  • What is Vendor X's HA model, and measured availability metrics?

  • What are Vendor X's architectural innovations? New bus? New catalog-driven?

  • For Vendor X's Online Charging Platform, how is it sized – typical HW to support X million subscribers RT charging deployment?

  • What is Vendor X's Latency – average latency, 99.99 and 99.999 percentile for a typical data charging transaction?

  • Does Vendor X have a specific solution/add-on to support IoT. What are the business models considered? B2B? B2B2C?

  • Does Vendor X have a specific solution add-on to support content/digital businesses?

  • Is Vendor X's solution tailored for cable and satellite providers?

  • What is Vendor X's support for multi-play services

  • What is the measured charging function: transactions/second/cpu core?

  • What is the measured charging transactions latency?

  • What is the largest benchmark or largest customer base that Vendor X's OSS/BSS solution was tested on and what were the results?

  • What is the measured Billing module performance (invoices/sec/core for xM subs) of Vendor X's solution?

  • What is the 3rd party Hardware and Software dollar costs for a typical Product implementation for X million subs by Vendor X?

  • Are there any plans to increase performance and reduce hardware footprint for Vendor X's OSS/BSS product?

  • Are there plans to reduce storage cost by using alternative databases?

  • What features are supported by Vendor X at BSS level?

  • What type of Extracts can be obtained in Vendor X's BSS utility?

  • Can Vendor X's BSS product support Usage Queries?

  • Can Vendor X's BSS product support Pre-activation and mass-pre-activation?

  • Can Vendor X's BSS product support Customer notifications?

  • What Analytics capability does Vendor X's BSS solution offer?

  • Does Vendor X have a single centralized Order Activation & Management system?

  • What are the main features provided by Vendor X's OA&M?

  • Does Vendor X provide OA&M customization support?

  • What are the main standard interfaces and OMs?

  • Does Vendor X have support Standard Gy for data charging?

  • Does Vendor X have support for standard Sy?

  • Does Vendor X have support for legacy access for SS7 charging (voice/text)?

  • Does Vendor X support recharge and voucher functions? Prepaid life cycle? Mass activation?

  • What does Vendor X's CRM solution contain?

  • What CSP references does Vendor X use for its CRM solution?

  • Which modules does Vendor X's CRM solution have?

  • Does Vendor X have references for integrating its latest BSS version with its CRM product?

  • Which technology is used to develop the CSR agent desktop by Vendor X?

  • Does Vendor X's CRM product have any OOB reports to measure the call center effectiveness?

  • What is Vendor X's largest call center implementation in terms of concurrent CSRs and total number of CSRs?

  • Does Vendor X's CRM have any social care capabilities?

  • What is Vendor X's ordering capabilities?

  • What is Vendor X's Ordering Scalability – What is the largest installation and how many orders it supports?

  • Does Vendor X's ordering product support multichannel – how easy is it to integrate a new channel (e.g. self-service, store)?

  • Does Vendor X have proven references for wire line, wireless, cable and converged (e.g. triple play – wireless, internet and TV)?

  • For Vendor X's ordering product, how does the Rules Engine function?

  • Are eligibility and compatibility rules supported? If so, how? (e.g., if you are residential customer don’t offer SMB package)

  • How is Order Orchestration and decomposition handled by Vendor X?

  • Does Vendor X have Configure Price Quote (CPQ)? If so, any references?

  • Does Vendor X have a video solution that supports the following:

    • Transactional VoD – customer is purchasing single VoD product such as Movie, Series, or Series episode

    • PPV (Pay Per View) – customer is purchasing the right to view live event broadcast, such as sports match or live concert

    • TV daily pass, weekly and monthly passes

  • Does Vendor X's solution support bundling of Entertainment services (tVoD, PPV, TvPass) with communication services (Mobile, Fixed Line, Broadband and TV) in any combination, with discounts and promotions?

  • What is the method of Vendor X’s off the shelf/canned demos – real devices, offline, some other combination?

  • If real devices, is Vendor X showing real consumption from the device like browsing/live calls etc. or simulating it?

  • Is Vendor X using live real system for demos and POCs?

  • What is Vendor X's ability to perform ad-hoc and surprise scenarios? How are they handling it?

  • How is Vendor X doing POC real integration to network elements which are not Vendor X?

  • Who from Vendor X present demos/POCs? Is it sales, technical sales or marketing?

  • Is invoicing/bill run part of the demos including invoice generation?

  • Is Vendor X presenting its CRM/ordering/self-service as part of charging opportunities?

  • If so, how integrated are the other applications into their charging solution? Do they have master catalog integrated to all?

 

From Vendor Cloud Solutions Project:

 

  • Does Vendor X have one code base for all customers? For example, is it a real- multi-tenant solution? Is the code base different for CSPs compared to customers in other verticals?

  • Is Vendor X’s BSS cloud offering instance per customer working on a private or a public cloud infrastructure? Or both?

  • Is Vendor X’s BSS cloud offering hosted and managed by Vendor X? Or does Vendor X install native cloud installations using a customer’s data centres?

  • Does Vendor X use or plan to use OpenStack as an underlining infrastructure platform? If planned – when does Vendor X expect the General Availability?

  • Does Vendor X have any Tier 0-1 CSPs on an OpenStack platform?

  • Does Vendor X use or plan to use Oracle DB over VMware?

  • What are Vendor X’s views on any regulatory constraints faced in any given country or globally when providing the BSS solution from the cloud (namely from Public or Off Site cloud)?

  • How does Vendor X address these regulatory constraints?

  • What are the scenarios faced by Vendor X where Vendor X has faced 3rd party Software licensing complexities when providing its BSS solutions over the Cloud

  • What are Vendor X’s views on the applicability of public cloud infrastructure for Tier 0-1 CSPs?

  • In Vendor X’s view, how much CAPEX reduction can a Tier 0-1 CSP see if it moves its BSS solutions to the cloud solution offered by Vendor X, compared to traditional installations in this domain?

  • In Vendor X’s view, how much OPEX reduction can a Tier 0-1 CSP see if it moves its BSS solutions to the cloud solution offered by Vendor X, compared to traditional installations in this domain?

  • What infrastructure capabilities does Vendor X offer to CSPs? How is this applicable for Tier 0 – 1 TSPs?

 

 

BROWSE QUESTIONS IN ADDITIONAL AREAS:

 

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT          

                                                                  PRICING

                                  STRATEGY

                                                                   MARKETING

                                          SALES

                                                                   CHANNEL PARTNERS 

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