In this blog post, we will explain why and how to integrate Netadmin Nine with your other systems.
The future of connected systems
Many systems are involved in the service delivery. The process usually requires service desk updating CRM/ERP, contract management and billing systems. Network engineers will install the hardware on customer premises and configure several technical platforms. Often the same information is entered in multiple systems which is prone to errors. This leads to inconsistencies between the systems and the service will not be delivered correctly.
Now imagine an environment where all different systems communicate with each other. All information flows from system to another and any changes on one are reflected in the others. Service desk users and network engineers spend less time in troubleshooting and more time in providing services. All work is done once and there is no need to re-enter the same information twice. The system will verify the correctness of data, measure the quality of the service and provide service desk with real time information. It all results in better productivity and greater customer satisfaction.
Most technical and enterprise systems provide application programming interfaces (APIs) that can be used to perform same operations as the user would normally do in the graphical user interface. In large scale systems, the communication is often implemented through an enterprise service bus (ESB).
Just having an API is not enough but at least one of the systems must orchestrate the business logic and data flow. BSS/OSS systems like Netadmin Nine are designed to control other systems and are therefore ideal for orchestrating the communication. Controlling system must be technologically capable of handling different type of APIs such as XML/SOAP and REST/JSON.
Major part of the integration goes into designing which system stores the data and whether the events should be notified to or periodically polled by other systems. Data that should be available in real-time must be placed on a system with high availability and fast response times. Security must be also considered when integrating with external systems.
Systems to integrate
Any system that stores shared information for a service is a perfect candidate for integration. Example systems containing shared information:
- CRM - Customer and address information
- Contract management system - Service and contract information
- GIS - Physical fiber installation inventory
- OSS - Provisioning and monitoring system
- Ticketing system - Troubleshooting and customer service history
- Billing - Invoicing history
- Portal - End user service portal
Possible integrations between the systems:
- Synchronizing customer and address information from CRM and service contracts from a contract management system
- Checking fiber installation status from GIS system to decide if a service is available in an address
- Sending orders from contract management system to provision a service via OSS system
- Notifying contract management and billing systems when a service has been activated or deactivated
- Creating a work order in a ticketing system when a service order is processed by the OSS and updating the ticket when the service is activated
- Displaying customer information from CRM, contract information from contract management system and service status from OSS in the end user service portal
You'll get the idea. Possibilities are endless but care should be taken during the design to prevent integrations getting too complex to build and maintain.
Best design practices
It is very important to first simplify the process before starting to connect the systems. Complex processes lead to increasing costs during the integration and future maintenance.
Properties of well-designed integrations:
- Easy maintainability of data
- Tested processes that work efficiently and reliably
- Complex processes can be controlled with simple user actions
Good integration leads to more productive system which of course saves money in the end.
How can we help?
Netadmin Nine has been designed to be a central part of your integrated systems. It offers Order Management API that can be used from CRM or other external system to automate service ordering flows. Custom APIs can be also built to interact with Netadmin Nine's internal development framework where needed.
Since Netadmin Nine is a self-contained BSS/OSS system it can be used to control other systems through their exposed APIs. Business and operational logic can then be placed in configurable blocks that are simple to understand and maintain via the user interface. In addition to network management systems our product can be customized to integrate basically with any kind of API.
Our Professional Services are available to support you with the integration design and implementation, we can guide you through the different steps for creating best possible solution for your needs.