An SDP or service delivery platform is a group of components providing the delivery architecture for a particular service type offered to a consumer. The delivery architecture may include the details on the creation of service, any session controls, or other protocols. The consumer may be any other system or service or an end-user. SDP or service delivery protocol is frequently used in the telecommunication industry, but it is not limited there. It can be associated with any service system, including internet service, SaaS, VOIP telephone, or internet TV protocol.
Service Delivery Platform (SDP) Definition
The definition of SDP is still free from any specifications, and different industry players define it in different terms. So there is no specific service delivery platform (SDP) definition. But, regardless of any industry, the service delivery platform does require IT integrations. It relies heavily on the development of services that not only cross the network but technology boundaries as well.
Service Delivery Platform Capabilities
Modern SDPs are optimized for service delivery in a particular network domain. In the field of telecommunication, these services include Mobile TV, web, IPTV, IMS, etc. SDPs develop an environment to create, orchestrate, control, and execute services. These SDPs are useful for both business and consumer applications.
SDP can deliver unified access to service, as well as its management and operational control. For example, in the telecommunication sector, it is useful for VAS services. The service providers can easily monetize telecommunication capabilities and aggregate partners; they can enrich their digital content, applications, and services. It allows them to create a flourishing digital ecosystem.
The businesses can easily enable and manage digital operations and other assets in a refined way. They can provide users with real-time, on-demand, and highly personalized online end-to-end service. It will also enable them to improve the user experience and also elevate value monetization.
With cloud integration, businesses can use the operating system for e-commerce to assist the service providers in organizing information as well as the revenue structure. It will get them on the way for digital transformation, increase operational efficiency, eradicate management costs.
– Management of content aggregation partners and service
The service delivery platform manages and aggregates partners as well as content and digital services. It helps in channel diversion, service distribution data assessment, and operational risk management and improves the digital ecosystem.
– Operation of digital service
The service delivery platform plays an integral role in providing a centralized operational function to all digital services. These include service and user management, service subscription, precision marketing, charging payments, and managing complaints. It equips businesses with the development process of refining, implementing, and monetizing service values.
– Capability openness
SDPs also assist the businesses in aggregating open capabilities. These include voice, message, partner, and charging capabilities. This helps businesses in generating revenue with API sales. It can assist businesses in increasing the scope of different innovative services that rely on extensive capabilities, reducing the TTM, and increasing the revenues via services.
The SDP Elements
Service delivery platforms are frequently considered to be telecommunication types and only useful in such environments. These systems serve to be the core interconnecting the network infrastructure with the customer as well as the BSS and OSS systems. In such a scenario, SDPs are more associated with a particular service regime like the mobile telephone of any other converged service.
SDPs are large programs necessary for transformation, integration, and convergence. And it also requires a significant amount of budget. It is also applicable to the management of various independent precincts with wireless capabilities. These include out care centers, retirement villages, airports, shopping malls, etc.
There are various elements of a service delivery platform.
– Service Creation
The primary access point for any business is a service or application creation environment, and this is used by the program developer to create the software, resources, and scripts, these components represent the services for which the program is designed. The complexity here can range from the basic plug-ins to any metadata-driven modeling application.
The idea here is to develop a communication service. For the time being, other factors like marketing are entirely ignored so that an effective service is designed for a given platform. It will ensure that the developer can integrate more functions. The key point here is to design a platform that works well and efficiently integrates all the services.
– Service Execution
The next step is to design the platform in such a way that all the integrated services can be delivered in a fast manner without any hiccups. There is no point in designing a platform that cannot be executed in an efficient and timely manner. The developer must have a close look at all the components and variables that can influence a service delivery process. For a fully automated platform, the developer will also include a variety of what-if conditions to ensure that the platform continues to work even under all circumstances.
– Presence & Location
The geographic location or presence of a business is critical in such a scenario. This will define the network and technology boundaries for a business. It will also ensure to point out different resources that can be utilized under specific criteria. Any business can cater to certain areas or locations for various stages and objectives.
For example, a small business starting its new operation in one city won’t be able to provide its services outside that city for the time being. There is no need to design a platform that can cater to an entire state. But, the room for adding new services and extensions should always be there, and it needs to be very easy to access as well.
As mentioned above, if a business is looking to extend its operation to another city, then the SDP must be able to integrate these new services seamlessly. Even if there is a case where a business is adding a new service for the customers, the service delivery platform needs to have the protocols to integrate them without any issues. The business must be able to tune up or tune down these services according to the performance. The platform must also be able to run on different interfaces, as well.
The SOA Link
There has been a change in the trends over the years. The businesses that were once centering on enterprise application integration are now shifting their focus towards service-oriented architecture (SOA). These SOAs are effective as application integration in an SDP, especially if a business wants to meet the demand and effectively converge the services.
There is an analogue concept for SDP in the SOA realm ad it is known as the Web Service Ecosystem and a SaaS platform. The web service ecosystem or marketplace is a hosted environment where a business can expose all its offered services and integrate them with web technologies. These include the likes of XML, HTTP, REST, and SOAP.
In this hosted environment, the different service delivery components cover various aspects. These include identity management, authentication, usage analytics and metering, conversion of data format, and content adaptation as well as charging/payment services.
It will enable service providers to emphasize their core capabilities and business functions. They can then outsource the service delivery aspect of the business to external third parties. These services over the internet can be business-critical, but they don’t have any real-time performance needs.
Several services such as marketing management, quoting, management of orders, and customer care fall under the umbrella of these services. Businesses can also use SOAs to standardize all the operational processes. They can then reuse them across all their SDPs.
There are considerable changes that need to happen within a network and IT architecture of business before the execution of SDPs. It is critical for the implementation of real-time, real-world converged operational services.
Several service delivery platforms are designed and developed in the form of an abstract framework with labelled diagrams. These diagrams highlight various systems with layers, but in the real world, these layers don’t exist. Furthermore, diagrams cannot realize the real-world data related to operations.
They cannot provide you with any information on how many server directories, databases to develop the converged services or any of these self-care functions. Businesses have to deal with electricity costs in millions of dollars for their systems, and this cost is not there in the diagram. Thus, multi-server databases are not cost-effective or earth-friendly. This can be especially the case when a similar design can be used and integrated at a significantly lesser cost and power.
Platform delivery to consumer delivery
We have mentioned above that with the help of SDPs; businesses can even outsource the service delivery component to third parties and focus on their core competencies. This is where a platform delivery to consumer delivery comes in to play its role. According to the platform-delivery to the consumer-delivery definition, a business can offer delivery services to customers with the help of a third-party platform.
The business doesn’t need to have a consumer delivery service of its own and can save a lot in terms of costs. Several food delivery services can be good examples of this. The restaurants don’t have to offer their consumer delivery services. They can use these services not only to reduce costs but to improve their business operations by catering to the customers who want to eat their meals in the comfort of their homes.
People now expect to have access to various online data before researching any product and service. They are then able to place their orders without even leaving their seats. It is all because of the smartphone revolution. The example of grocery store delivery and medicine delivery services are there as well. The business itself doesn’t have any consumer delivery service but uses a third party offering for this purpose. Now integrating these third-party services into the business’s service delivery system is of utmost importance here.
Online Delivery Services
Delivery in itself is the process of transporting the products or services from the source to any predetermined destination. Now there are different types of these deliveries. There can be the delivery of physical goods or any services that can be available online. In either case, it is essential to manage these services effectively.
This is where service delivery platforms come in. With these platforms, businesses can supply their customers with their products or services. The consumer delivery process or distribution has evolved. Most of the consumer delivery services are well integrated with a web application. The customers can place their orders using different types of mobile apps.
The businesses that are using SDPs for this purpose can get the order details and send the order on the way after the confirmation of the payment. It has all become possible due to service delivery platforms. The companies can manage their orders effectively, and these SDPs have also enabled them to manage their charging and payment services effectively. The next aspect of this entire process is the consumer delivery. With valid order and payment management systems in place, consumer delivery in a timely fashion becomes much more reliable.
Service delivery platforms have become critical for exceptional digital customer experience delivery. Effective management and a streamlined operational efficacy have boosted the demand for online consumer delivery service. No wonder every business has integrated consumer delivery services in its distribution model. With the help of service delivery platforms, it has become a lot easier to provide these consumer delivery services to a location that is outside the physical reach of a business, e.g., another city.
With an ever-growing number of online customers, high-quality consumer delivery right at their doorstep has become crucial for the survival of any business. People now have access to various internet resources, and they don’t have to do much to access it either. This has revolutionized how businesses go about their daily operations because now they have to do restocking twice as soon as they used to do in the past. It has also brought the rise of e-commerce.
Businesses are also thinking about new ways to integrate into their models so that they can provide the customers with the best services. The critical trend to see here is that more and more companies from different industries are entering into the market regardless of their B2B or B2C nature. It is all about delivering quick services to the customers.
They are finding new ways to develop and use different types of service delivery platforms. These programs enable them to focus on their core areas and specialties and allow them to outsource any other service.
With SDPs, they can streamline their business processes; and with outsourcing, they can cut down the costs effectively. In the past consumer, delivery was necessary for a few businesses. Only the fast-moving consumer goods companies or home delivery service providers were interested. But it is not the case anymore.
Now more and more companies are offering consumer delivery services. The reason is, they need to expand their business. They are also able to cover more area. Additionally, it has allowed them to limit the delivery cost by handing it over to a third party.