Turning design principles into a reality
The evolution of a commerce solution
When we started out with the conception of the solution that would eventually become NTS commerce platform, we started by formulating the basic design principles that would allow us to create a solution that could live up to the arising challenges in telco retail. You can read more about the shift towards platform-based software design and how it is reflected in our solutions in this interview with our VP Products & Technology Dr. Khaireel Mohamed.
In this blog post, we are taking a closer look at the make-or-break factors that should be considered while conceiving a future-proof software setup for your sales & distribution channels.
First, let’s take a quick look at the seven key design criteria and why we think they matter.
- Adopting an open platform: Consumer demands are more dynamic than ever, and an open platform is key in order to accommodate their needs with a wide variety of solutions.
- Building on an approved telco standard: Retail in the telco industry brings along a couple of distinct challenges that require a specific set of features from a commerce software solution.
- Assuring operational flexibility: Simplified deployments and updates, great scalability and reduced maintenance efforts make a cloud-based approach an attractive option for many operators.
- Accommodating different store concepts: Innovative store concepts require a certain degree of mobility from your sales agents, so equipping them with the right tools is a key priority in order to nurture efficiency.
- Creating unified customer front ends: Leverage a consistent look & feel while handling sales and distribution. Enable smooth in-store processes and create an engaging experience for both, your customers and your staff.
- Establishing multitenancy: Running multiple brands, partners and vendors on the same platform helps a great deal to efficiently share development resources and save costs.
- Fostering business agility: The platform’s modular design and extensive configuration options enable operators to quickly react to emerging requirements.
These seven principles led to the design approach behind our commerce platform.
The benefits of a service-based design approach
Services were a key ingredient from the early conceptual stages on. Essentially, we closely analyzed the existing business processes and workflows and structured them in a way that would allow individual process steps to be as compact as possible. The logic behind each workflow can consequently be “assembled” by calling up the services in the desired order.
Our business services add an extra layer of flexibility to your business. With their fine-grained design, the services can be arranged relatively freely so you can adjust the workflows according to your exact needs. Updates can be carried out incrementally, as it’s easier to update individual services instead of the entire software stack. Workflow adaptations that might previously have required a full rich client to be deployed can be carried out with just a single specific update to a service. This does not only result in simplified rollouts, it’s also great news for our customers and partners: The service-based architecture makes it a whole lot easier for them to add customizations on their own.
Embracing an open architecture
Designing your software to be as open as possible is an essential ingredient if you plan to adopt a design philosophy that lends itself to other developers, their tech and their vision. Thanks to a solid framework of open APIs and great accessibility for external developers, our platform benefits from the extensions and adaptations, which can be realized by connecting other solutions and tech stacks. From a design standpoint, it’s a great way to make sure the solution can be adapted to transforming business processes and sees new features being added, even if they might come from third-party developers. In the telco industry, where highly specialized solutions and development teams are common, it’s even more critical for a successful platform to maintain a great degree of openness and adaptability.
Integration capabilities and scalability enable growth
Whether a business demands horizontal or vertical scaling, sooner or later integration capabilities will constitute a decisive factor in determining the success of any growth campaign. IT landscapes are complex and with a variety of homegrown and legacy solutions in place, as is the case with many ICT and telco businesses, limitations tend to double down on that complexity. A key challenge lies in gradually adapting the infrastructure to a more scalable, less rigid system environment. A platform with excellent integration options helps a great deal to make that transition easier and safer. Our solution does so with its tried-and-true set of BSS connectors, which come with a solid track record of making the day-to-day routines for developers and operators a whole lot simpler.
Learn more about NTS commerce platform
Get our solution paper to see how we designed our platform to provide telcos and specialist retailers with a solid, scalable base layer they can trust to run their retail environment on.