April 23, 2021
Today, all of us are comfortable and proficient with shopping on Amazon or booking a ride on Uber. Whenever we need to make a purchase, our natural instinct makes us open the Amazon app and search through the options for the item we are looking for. Similarly, for a ride, we prefer booking a cab through Uber. Interestingly, neither Amazon manufactures all the items they sell nor Uber owns all the cabs we book through them. So, what do they actually do? They aggregate them from different sources. The sellers leverage the Amazon platform to reach out to millions of consumers and sell their products. Cab owners use the Uber platform to reach millions of riders and receive bookings. Items sold on Amazon are offered by different suppliers but listed in a common catalog, and segregated by categories depending on the nature of the product.
Enterprises can take a cue from the likes of Amazon and offer all the business services to their consumers, through a unified catalog for seamless production and consumption on a single engagement platform.
Today’s catalog of services, which caters to the millennial users, must provide easy access to services, seamless user experience, and automate service onboarding and delivery. Such aggregating catalogs should be accessible from anywhere, any time, through a self-service portal, creating a robust online shopping user experience. In order to provide a consumer-like experience to millennials, enterprises must offer a consolidated services catalog instead of a bouquet of disparate catalogs for different business functions.
The catalog of services must be flexible enough to publish various categories of services, add new ones, and remove redundant services rapidly. The interface should require minimal specialized skills and no coding capabilities. A business user must be able to fulfill the responsibilities of a catalog manager, add or remove services, without requiring any training or past knowledge service management tools. Also, managing services must be a matter of managing content and configurations without requiring the involvement of product engineering teams. The catalog must possess the capability to integrate with other catalog systems and aggregate service attributes. This will speed up the process of consolidating and publishing services from siloed systems instead of building them from scratch.
In reality, publishing a service in the catalog requires humongous effort and may not be scalable when the number of services go to hundreds and thousands. It necessitates specialized ITSM knowledge and coding skills. Often, diverse business functions publish their own catalogs and most service management tools support this practise of multiple catalogs of services. It sacrifices the end users’ interests, having to toggle between modules to request items from different catalogs. Publishing a service requires defining variable types, and filling up forms manually which mandates hard core technical expertise. Even then, some of the workflows may only be designed by developers. These require specialized resources and a long time to develop thereby increasing the turnaround time to publish a service. They are equally challenging to maintain.
We, at DRYiCE, have incorporated in our product DRYiCE SX, the concept of aggregating catalogs from different sources and publishing services by managing content. SX natively supports aggregating catalogs and allows the catalog manager to define different parameters of a service by just managing the content. It allows publishing of diversified services in a single catalog, with categories and sub-category-based grouping allowing clubbing of services based on their nature. It ensures faster fulfilment of requests by the automatic assignment of tickets to the correct fulfilment group without multiple hops in between. The services can be consumed by the user through the self-service portal which facilitates omnichannel browsing, ordering, and tracking of services resulting in a consistent user experience.
Sambit has an overall experience of over 20 years working with customers across different industries offering software service solutions. In his current role, he is heading the product management for Orchestration products in DRYiCE Software. He carries multi disciplinary knowledge and experience in Product Management, Customer Relationship Management, Account Management and Regional Business Management, acquired in his illustrious career. He started his career with NIIT Limited and has subsequently worked with Sonata Software, Oracle India, IBM India before joining HCL Technologies.