Leveraging Blockchain to automate intercompany service delivery
Whereas paper contracts can take weeks to travel around the globe, while digital documents could be a cyber risk, permissioned blockchain-based smart contracts are self-executing code on a blockchain that automatically implements the terms of an agreement between parties. They have the potential to dramatically streamline the time consuming, manual processes which are spread across multiple systems and common traditional approaches to contract management.
Smart contracts extend blockchains’ utility beyond their widely known use as the enabling technology behind digital currencies to implementing the terms and conditions of multiparty agreements. Smart contracts are executed by a network of compute nodes that use consensus protocols to agree upon the sequence of actions resulting from the contract’s code. They allow parties to agree upon terms and trust that they will be executed automatically, with reduced risk of error or manipulation.
Permissioned blockchain-based smart contracts could offer numerous benefits:
- Speed and real-time updates: Because smart contracts use software code to automate tasks that are typically accomplished through manual means, they can increase the speed of a wide variety of business processes.
- Accuracy: Automated transactions are not only faster but less prone to manual error.
- Lower execution risk: The decentralized process of execution virtually eliminates the risk of manipulation, non-performance, or errors, since execution is managed automatically by the network rather than an individual party.
- Fewer intermediaries: Smart contracts can reduce or eliminate reliance on third-party intermediaries that provide “trust” services such as escrow between counterparties.
- Lower cost: New processes enabled by smart contracts require less human intervention and fewer intermediaries and will therefore reduce costs.
- New business or operational models: Because smart contracts provide a low-cost way of ensuring that the transactions are reliably performed as agreed upon, they will enable new kinds of business processes.
Smart contracts based on permissioned blockchains could be an important, complementary technology which can help digitally transform the business processes associated with buying, selling, and using network connectivity services. Network operators, resellers, and partners now rely on one another more broadly than before to deliver high quality diversified services. This has created a growing concern in our customer base about a bottleneck in post-trade activities.
When Nokia launched the WaveSuite Service Enablement product, a market survey with ACG Research was conducted to assess opportunities for accelerating delivery of optical transport services. The results were revealing - we found that connectivity service providers see complicated commercial agreements and billing as the top barrier to adoption of dynamic transport services. What in fact is preventing connectivity providers from capitalizing on some of their most promising opportunities – next generation gaming, personalized medicine, smart cities, 4.0 industry – is their manual back office.
Barriers to Rapid Transport Services Delivery
Through WaveHub, Nokia’s value-based ecosystem program for innovations and business growth, we are collaborating with Clear Blockchain Technologies. Clear is an enterprise blockchain company with a vision of making commercial partnerships better. Clear automates trust between enterprises through shared programmable business logics on a secure blockchain environment. This private and secure environment unleashes enterprise collaboration and innovation, allowing companies to partner and launch new products quicker and easier than ever before.
Active in the telecom space, Clear has successfully launched their platform services relating to prevalent contracts between CSPs, like roaming agreements and interconnect agreements. Nokia is partnering with Clear to extend these abilities to address optical connectivity services use cases and enable distributed automation of commercial agreements between service providers and subscribers.
By combining Clear’s solution with Nokia’s WaveSuite Service Enablement software , new levels of service life cycle automation can be achieved for optical connectivity services. WaveSuite Service Enablement enables increased consumption of optical connectivity services by combining novel service virtualization with automated service fulfillment and integrated service assurance. Clear Smart Contracts enables service providers to rapidly monetize virtualized connectivity services by simplifying and automating the complex business agreements between service providers and their subscribers. The integration of these solutions together streamlines the service contracting process and automates the service delivery process thereby delivering time to market and revenue assurance benefits to communication service providers.
We believe that through end to end automation of network and business processes, global communication service providers are better positioned to thrive and reach their targeted business outcomes.
About the Author
Ruth Levi Lotan is the VP of Business Development at Clear
James Doucette is the Product Line manager for WaveSuite Service Enablement at Nokia
Clear builds blockchain-based settlement and clearing networks for global industries. Founded in 2018, Clear facilitates frictionless B2B trade by enabling enterprises to transition from current inefficient and manual processes to real-time trading and clearing on a global scale. Clear’s platform helps enterprises automate contracts and data management while guaranteeing control, security, and privacy in networks with multiple partners. This also provides automatic payments and clearing, reducing transaction fees, long payment cycles, and managing fraud prevention. For more information, visit www.clearx.io.
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