So what type of projects might the service provider undertake

Developing a new service

Developing new features for an existing service

Analyzing the introduction of another company's competing new highspeed access service, enabling the service provider to determine the best competitive response.

Work with a major national customer to implement his network in a way that gives him significant savings, while at the same time improving his service by moving him onto a new broadband network with better management capabilities.

Design, implement and manage a network within a conference complex for a group of UN leaders who will be attending a meeting in your city. The communications includes incoming and outgoing voice and data calls to and from the complex, internal communications amongst the politicians and their support staff while in the complex, plus a secure LAN within the meeting room itself which allows each politician to communicate and share files with his or her own 'Sherpa, or knowledgeable assistant' during the meeting.

Managing a serious cable cut in a remote area, in which the cable was carrying over 40 percent of the national backbone traffic, and the redundant backup facility is currently being upgraded, and therefore cannot reliably carry its full traffic capacity

Implement a new IPV6 capability in a separate network for customers willing to move to the leading edge protocol

Equip the current network with a new billing system which is more flexible that the current one, allowing new rating models to be adopted when desired

Move all customer service for medium business clients to one common national call center

Introduce a new culture to the employees that is more conducive to determining customer requirements clearly before initiating design of a new service, and provides them with the tools to be able to do this.

Somewhere in this continuum we would also find companies who do the research into potential new technologies and products, and who also provide assistance in the technical and management aspects of integrating these upcoming products into the current networks and environments. We can include these under the equipment vendor heading, although not all such companies fall into place in the overall model.

Obviously, if we continue to move back to the equipment vendor, we again see differences. There will, of course, be different products for different vendors. Some vendors sell products in a single area, such as billing software, while many sell products in multiple areas of telecom, maybe having business lines with wireless, broadband and optical products. Some vendors are local or regional, while many offer products nationally or internationally. Projects can be related to purchasing, to planning corporate marketing or strategic direction strategies, to building and maintaining customer relations etc. Obviously these are also quite varied, and yet there are projects in all of these areas. In fact, service providers will also have projects in some of these areas, and there will be some similarity in the nature of the projects, even though the end products are not at all alike.

Many equipment vendors also assemble, and even design and build products, most of which are extremely complex technically. They need to work through the product design cycle from beginning to end, including user needs and market assessment, requirements definition, product design and definition, product development, product testing, market plan development, marketing information preparation and dissemination, customer relations building, the sales process, and follow-up support. Any given project might span some or many of these areas. It will be important that the exact scope be clear.

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