Do you know the difference between Customer Facing Services (CFS) and Resource Facing Services (RFS)?
When you have to deal with a product catalog projects or you are reading about catalog management you may have encountered with CFS or RFS. These acronyms stand for Customer Facing Service and Resource facing Service respectively. I will try to explain both terms in the simplest way possible (keep in mind that actual catalog implementations might be a lot more complex in real life depending on the operator commercial offer variations).
The TM Forum describes four main Business Entities when it comes to the Catalog Management. Those are Offers, Products, Services, and Resources.
Essential Tips for a Correct Root of Cause Report in a short time and with the accurate information for the customer.
Offer: is an aggregation or bundling of Products for sale to a Customer
Product: is what an entity (supplier) offers or provides to another entity (customer). A product may include service, processed material, software or hardware or any combination thereof. A product may be tangible (e.g., goods) or intangible (e.g., concepts) or a combination of them, However, a product ALWAYS includes a service component.
Service: are developed by a service provider for sale within Products. The same service may be included in multiple products, packaged differently, with different pricing, etc.
Under TM Forum Frameworks there are two types of Services;
- Customer Facing Services
- Resource Facing Services
This enables the catalog to model a wide variety of services in a common class hierarchy. Also, it allows differentiating between Services that are obtained as a Product by a Customer versus those that aren’t.
The Customer Facing Service (CFS) is what is bound to a Product
The Resource Facing Service (RFS) is what is bound to a Resource
Resource: represent physical and non-physical components used to construct Services. They are drawn from the Application, Computing and Network domains. They include, for example, Network Elements, software, IT systems, and technology components. Resources may be virtualized, as well as abstract.
Take a look at the following class diagram to understand the relationship between all of the different entities.
Note that a direct association between Product and Service does not exist.
The reason why Services are linked to Products is that the definition and use of a Product are essential to the overall SID model. Customers obtain Products, not Services.
The strong link is between infrastructure entities and business entities, such as a Product. In particular, this model ensures that Customers access Resources and Services through their packaging in a Product. This particular modeling of the complex abstractions and relationships provides some of the key underpinnings that support what the TM Forum Information Framework is all about.
The Intraway’s Symphonica Suite has a module that supports Service Catalog Management, and it’s aligned to the TM Forum’s Information Framework Model, this allows Intraway to integrate our suite with standardized products on the industry on a quicker fashion way so we can be competitive on the market.