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The white labeling business and importance of CRM

White labeling of products/services is not a new business and is in every sector. However there is a big difference from products to services industry. White labeling of services involves integration of IT systems on both sides of Retail Service Provider (RSP) and Wholesale Service Provider (WSP).
 This is throughout customer life cycle starting from marketing the services as retailer branded products, fulfilling and assuring of the sold products under RSP's brand in the WSP's IT systems as well as RSPs systems.  The example situations where white labeling is used is British Telecom's internet services are being sold by Royal Mail, Vodafone, O2 etc. Similarly in India, local cable operators and internet service providers sell the products/services in their brand name.
Traditionally we are aware that the CRM systems used for product catalogue, marketing, sales and order capture as a part of customer data and relationship functionality. In some cases CRM tools go to the extent of service assurance (recording customer problems and tracking the SLAs). 
I tried to think about few important areas in CRM that gets impacted by this latest business model. These include
1) Wholesale Product Catalogue Management - Creating and maintaing these new wholesale product catalogues for Retail Service Providers and ensuring the synchronisation of these product/services between RSPs and WSP systems.
2) PartnerRelationship Management with these RSPs who can make our services penetrate in remote areas and in areas where the presence is less. Handling these partners is an impacted area.
3) Product fulfillment of RSP Customers When RSPs sell the white label products in their brand, the corresponding product on WSP needs to be fulfilled/provided and track that order to closure, this impacts the CRM system and related integration on WSP side. Also B2B integration with the RSP systems.
4) Assurance to RSP Customers Ensuring that if a customer problem arises because of the systems (not only IT) on wholesale service providers side identifying those situations and providing solutions to the customer and also informing the RSP about the progress of resolution is WSPs another important area.
These are a few that came into my mind. Can we think of a few more areas that gets impacted and how can we accomodate this new business model? Can we think of a small framework to address this latest business model? Waiting to see your inputs.


How does a WSP perceive RSP? As a channel partner? Or other business who is buying WSP’s products/services.
In the same way, how does RSP perceive WSP? As a supplier or OEM?

The way in which these two entities perceive is critical and forms the base for the business model.

If the relationship is OEM and Channel Partner, then there will be a PRM application of OEM (WSP) which the RSP will be accessing for sales and service. And OEM will ensure the order fulfillment and sets the SLAs and adheres to the SLS in terms of and issues on service.

But if they perceive as two different businesses then there will be a SRM system of RSP which will place orders based on inventory depletion level, etc, and the SLAs will be framed at different levels. In this case, WSPs will have service contracts with RSPs which will not cover each customer specific service issue.

So how do the two entities, WSP and RSP perceive each other?

To my knowledge a company can have many types of partners either as vendors or suppliers. The partnership can be any sort of business deal to help their revenues and business models.

One of these can be OEMs directly/vendors/suppliers. Let us say Telstra can directly have deals with Cisco for their business or can have a vendor who deals with Cisco in between. So both OEM relationship and Supplier relationship is needed.

In the above context, from RSP point to provide Internet services from RSP,
1) The RSP can buy the space and hardware for holding the customer's e-mail and other free space that is provided by some OEM like Sun/HP machines.
2) The service of Internet can be from another partner (WSP) which I was mentioning.

From the WSP side - There are so many RSPs that sell products on their brand names from the wholesaler's white label products. It requires:
1) PRM with the RSPs. Of course, there might be so many other partners like OEMs on the WSP side, suppliers on the WSP side.
2) Also fulfilling the RSPs sales & services like renting a 1GB/50FB pipe for them who can sell the Internet service to 50 customers with 1GB each, etc.

Apart from this it (WSP) also needs to do some fulfillment activities when each RSP's customer wants to order for his/her service from the allocated/rented pipe.

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