This section describes OSS Telecom Technology's different products, including CARIBOU, MEDUSA, PAN, and the new products in production such as the SMSC and the IN Pre-Paid Calling Card platform. This section also gives an overview of the product road maps for the various products and includes some of the highlights which make the products unique from and more advanced than similar competing products.
Below is a description of OSS Telecom Technology's different products, including CARIBOU, MEDUSA, PAN, and the new products in production such as the SMSC and the IN Pre-Paid Calling Card platform. This section also gives an overview of the product road maps for the various products and includes some of the highlights which make these products unique from and more advanced than similar competing products.
Description of CARIBOU
The basic billing system consists of the following modules:
I. Traffic Processing
II. Bill Generation
Bill generation can be of three types--ad-hoc billing, warm (hot) billing, and cycle wise billing. The system can take care of multiple billing cycles and multiple billing groups.
III. Accounts & Payment
IV. Systems Administration
A. Packages: This system can support the following four types of packages:
B. Marketing Plans: Each package is attached to various plans. There are five different plans:
C. Rate Structures: Support for various types of rate codes and corresponding rate details.
D. Rate Calendar:
VI. Customer Care and Administration
CARIBOU provides a single window, single view for the Customer Care Agent (CCA) to address any activity or query pertaining to subscribers that he/she is responsible. A customer calling online has to go no further to address any issue related to the service. The CCA even has access to bill images and CDR history through that single window.
A. Subscriber Registration: Registration is a quick and easy process, which may be performed both on-line as well as off-line (batch). Different marketing plans are offered to a customer such as: choice of bill date, number selection choice, and other related start-of-service options. Of course, the package allows for changes in options as many times as is required.
B. Customer Inquiry:
C. Customer Complaint: CARIBOU recognizes the fact that the grade of service of telecom service network draws parameters from all possible service point. To address, track and contain/minimize faults/complaints, the system provides for a sophisticated management and tracking of technical and commercial faults/complaints.
D. Complaint Tracking: Recording a complaint is not sufficient. More often than not, a customer will follow-up on the complaint to inquire about the completion status. The system allows complaints to be recorded along with updating of the action initiated, thus enabling status tracking. Various reports can be generated on complaints and actions taken. Complaint aging reports can also be generated for MIS and evaluation of the quality of service of the network.
E. Customer Feedback: Collection of customer feedback is essential in any service. The feedback is analyzed and action is taken to improve the quality of service.
F. Emergency Service: A directory service for emergency and utility numbers and other details is provided in CARIBOU for better customer care for the network.
Description of MEDUSA
The activities handled by MEDUSA are:
The system can provide various services for configuration, control, and management of the Network Elements including:
MEDUSA coordinates and controls the actions of the various NEs to which it connects, thus obviating the need to configure each concerned entity individually.
Specific Value-Added Features
The OSS Telecom Technology billing system is functionally rich and modular. It supports basic services and several value-added services. Some of the special features of CARIBOU are:
Today's changing scenario of fierce competition forces telecom operators to offer multiple services. The use of information technology to effectively manage telecom operations is thus becoming a key differentiation in the drive to get a share of the market. The role of IT is not limited to "piece-meal" automation. What an operator looks for is seamless integration of his information needs and the ability to provide innovative customer services.
At the core of a telecom operator's business is revenue billing for the service(s) that it provides. Timely and accurate billing are preconditions for a smooth operation. At the same time, an operator is largely dependent on the billing system to provide the flexibility in marketing plans that subscribers desire. Customer care is another area which is crucial to operations, and, as a result, billing solutions available in the market need to be judged on the basis of timeliness, accuracy, flexibility, and customer care administration.
OSS Telecom Technology has a well-defined process of quality assurance, which is followed and monitored rigidly. The group reports to the CEO and President, directly.
OSS Telecom Technology has initiated the process of ISO 9000 certification for its systems and procedures. The systems will be certified for our Taiwan operations. All OSS Telecom Technology engineering is being performed out of its Taiwan development center, therefore OSS Telecom Technology will initially apply for certification of those operations. With the help of external consultants, OSS Telecom Technology has completed most of its projected milestones. It is expected that OSS Telecom Technology's Taiwan operations will achieve ISO 9000 certification by June, 2001.
IN Pre-Paid/Calling Card Platform
The Calling Card/Pre-Paid system shall be broadly categorized into two subsections.
Some features for calls controlled through this platform are as follows:
Some of the functions of the Calling Card platform are mentioned below.
The system has an optional dealer management module as a part of value card management.
Customer Care and Administration
The customer care portion of the product shall be flexible to incorporate the following functions, as well as the future needs of the service provider. It shall be such that the overhead on the customer care expenditures shall be kept at a minimum.
Operator Assistance: Subscribers shall directly talk to the operator for any complaints, queries, and recharging.
Value Card Management
DTMF support or through operator assistance
The administrator shall maintain the forbidden numbers list in the database so that the system checks these numbers while confirming the call setup. The customer care module will provide support to add or delete the forbidden numbers.
The system administrator shall view the details of the CDR by accessing them from the database. The customer care module will provide support for this feature.
Credit Usage Reports: The system shall generate credit usage reports for the subscribers using the CDRs.
The system shall have a system administrator to execute the following:
Consumer Ease of Use Features
Product Road Map
This section intentionally does not depict an explicit road map for Pre-Paid IN. The features incorporated in Pre-Paid IN for CARIBOU will be driven by customer care, billing, and tariffs.
The OSS Telecom Technology Pre-Paid IN/Calling Card platform is conceived to be a market leader for the following reasons:
SMSC (OSS Telecom Technology's Mini-Short Messaging Service Center)
Description of the SMSC Platform
OSS Telecom Technology has two deployments of the same product. In one approach SMSC kernel and the G/I WMSC functionality are bundled into a single entity running on one platform, whereas the conventional architecture maintains various distributed SMSC kernels connected to a G/I WMSC through a TCP/IP network. This will help the customers who would want the entire solution in one box and do not want the solution to contain separately managed entities.
The distributed SMSC kernel is mainly used for connecting SMEs that need to handle massive throughput. It is also helpful when there is a need for having SMSCs to be geographically separated.
Providing a configurable SME interface: This can configure itself from an SME protocol specification file. This file is SME vendor specific. The underlying protocol for message delivery could be either TCP/IP or X.25.
The SMSC is capable of generating the interface required to connect to different SMSCs. This will make the SMSC capable of connecting to all major existing interfaces like EMI from CMG, SEMA, etc. Most importantly, it will help SME vendors define an appropriate interface for their application that is compatible with SMSC.
Configuring the SS7 card components through the SMSC user interface. Through user interface, it is able to configure more than one kind of hardware but insulates the hardware idiosyncrasies from the user. The user will always to presented with the same abstract view of the SS7 network through the interface.
Features of the SMSC Platform:
OSS Telecom Technology's SMSC proves to be the best in its class because of the following features:
PAN: Performance Appraisal of Networks (Telecom Network Performance Monitoring System)
Description of PAN
PAN offers a robust and flexible menu-driven reporting facility. Its reporting module provides both routine and customized reports. The user can specify the following for generating summary reports:
Reports on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, on key statistics, help the network operator to consistently monitor under- or over-utilization of network resources, call pattern distribution, quality of service, etc.
PAN rides on new technology to take advantage of and keep ahead of competition. There are very few similar products in this class. PAN is better than Metrica and similar products for the following reasons: