InterCarrier Process Support System (ips)
Interconnect relations between carriers are increasing in complexity due to the
global opening of the communications market. Moreover, services and bearer techniques are decoupling (e.g. VoIP) and new services are being launched at an everfaster pace. This dynamism has led to an enormous increase in the demands placed on intercarrier process support systems. The technical advances are accompanied by the commercial reality that prices decrease while volumes increase. Both issues have prompted carriers to plan and implement new intercarrier process support systems.
Ideally, such a system supports all kinds of services, business tasks and workflows. It must be flexible and scalable on a modular level. Moreover technical and financial analysis power must be available on-demand to solve technical issues and find ways to increase profit.
Axino Solutions has been active in implementing applications in the area of inter-carrier business relationship management for many years. Based on this long-standing experience, Axino Solutions has developed a whole bundle of very useful components. These reality proven components form the ips platform.
ips contains a range of components which can be used as building-blocks. Most
of the ips components can be implemented singly in an existing environment to fit a functional gap.
The picture on the next page gives an overview of an operational system running
for one of the largest national carrier worldwide. Along with tailor-made modules
and interfaces to legacy systems, ips covers the specific demands of our customer. The design of ips allows easy, quick and economical implementation for very specific and suddenly appearing market challenges. This ensures that ips suits perfectly to all future inter-carrier issues.
The IPS Platform
ipsSystem: If a bundle of ips components are involved this component serves as framework containing a central user and access control component (ipsAdministration). As single point of entry for all components which uses ipsSystem, common and user applied messages can be displayed.
ipsCRM: The central customer relationship manager provides contract and product editor. The editor allows the configuration of any contract/product type with various charging, billing and payment conditions on the fly. In most cases the business introduction of a new service or product is just a configuration task.
ipsRP-xxx: Starting point of each billing chain is the import and validation of raw data containing the rateable information. Beside the rating engine each rating processor (RP) contains a tarif editor. The tarif editor allows the definition of rating
groups. Per rating group volume commitments, basic charge commitments, discounts and volume band price functions are configurable. Volume bands can be defined as tiered or reversed. The outputs of each RP are generic Rated summary records which can be processed by the charging engine. In this case study our customer uses the iXTools suite delivered by our partner Telarix for the voice service. Axino Solutions has implemented this suite into the customers’ environment and operates it as well.
ipsCharger: creates outgoing invoices and reference data for expected incoming bills according the contractual and tariff definition within ipsCRM (nonusage) and ipsRP-xxx (usage). Derivates of the charging module (voice, SS7, SMS, etc.) are necessary if some services require different bill layouts. The outputs of the charging engine are generic financial items.
ipsTransfer: This component is the interface to other systems and the ipsAudit component. In this case study the customer uses SAP as bookkeeping system. First, ipsTransfer sends the data to SAP, after SAP accepts the data ipsTransfer sends the data to ipsAudit. ipsTransfer is the end point of the billing chain. In each step of the chain, after rating, after charging, after checking the results in ipsTransfer and if SAP don’t accept the data the data can be reset and recalculated.
ipsAudit: is the central financial transaction repository. Outgoing and incoming invoices, dispute letters, correction notes and clearings are stored. It contains several highlights: a sophisticated import chain to take OCR scanned line items from printed invoice with 100% accuracy; an automated link process to link reference and original data (e.g. line items from incoming invoices to respective reference line items); an invoice review workflow with integrated payment and revenue control; an automated dispute letter and correction note generation, etc.
ipsOFA: Based on the ipsAudit database ipsOFA provides our customer with on-demand financial analysis and reports. Detection and observation of losses and profits, of advantages and disadvantages, of prosperous and critical customers are important business information.
ipsOCA: With the on-demand CDR analyser our customer is able to store years of CDRs in a high compressed format having online access to every CDR in detail immediately. With easy to use features and a near online data feed the customer is able to consider the CDRs from all sides and recognize bottlenecks and problems at a glance.
ipsCreditWatch: Based on payment information, creditworthiness and actual usage, this component observes customer accounts.
ipsTRA: Termination rate agreements need system which supports the whole workflow. Provide trading with benefit or detriment information, observe settled TRA during live time, end the process with a final invoice.
ipsForecast: provides forecast information.
Complex Business rules
Multiple techniques &products
Built-in business workflows
Fast turn around of orders without loss of information
Clear ownership of responsibilities
Proper deocumentation of process cycle
Escalation and Tracking of responsibility