OSS Panel Considers Automation, New Demands of Bundling

Today’s session OSS Solutions for Improving Operations and Generating Revenue will address how automating back office processes can help service providers increase their margins and enhance customer service. One of the panelists will also weigh in on how service bundling affects OSS considerations.

The session is one of a handful of Cisco Systems-sponsored panels this week. Others discuss ways to attract and retain customers, multiservice edge technologies and deployment strategies at the edge.

OSS session panelist Eric Feibelman will discuss how new automation related to service activation, inventory reconciliation, customer self care, invoicing, marketing, electronic bonding and other OSS areas can help telcos deliver better service with fewer errors and otherwise help service providers be more efficient. Feibelman is general manager of product development and support for Martin Group, which providers service providers with OSS solutions, engineering, facilities management and business services.

For example, Feibelman says Martin Group is interfacing with NeuStar — which also is represented on the panel — for automated local service request (LSR). Traditionally, CLECs have put in LSR requests to ILECs via fax, but automating that process using electronic means can be a lot more efficient, says Feibelman, who says it can take up to 1.8 hours every time a CLEC adds a new customer.

During the session, Feibelman expects to present four ROI scenarios for automating the LSR process. He says if a CLEC issuing four LSRs a day automates its system, the service provider can recoup the cost of automation cost within two years. If a service provider has 20 LSRs per day, ROI can be expected in one year. And if 200 LSRs are requested each day, a carrier can win back the investment in just a month, says Feibelman.

Automating this process, he notes, is less expensive because RBOCs tend to charge CLECs more per LSR if they issue requests manually, meaning via fax. Automation also lowers the LSR rejection rate from about 30 percent when not automated to less than 5 percent, he adds, meaning the CLEC can capture revenue more quickly from a new customer.

Panelist Venkates Swaminathan, senior vice president and chief strategist at NeuStar, which operates a number portability center and offers other information exchange solutions addressing wireless messaging and other areas, will also touch on the benefits of automation. He’ll discuss how OSS-related clearinghouse models can reduce costs and eliminate complexity for service providers. "OSS needs to be at the forefront of every CEO’s mind," says Swaminathan.

Meanwhile, speaker John Konczal, vice president of customer solutions at OSS/BSS vendor Telution Inc., will address how bundling of services affects support system-related processes.

Service delivery coordination, he says, is now becoming more complex given that a single trunk roll might entail turning up several services, Konczal says.

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