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ASCENT: DCA Adds Automated Tools, Processes to Back-office Outsourcing Service

DCA Services (Booth 508) has added new automated processes for resellers and CLECs using its outsourced back-office services.


DCA’s existing services include turnkey back-office support, local and long-distance provisioning, billing administration, print and mail, accounts receivable management and collections. Its new automated tools and processes include a bulk order tool (BOT), DCA Remote Order Entry (ROE) and Automated customer account record exchange (CARE).


The BOT allows local telecom service providers to convert resale lines to UNE-P, convert UNE-P to resale and execute change orders using an electronic, bulk order process.


"Although UNE-P can produce higher margins for CLECS, the current regulatory climate regarding UNE-P may leave them uncertain about the viability of this method for providing local service to their end-users," says Rick Nagel, president of DCA Services. "Our bulk order processing will allow these carriers to quickly make the conversion, if it becomes necessary, assuring a minimal disruption of service to their customers."


Using staff trained in ILEC relations, DCA will work with its clients to review margins and other UNE-P conversion considerations and provide an analysis of how to obtain improved profitability and financial viability.


DCA Provisioning now can process orders in the Southwestern Bell, Ameritech, PacBell, BellSouth and Verizon East (NYNEX and Bell Atlantic) regions.


"The cradle-to-grave order-activation process, whether it is a simple assumption or conversion process, is extremely time-consuming and complex — especially for companies that don’t have provisioning as a core element of their business," Nagel says. "DCA takes the headaches out of that process so our clients can focus on revenue-producing areas of their business, like sales and marketing."


DCA also has initiated two tools to automate the customer order and provision tracking process: DCA Remote Order Entry and Automated CARE.


ROE is a one-size-fits-all tool that automates the ordering process from the initial receipt of an order through provisioning through return confirmation from the carrier. ROE can manage orders for long-distance, local, toll-free, Internet, calling card, e-mail and a variety of other services. ROE accepts incoming orders from third-party verification or direct sales through its Web-entry portal. The system then converts the orders into XML files and creates a shell account in DCA’s customer care module. Using automatic polling, ROE continually looks for incoming orders, interfaces with a third-party credit agency to perform credit checks, interfaces with line item databases (LIDB) to perform billing validation, and provisions the order to the carrier.


"Using Remote Order Entry saves clients from inefficient, manual processes and assures quicker order confirmation," Nagel says. "It’s all about turning those orders into dollars as quickly as we can."


DCA’s Automated CARE is a provision tracking system designed to handle the downloading, importing and processing of CARE files. Clients can configure this system to work with multiple carriers and TCSI codes and can enter CARE file layouts for use in importing.


Using polling technology, Automated CARE searches for and picks up carrier records, checks the TCSI code and processes the CARE record. If there is a PICC freeze on the account, Automated CARE will create a trouble ticket, allowing the provisioning staff to investigate and solve the reason behind the PICC freeze.


Through Automated CARE, the back-office staff can know immediately about changes in a customer’s account, allowing them to proactively monitor the account’s status.


"Through automated processes, turnkey outsourcing and a focus on noncore operations, DCA Services brings value and efficiency to clients ranging from startups to established service providers," Nagel says. "In these tough economic times, carriers are challenged with getting a handle on their finances and retaining as much of their margin as they possibly can. The service bureau model we offer is an ideal fix for these problems."






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