ASCENT: Info Directions Releases CostGuard.NET

Info Directions Inc. (Booth 208) is rolling out its next-generation revenue management product, CostGuard.NET, at the ASCENT 2002 Fall Conference and Networking Center.

CostGuard.NET is a Web application built on Microsoft’s .NET technologies that introduces a variety of new functionality building on the company’s existing flagship product CostGuard.

"Workflow automation is among the primary additions with CostGuard.NET," says Don Culeton, president of Info Directions, noting that this is unique among billing systems.

Automating workflow enables service providers to manage service creation, order management, product bundling, provisioning and billing using business rules unique to their operation. It also automates follow-ups with appropriate staff at every step of each process to ensure data integrity.

Another major addition included in CostGuard.NET is real-time orders interface and provisioning securely over the Internet using XML-based interfaces, says Culeton. Significantly, CostGuard.NET’s real-time API processes orders that must be sent to third-parties — local telcos, IXCs, ISPs — in real time.

"There is a centralized business objects engine that all orders come through to make it possible to route them to the right vendor," Culeton explains.

He says this, centralization, also enables service providers to easily manage all third-party vendor orders in a single application. CostGuard.NET seamlessly integrates via XML to third-party suppliers to allow real-time provisioning of UNE-P and to communicate with the IXC, he says, adding that the centralized management also includes management interfaces to network switches.

In addition, CostGuard.NET’s navigable access to detailed usage, billing, rating, customer and service data enables enhanced customer support, product management and service bundling. This functionality complements Info Directions’ MarginGuard tool, which allows users to track revenue and expense at a detailed level.

"CostGuard.NET smoothly integrates all of the attributes that our customers need to support their multiservice, multirole businesses in a dynamic environment," Culeton says. "Financial visibility and usage tracking provide our customers with the information they need to make decisions about operational and business processes to maximize profit."

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