Recognizing the challenges CLECs face in provisioning local services, Profitec (Booth 300) has partnered with Biztel 1 to incorporate its interconnect clearinghouse services into Profitec’s Omnibill telecom billing system.
Biztel 1’s services, operated under the American Carrier Exchange (ACX) label offers electronic bonding links with the ILECs.
With the ACX integration, Omnibill clients now can enter orders through Omnibill or its associated Web commerce applications and accepted orders are passed via the Web from Omnibill to ACX. Orders are placed with the ILEC and the information — either pre- or post- confirmation — is then electronically downloaded into the Omnibill system. ACX can be engaged from within Omnibill so all pending orders can be accessed and viewed. Minimal data is entered once and USOC mapping and other configuration efforts happen electronically.
This is in sharp contrast to the way the process is more commonly handled, says Randy Minervino, vice president of sales and marketing. He explains most CLECs operate with disparate systems requiring duplicate data entry. Thus, orders are entered via the provisioning methodologies offered by the ILECs and then, once service is activated, the information is re-entered into the billing system. "This is a cumbersome approach, which is prone to errors," he says.
He says larger CLECs attempt to solve the issue by purchasing third-party provided local provisioning gateways that can batch new order information electronically to the ILECs, and then off-load a file that electronically enters new orders in the billing system. "While on the one hand this seems to eliminate duplicate data entry, it is expensive and fails to take advantage of any decision-making capabilities inherent in the billing system," he says, explaining that in order to establish the acceptability of an order, there is usually a manual review or the information needs to be entered into a credit checking solution.
"Working with our clients led us to a better alternative," Minervino says. "Customers felt strongly that the billing system should be evaluating [the order] from a financial perspective to determine whether the order is desirable and then send and receive information to and from the provisioning solution."