Inside the NGN Toolbox: Power Tools for Service Providers

“There are only six things I need to do to keep my business running...The tools helping me accomplish this are crucial for us to keep our competitive edge."
Many of the emerging next generation service providers require multi-protocol solutions that support Intelligent Networking (IN) as well as NGN solutions. IN applications must enable seamless migration to SIP/IMS or SIP to IMS transitions in the future. Gateway functions in many IN applications available on the market today enable service providers to rapidly integrate existing network infrastructure with evolving, next generation IMS network architectures without having to incur disruptive forklift upgrades and large capital outlay.

For the network operations team, an Intelligent Routing platform can deliver the ability to translate several hundred rate decks from one or more suppliers, in disparate formats, into real-time switch routing actions. It can also help prevent revenue leakage by providing the ability to apply routing policies in real-time, bypassing or overriding low quality routes, or diverting suspected incoming traffic for specialized handling.

Other IR functions include routing automation for Number Portability (NP), Peering, Toll-Free routing and route automation based on QoS. Note that the terms IR, Intelligent Network Platform (INP) and Least Cost Routing (LCR) seem to be interchangeably used by vendors in the marketplace. Soft Switch, Session Border Controller (SBC) and other network element vendors are also beginning to offer similar basic capabilities in their products, albeit to a somewhat limited degree.

Workflow Automation – Eliminate Swivel Chair

Ever since the assembly line model revolutionized productivity, companies have been seeking better and faster ways to fulfill production needs. Workflow automation solutions deliver the ability to automate the end-to-end order lifecycle, tying in many disparate processes whether they be internal to the service provider, or processes that relate to other partners, including support for advanced IMS and M2M transactions.

Services in the Cloud – Stretching the Dollar

NGSPs are increasingly looking towards managed and cloud service offerings. Solutions available on the market range from enabling a service provider’s complete VoIP network infrastructure to enterprise voice platforms, managed hosting, colocation, cloud-based email, billing solutions, workflow management, intelligent routing, and provisioning to name just a few! Many software application platform vendors, such as Microsoft among others, now offer software development capabilities through providers like Amazon’s cloud services. Start-up NGSPs can avoid upfront capital outlay and focus on rapidly building their NGN infrastructure, service delivery hardware and software platforms. Likewise, mature operators are also looking to hosted and cloud solutions with a view to reducing operating costs while focusing on customer acquisition and retention strategies.

Visual Intelligence – The Fourth Dimension

What kind of information enables you to actually see ahead and visualize your expansion plans? How can you efficiently design and track network rollout? How can you identify pitfalls before they become issues, and allocate resources accordingly? Who are your key customers? Who should be your profitable prospective customers?

“This is very exciting, because now that we have the option to actually see our data, we can drive better business decisions. Solutions like this are what we imagine when we think of the possibilities of the NGN and what NGSPs should be able to do,” says Patrick Case, Managing Director of CCI Systems.


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