Author Archives: Marty Lachance

What is Different about Billing for M2M?

June 29th, 2012 | Posted by Marty Lachance

Sharing data is not a new concept in the technology world, in fact it really was the catalyst for creating the network in the first place. What is new is the increasing frequency in which machines are sharing data. This concept is called Machine-to-Machine, or M2M.

While the exact projections of just how massive M2M is expected to be varies depending on who you ask, most analysts are predicting growth rates of 30%-40% through to 2015. Despite the discrepancies on just how large M2M will get, one thing is for sure and that it is a hot market.

So we know (expect) M2M to become a bigger market over the next few years, so what? How is billing for M2M different than pervious IP based service offerings such as Data, Voice, Video, Subscription etc?  The key differentiator will be in the breadth of sectors offering services and the increased number of transactions that these services will bring.  It will not just be the telecommunication companies that will be taking advantage of this technology; health care, food services, entertainment, automotive, retail and many other industries will start breaking into the M2M world. Many of which already have.

M2M will be an approach of a lot of variety of service offerings, with high volume and low margins. Mobile operators that are accustomed to offering fixed rate or “All-You-Can-Eat” plans will have to prepare themselves for more detailed and complex billing if they want piece of the M2M pie. The ability to accommodate and monetize on this rapidly growing market segment will depend on whether the Service Provider’s back office systems are designed for this type of emerging technology. Their Billing and OSS platform should be configured to rate and bill for even the most complex service catalogues and high-volume data transaction.

This means many providers will have to adopt an ARPU business model specific for their M2M business that may not correlate with existing low volume high margin practices. This, again, is where the importance of having a capable backend network in place to accommodate the possibility of a dual business model becomes imperative. Having a system that can facilitate both sides as well as the increase in scalability, without the need for swivel chair management will be a major factor in ensuring success.

Roy Richardson Talks About the Benefits of EngageIP – Part 3

June 6th, 2012 | Posted by Marty Lachance

Listen to Roy Richardson discuss how LogiSense has helped Caribserve during their growth stage as well as continuing to provide benefits for future success.

 

LogiSense hosted the team from CaribServe (UTS) in St. Maarten. A long time billing and OSS client of LogiSense, we asked Roy Richardson to talk about the relationship between LogiSense and CaribServe.

 

Recently Roy Richardson and members of his team visited LogiSense. Listen to him talk about CaribServe’s decision to select LogiSense as their Billing/OSS and customer management partner.

 

 

Second time is (also) a charm for LogiSense as the  global provider of Billing and OSS software today officially re-launched services with old friend and Telecom provider, Simple Signal.

Headquartered in Dana Point, California, Simple Signal provides converged, video and data over broadband to small and medium businesses.

“When we purchased a smaller telecom company, we inherited an additional billing vendor,” said Dave Gilbert, CEO of Simple Signal. “We were already using LogiSense, but it seemed like an easier and cost-effective path to use the new vendor. Our assumption turned out to be incorrect.”

EngageIP, LogiSense’s flagship Billing and OSS solution, is a robust, comprehensive platform that delivers the power and flexibility to manage the dynamic needs of today’s service providers. EngageIP was in place at SimpleSignal from 2006-2010 when things were wound down.

“We had a great relationship with SimpleSignal. We understood their choice and nobody took the move personally,” said Flavio Gomes, President of LogiSense. “We believed in the strength of our product and team and stood ready if they needed us to step back in.”

Due to inflexible billing options and lengthy service rollouts with the new software, Simple Signal initiated a migration back to LogiSense’s EngageIP software. It was a tremendous success.

“We missed the power of the software and we missed the expertise and support LogiSense provided us,” added Gilbert. “They made our migration easier than we anticipated. We were pleased to realize that we will be billing with increased speed and accuracy which ultimately affects our bottom line.”

“It provides assurance that LogiSense is well-respected in our market,” added Gomes. “It’s not often a vendor gets a second chance. We’re seeing a true win-win.”

Flexibility and adaptability are key components for telecommunication companies to remain competitive in a market that is rife with competition. Being able to extend a billing system in order to streamline operations to meet business objectives is becoming more of a challenge for today’s service providers. Too often service providers don’t have tools that can adapt with the market quickly enough and are handcuffed by limitations of their Billing and OSS software.

In an industry known for change, Telecommunication companies must adapt on-the-fly in order to introduce new products, service offerings and innovation into the market. Having a non-responsive or outdated billing and oss software will only hinder innovation and dulls the competitive edge. Automation features that can eliminate the need for cumbersome manual process can reallocate time and resources towards more productive areas such as lead generation and product innovations.

Fortunately, there are tools that allow for billing automation, service provisioning, data mediation and invoicing. Robust systems can replace inflexible back-end operations and allow Service Provides to have the ability to create dynamic attributes. This can provide a self-serve platform where Service Providers can easily extend their operational software to meet their specific business needs. The importance of having the flexibility and control over a Billing and OSS software cannot be overstated, if your organization’s billing system cannot adapt with your business, it will have troubles meeting growth and adaptation challenges in the years to come.

Learn how EngageIP Billing and OSS Software can give you that competitive edge.

 

Wholesale Billing Software for Service Providers

March 27th, 2012 | Posted by Marty Lachance

Many Telecom Service Providers offer wholesale services; managing multiple tiers of services for companies who operate disparate product catalogs – including your own – is no small undertaking. A common solution is to use a combination of automated and manual processes – and ultimately these methods prove to be unscalable.

Telecom Service Providers today are required to offer complex wholesale services to a myriad of resellers and residential outlets with its unique ability to separate service and product catalogs according to regional owners (Service Providers).

One company in Birmingham, Alabama who is well-versed in wholesale service offerings is Momentum. They have fine-tuned the complex process of managing residential, business and wholesale telephony to a range of Service Providers across the country. In doing so, Momentum has opened up entirely new markets with host of new service providers and partners.

The software solution in use at Momentum allows for a hierarchical configuration and service catalogs that can be created at specific tiers within a customer ‘tree’. Usage data, invoicing, billing and reporting are all contained and securely corralled within an owner-authority. Their solution allows virtually unlimited wholesale owner expansion as well as service expansion. The system makes it easy to report on all usage and billing for all wholesale accounts – making it easy to identify current and future profit points.

In order for Service Providers to be competitive in the Wholesale Billing market, a key component to a successful strategy is powerful Wholesale Billing Software. Considerations include secure segmentation between wholesale providers, robust mediation, flexible invoicing across wholesalers and the ability to offer segmented product catalogs.

If your organization is considering offering a wholesale model, due diligence should place significant weight on your Billing and OSS systems. Your customers, wholesalers and bottom line will reflect your decision.

 

Hosted IP Services Q&A with Chris Brown at LogiSense

March 14th, 2012 | Posted by Marty Lachance

We recently sat down with Chris Brown, Director of Technology at LogiSense to get his take on Hosted IP Services deployments in the Billing and OSS industry.


What new technologies/ features/ functionality do you see as critical to hosted IP services deployments?

Several prominent features and functionality to the Hosted VoIP, IP Communications market, which I would classify as mission-critical, are starting to take on an M2M flavor. Customers demand more direct control through which they can instantly “turn on” new features and services. Services providers are looking at ways to automate service delivery in order to accommodate this consumer need.

Also of note, is that several of our customers are looking at Unified Service delivery – especially as it relates to IP communications. Mobility and Unified Communications are becoming more important to service providers, which need to offer converged services that transfer seamlessly across multiple platforms.

 

What advancements does EngageIP address evolving hosted IP services market?

LogiSense developed its EngageIP Billing and OSS platform to truly empower service providers with a resource through which they could easily build service and package offering to gain more market share and enter markets quickly. EngageIP also offers a Full Set of API and Integration capabilities so that it can be integrated with other internal/external systems. Our Workflow Engine and Custom Code configurations allows service provider to quickly enter the EngageIP platform and introduce business process automation and service provisioning. What truly differentiates LogiSense is our track record of helping customers fully automate service delivery, who then subsequently reduce the need for large CSR support centers to perform activations, modifications, etc.


What value and level of importance should service providers place on rating and service assurance?

Rating and revenue assurance are high-value tools. Service providers who put in the effort to ensure they have accurate rating and apply revenue assurance functionality are often finding missing billable items by their carriers.


What do you see as the key technical differentiators that can make billing/OSS a revenue engine?

The key technical differentiators I see are implementation of automation. Billing and OSS systems that can automate service delivery can ensure that customers are all routinely activated, modified or terminated consistently in a matter of seconds – versus human initiated activations and modifications which can be prone to error and longer delivery times.

Also, billing/OSS provides operators with opportunities to mine their customers’ data to properly determine services that are growing. It also allows for (in the case of EngageIP) the ability to introduce new business models where the service provider can take advantage of the Billing/OSS system and potentially offer it as a value added service to their Wholesale and Agent partners.

Having a Billing and OSS system that is highly flexible and extensible – without the need for a custom solution – empowers service providers to focus on building their business without worrying about a billing solution that doesn’t fit their needs.

 

CRTC gives green light to Usage-Based Billing

February 1st, 2011 | Posted by Marty Lachance

The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission) gave the green light for network operators to implement usage-based billing to their wholesale customers. With the ruling, operators can charge wholesale service providers a flat monthly fee to connect to the network as well as a defined monthly usage limit for each customer the wholesale provider has.

The ruling is not expected to have dramatic effects on customers who currently subscribe to the major network operators directly – these providers already offer packages that offer combination flat rate and usage based options.

“This is going to pose some large challenges for wholesale providers,” said Marty Lachance, Director of Marketing for LogiSense Corporation. “This was their competitive advantage in the IP world. The ability to market and offer all-you-can-eat services was really only available through those channels.”

Wholesale customers who signed up prior to February 1, 2007 will still be able to offer ‘grandfathered’ usage plans, but Operators such as Bell has been granted the right to raise rates on these grandfathered plans.

“This is likely the end for unlimited use in Canada. Operators and customers are both now realizing that there is less need to deliver and charge traditional telephone, television and internet. This is due to the fact that they very soon will share the same delivery method. Traditional telephony and television are gradually moving into their new digs – the internet. In this digital age, Gigabytes are the new opiate,” added Lachance.

While billing for disparate services may be a thing of past, the need to differentiate and bill for IP-traffic usage will become the new standard.

“Being able to track, report and bill for voice, video and data opens the door for providers to market creative and fair price structures for a variety of user types. Billing appropriately for network access and usage is important, analyzing this data to make informed decisions – both for the company and customer is critical,” said Lachance.

The LogiSense EngageIP software mediates and bills usage for telephony, voice, video or any other IP-based consumption. Using sophisticated reporting methods, EngageIP is able to make decisions for implementing fair access policy. With the software, operators are able to lower costs as well and protect their technology investments – all while ensuring fair access and reliable service.

Support at your fingertips

November 4th, 2009 | Posted by Marty Lachance

LogiSense Corporation supports its growing customer base with a knowledge-base full of tips, tricks,  and help. The ‘KB’ includes access to video training resources, custom reports that you can take and add onto your installation of EngageIP Billing, detailed tutorials on the latest features and enhanced existing features. It is fully search-able and available to your 24/7/365.

Can’t find something you’re looking for? Email us at support@logisense.com and we can quickly assist or direct you to the appropriate resource.

If you’re an existing customer, you can login here: http://www.logisense.com/kb or for more information on the resources LogiSense Corporation can provide you, please email support@logisense.com