» Comverse converged platform targets quad play
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Comverse converged platform targets quad play
by Rich Karpinski

Jun 2, 2008 12:00 PM

Comverse today announced a new version of its core billing platform today featuring a single data model and product catalog, new capabilities that will allow service providers to take a more strategic approach to billing and feature bundling, the company said.

The new Comverse ONE Billing and Active Customer Management platform was makes it easier for telcos to create pricing bundles that include multiple services as well as ultimate payment types, such as pre- and post-paid offers, said Howard Woolf, President, Comverse Converged Billing Group, in an interview.

"This gives operators a tool to take advantage of the knowledge they have about each and every one of their subscribers," Woolf said. "It fulfills the dream of being able to take a back-office billing system that has traditionally been used to chase revenue and flip it over to the front-office, where it can be used as a marketing machine to attract and offer subscribers a variety of services that fit the usage profile of a variety of customer segments, even down to a segment of one."

Without the benefit of a single data model and product catalog, Woolf said, carriers are left to do the hard work of integrating separate software applications and data stores. That greatly limits the speed at which they can conceive of and deliver new billing-driven bundles, he said.

The most straightforward benefit would be, for instance, in a quad play environment, where users, once migrated to the Comverse system, could receive a single, well-integrated bill for all their services. After that's in place, the operator would also have greater flexibility to cross-sell or up-sell additional services or create new promotions and bundles targeted to slices of their audience, Woolf said.

"Billing systems are really the thing that holds back [triple- and quad-play operators] from winning in the marketplace," Woolf said. "The triple-play customer experience today is really pretty horrible."

The new platform is the third iteration of Comverse’s core billing platform. It delivers a full slate of billing functionality including real-time rating, charging, promotions, billing and financials, mediation and content partner settlements, all running on the same platform architecture. It can support any combination of prepaid, postpaid and hybrid accounts – including real-time credit control.

Comverse announced the platform today and is working an early implementation with a quad-play customer. General availability is slated for September.

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