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ORMvision, the European collaborative business process management (CBPM)software provider, has announced a contract with Cable & Wireless Europe,to deploy ORMvision’s ORMcenter software to streamline provisioning of DSLservices throughout Europe.

Cable & Wireless is one of the world's leading international communicationscompanies.  It provides voice, data and IP (internet protocol) services tobusiness and residential customers, as well as services to other telecomscarriers, mobile operators and providers of content, applications andinternet services.

ORMcenter is a solution designed to streamline communication andcollaboration between operations departments of interconnectedtelecommunication operators, service providers and suppliers.  The systemmanages end-to-end quality of service (QoS) and service level agreements(SLA) across the whole spectrum of telecoms operations, from quotation andprovisioning through fault management to business activity monitoring andSLA management.

In a first phase ordered last year, ORMcenter is being used by Cable &Wireless to track and reference orders for leased lines, This deploymentprovides full order control in the pre-sales process across many countries,including Germany, Italy and France removing the issues usually associatedwith different languages, order forms and procedures across thoseterritories.  With demand for DSL services growing all over Europe, Cable &Wireless decided to expand and extend its use of ORMcenter to manage thepre-sales and order management processes for DSL too.

Phil Church, CEO of ORMvision, said: “This really is great news forORMvision. Cable & Wireless is a complex organisation with multipleprocesses, and for it to extend its use of us is a great testament to theflexibility of ORMcenter. We have seen a huge increase of interest in BPMover the last 12 months, especially where telco’s are struggling to managehuman-to-human aspects of their cross-boundary operational processes. Thisis precisely the ‘collaborative’ area of telecoms operations ORMvision wasset up to address and we are seeing huge interest in our story across theindustry.”

Azure, the revenue assurance company, will be hosting three sessions at theNext-Generation Billing Systems & Processes and Optimising InterconnectAccounting & Settlement Strategies telecom conferences, taking place at TheRadisson SAS Hotel, Nice, France between Monday December, 6 and ThursdayDecember, 9 2004.

Jon Fowler, interconnect product manager and Martin Browne, vice presidentof business development at Azure, will be co-hosting a pre-conferenceworkshop on Monday December 6 at 10.00am entitled: ‘Examining emerging andfuture trends in interconnect accounting and settlements’. In the session,Azure will examine current industry interconnect accounting, fraud andmargin management issues, as well as examine the latest business modelsrelating to interconnect accounting.

At the Optimising Interconnect Accounting and Settlement Strategiesconference, where Azure will be the associate sponsor, Martin Browne will behosting a session on Wednesday December 8 at 2.10pm entitled: ‘Detecting andpreventing interconnection fraud in current and next-generation environments’. In this session, Martin will identify the different types of interconnectfraud and revenue leakage and suggest ways of measuring and preventingproblems.

Chinh duc Pham, solutions marketing manager at Azure, will be hosting apost-conference briefing on Thursday December, 9 at 11.30am entitled:‘Analysing the role of convergent mediation within the next-generationservices environment’. In this briefing, Chinh will evaluate the importanceof implementing mediation solutions as well as examine the OSS and mediationrequirements for the next-generation environment.

Azure will also be exhibiting between December, 6 and December, 9.

Solution optimises customer lifecycle management forpre- and post-paid customers

LHS has launched a new web based customer care application managing customer and contract data. Called the Customer Centre, it provides comprehensive customer care support for business and residential, pre-paid and post-paid customers. It enables network operators to respond more quickly to customers demanding fast and accurate access to individual balance details.

Customer Centre is designed for the specific needs of the Telecom industry and offers extensive configuration capabilities, enabling network operators to tailor it to their specific business needs and processes, including the functional scope, language and look and feel of the system. It allows better customer support through faster response times to customer enquiries, and improves call centre productivity. Customers will benefit from better record management and problem resolution.

“The multi-tier application architecture of Customer Centre is based on leading edge web technology which will reduce the total cost of ownership of the operator’s customer management infrastructure,” said Stefan Sieber, chief marketing officer. “With enhanced customer service leading to increased subscriber loyalty, the potential to generate substantial ARPU is significant.”

Designed for easy integration with LHS’ billing and customer care system BSCS, Customer Centre fully supports pre- and post-paid convergence.  [l=www.lhs-systems.com/]http://www.lhs-systems.com/[/l]

Azercell implements LHS’ billing and customer care solution for next-generation services

LHS has announced that Azercell Telecom, the leading provider of cellular communications in Azerbaijan, has successfully launched BSCS 8. The latest version of the billing and customer care solution will support the roll out of Azercell’s new GPRS services, MultiMeSajCELL. 

LHS’ BSCS 8 will give Azercell end-to-end content charging across the network and application level through to billing and business partner settlement. The billing system allows more flexibility with respect to services and pricing and enables operators to market the same services to both prepaid and postpaid customers. It provides real-time balance management and cost control, giving much greater visibility of user accounts. Azercell can now make sure that subscribers can be billed accurately according to their individual tariff deals thus enhancing customer satisfaction and increasing loyalty. 

“LHS’ BSCS 8 enables charging and flexible billing for new GPRS content that we offer our subscribers at Azercell,” comments Mr. Anver Abbasov, head of Service and Product Development at Azercell. “With additional content and mobile packages available for subscribers, it is very important to have a reliable billing system in place. This will help us manage customer tariff profiles more effectively and customers will benefit immediately from tariff deals.”

Stefan Sieber, chief marketing officer at LHS adds, “BSCS 8 will give Azercell the competitive edge over its competitor networks, as it can now bill both pre and post-paid customers from a central billing system. Customers will be attracted to Azercell because it offers a much higher visibility of individual mobile phone bills and can supply detailed billing information immediately on request.” [l=www.lhs-systems.com/]http://www.lhs-systems.com/[/l]

Azure helps BT produce bills on calendar day one

Azure, the revenue assurance company, today announced it has completed workfor BT Wholesale on changes to enable its billing system to generateinvoices on the first day of the month, thereby saving the carrier 1.2million GBP per year. The savings were gained by reducing the amount oftime taken to bill its wholesale customers for the previous month’s trafficand other wholesale products and services from one week to just one day(calendar day one: CD1). This improves cashflow, reduces interest payableand gives a ROI payback period of just one month.

The project was led by BT’s Wholesale CIO team working to requirements fromWholesale Billing Operations, and Azure worked alongside BT Exact, BT’stechnology and IT operations division, Convergys and RateIntegration toprovide the necessary changes. Azure’s INCA interconnect platform is used tocollect call detail records from the network, processing 300 million callsper day.  The system can now identify any potential problems in datacollection and processing that need to be rectified in the lead up to monthend through the monitoring of thresholds to determine what percentage ofrecords are available for billing.  This enables BT to ensure the maximummonthly data is available for processing and enables it to issue bills in atimely manner.

Julian Wisniewski, manager BT Wholesale Billing Systems, said: “Thesuccessful deployment of the automated solution will allow the CD1 target tobe met, enabling improvement in cashflow and use of working capital. Networkoperators are required to pay their bills 30 days after production, and withAzure’s help we can collect call detail records quickly and efficiently,enabling bills to be produced much earlier.”

John Cronin, president and CEO of Azure, said: “We have worked closely for along time with BT Wholesale and we’re delighted to have been involved inthis landmark project.  This is further validation of our technology andfurther demonstrates Azure’s expertise in revenue assurance.”

Cartoon Network has announced the launch of its mobile services featuring Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Powerpuff Girls and a whole host of its other world famous characters in a new deal with Zed in the UK.

Zed will now market the Cartoon Network mobile content via its website, www.getzed.co.uk, to its customers.

The deal is aimed predominantly at phone users between the ages of 10 and 25. Visitors to the site will be able to download innovative java games, colour wallpapers and polyphonic ringtones featuring classic and contemporary characters to their phones. All content is developed by Macrospace Ltd.

"This represents another super distribution opportunity for Cartoon Network to reach beyond our mobile operator partners to provide Cartoon Network fans with our compelling Java games, ringtones and screensaver content," said Mitch Lazar, Vice President Wireless & Emerging Technology for Turner Broadcasting. "Zed is a well-established and a recognised leader in mobile device offerings online and we are keen to work with such a company in this arena."

Based on much loved characters known through Cartoon Network's television channel, the mobile games offering includes Yogi Bear's Pic-A-Nic, Dexter's Laboratory Security Alert, The Flintstones' Grocery Hunt, Samurai Jack's Samurai Showdown, Courage The Cowardly Dog's Haunted House, Tom and Jerry's Cheese Chase Game and The Powerpuff Girls' Bad Mojo.

There will also be wallpapers and ringtones from top shows including Top Cat, Scooby Doo and The Jetsons available.

"It is becoming increasingly common for children to own mobile phones at an ever younger age, and it is not just to call mum and dad. They want to have access to all their favourite cartoon characters. We offer our customers a hand-picked selection of colour graphics, ringtones  and games available to download quickly and easily via our web site." commented Mark Harris, product director at Zed. "This partnership is indicative of the standards we are setting in the mobile services market, by offering people of all ages exactly what they want. We are delighted to be able to offer our mobile customers their favourite characters from the popular Cartoon Network channel."

The deal is also effective in Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland.

New Offices opened in San Francisco, USA, Frankfurt,Germany and Paris, France

MetraTech, a leading provider of Web Services-based billing, customerself-care, and partner management solutions, has announced that it has opened three new sales offices to support its sales growth and expanded customer base.    MetraTech's new sales offices will be located in Frankfurt, Germany, Paris, France and San Francisco, USA.    "The investment in new regional offices will enable MetraTech tomake the most of the explosive growth opportunities in our markets,and enhance our regional customer support capabilities," said ScottSwartz, MetraTech's President and CEO.

Alcatel has announced its intention to acquire privately held Right Vision, a leading European provider of software-based Internet appliances that provide Internet access, email and Web applications, as well as security and simplified management capabilities.

The acquisition of Right Vision supports Alcatel's vision for delivering converged Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions that bring together IT and communications in "all-in-one" packages. Alcatel will target small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with these solutions, integrating voice, data and Internet functionalities into a single offering.

Founded in 1999, Right Vision is based in Sophia-Antipolis, France. Right Vision has established a leadership position in the SMB market in Europe, offering pure software solutions that run on industry standard server platforms, as well as packaged offerings that include standard hardware and software with support for both Microsoft and Linux environments. The company currently serves more than 5,000 SMB customers through indirect channels that include Hewlett Packard, NEC and ACER. Right Vision also has developed partnerships with leading service providers, including France Telecom, British Telecom, and Belgacom. Right Vision currently has 42 employees. The deal is expected to close in December.

"The acquisition of Right Vision reinforces our advanced converged ICT solutions for SMBs, leveraging partnerships with IT vendors and service providers for a true 'all-in-one' Managed Communications Solution strategy," said Jean-Christophe Giroux, president of Alcatel's Enterprise Solutions activities. "The addition of Right Vision's innovative solutions and talented people further strengthens our ability to deliver easy-to-use, easy-to-manage solutions to SMBs."

"Alcatel shares our vision that the future of communications and IT for SMBs will be delivered through 'all-in-one' solutions that bring together a wide range of services for both voice communications, including IP telephony, and data services," said Alexandre Krivine, founder and chairman, Right Vision. "Leveraging Alcatel's leadership in the SMB market, along with its strong presence with service providers and brand recognition, we are positioned to take a giant leap forward in delivering our unique solutions to the market."

Following a successful partnership with Right Vision that was announced in September of 2003, Alcatel is integrating Right Vision's solutions with its Alcatel OmniPCX Office communications server. Alcatel plans to deliver its first SMB offering that includes Right Vision in the first quarter of 2005. Further integration with the Alcatel OmniPCX Office range is planned for 2005 and beyond.

Alcatel will distribute the new solutions with resellers, as well as service provider partners that can leverage this offering to deliver managed communication services. In addition, Right Vision will help Alcatel better serve IT channels in their willingness to move to a broader solution set that includes voice communications.

Demon Ethernet services provide SMEs with a Cost Effective, High Performance and Scaleable alternative to traditional leased lines or ATM services

THUS has launched Demon City and National Ethernet, high performance Ethernet services that allows Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to link sites within or between towns or cities across the UK. 

These new services allow seamless sharing of data and applications across multiple offices and have been launched to address SMEs' increasing bandwidth requirements.

The new Demon City and National Ethernet services are high performance managed data networks offering SMEs the same speed and flexibility as they get from their Local Area Network (LAN) over multiple sites across the UK.

The permanent, uncontended connection is available at speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 1Gbps, depending on a customer's requirements. Bandwidth changes can be made remotely and at short notice, allowing customers to react to changing business needs without investing in new equipment.

Demand for Ethernet has grown considerably as SMEs look to converge voice, video and data applications onto the same network, implement disaster recovery solutions and consolidate IT infrastructure in one site. Relative to more traditional services such as leased lines the Demon Ethernet services offer faster speeds at more affordable prices and because most company LANs are already Ethernet environments this makes integration of National and City Ethernet cost-effective and very simple.

"SMEs are becoming ever-more sophisticated in their use of technology - whether that is building an e-commerce presence, or using a disaster recovery back up site - and their bandwidth and service requirements are becoming much greater," said Nigel Stevens, Product Director, THUS plc.  "In addition to speed and capacity, our customers also want flexibility and scalability.  Demon Ethernet provides all of these, as well as helping prepare SMEs for the next step, which is the convergence of voice and data in a single network."

Demon City and National Ethernet are the latest offerings from THUS's advanced Ethernet product portfolio, a successful service which already has more than 2200 installed connections, that allows UK companies to link sites through private Ethernet connections operating at the same high speed as their office network. 

By launching these Ethernet services for SMEs under the Demon brand, THUS is addressing the growing market need for SMEs to adopt a more unified network topology, which allows LAN traffic and company database content to be quickly and easily accessible by all employees, regardless of location.

Azure, the telecoms revenue assurance and management company, todayannounced the appointment of Alison Porter as its new general manager forfraud and security. Alison is an experienced security professional and hasworked for over seventeen years in the telecoms sector.

In her new role at Azure, Alison will be in charge of reviewing allactivities under the fraud and security headings. Her key responsibilitywill involve the creation of a plan and strategy to increase Azure’sbusiness in fraud and security significantly over the next five years.

Previous to Azure, Alison worked for BT since 1987. Most recently she workedin BT Retail where she held a number of general management roles includingProgramme Director in BT Mobile where she helped create and implement BT’smobile strategy and the role of General Manager for the Emerging Businessesdivision. Alison has also worked in BT’s Corporate Strategy unit as Europeanstrategy director where she managed the separation of fixed and mobileoperations between BT and O2 in Europe.

Before moving into general management Alison had fifteen years professionalsecurity management experience including positions as Head of Security forBT Worldwide as well as other security roles for both BT UK and BT GroupSecurity.

Before Alison joined BT she worked in the civil service in a variety ofroles. She worked at the Civil Service College as a course director for theEuropean Reciprocal Training Unit and has also worked at HM Customs & Exciseas a drugs investigator. She has maintained her links to the public sectorthrough two non-executive directorships with HM Land Registry and the StateVeterinary Service.

Alison was educated at Leeds University with a degree in French and Germanand is fluent in both languages. She is also an alumni of London BusinessSchool.

John Cronin, CEO of Azure, said:  “Alison is a vastly experienced securityprofessional who has built a great reputation both domestically andinternationally. She has hands-on experience of running an end to endbusiness in the telecoms sector and is therefore a great acquisition to theAzure team.”

Azure’s revenue assurance portfolio includes Interconnect Billing, FraudManagement, Mediation Software, Event Integrity and Route Optimisation.

Partnership To Exploit Growing European Asterisk Market And Extend Sangoma Technologies' Global Reach

Sangoma Technologies Corporation, a leading provider of connectivity hardware and software products for WANs and Internet infrastructure, has partnered with Halo Kwadrat of Warsaw, Poland as a distributor of Sangoma's voice and data A101, A102 and A104 T1/E1 solutions for Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) voice applications in Europe.

"We see a burgeoning market for our TDM voice delivery platforms all over the world," says Sangoma Technologies CEO David Mandelstam. "By partnering with Halo Kwadrat, we now have the opportunity to extend our presence in Europe with a partner who understands the market and is well known to the local soft PBX community."

The first Open Source software PBX implementation supported on Sangoma hardware is the Asterisk project. Asterisk is a complete PBX in software. It runs on Linux and provides many telecommunications features including voice over IP (VoIP). The Asterisk system interoperates with almost all standards-based telephony equipment using highly cost effective hardware such as Sangoma's AFT series T1/E1 WAN cards.

"We will leverage our strategic relationships with our vast network of contacts in the Asterisk space to strengthen Sangoma's market position," adds Halo Kwadrat's vice-president Michal Bielicki. "Sangoma's decision to partner with Halo Kwadrat has been reinforced by the rapid development of a reseller network which includes among others Espia of Italy, Speakup of the Netherlands and Convergence of Pakistan.

Announces appointment of new heads to handle the operations of new offices

Subex Systems, a global telecom software product company has announced that it has opened two new offices - in Denver (Colorado, US) and London (UK). Subex had recently announced the closure of its two acquisitions, Fraud Centurion FMS Lightbridge of US and the Fraud Management activity of Alcatel. Post these acquisitions, Subex became the largest FMS vendor in the world with installations exceeding 100, across 30 countries. Subex also announced the appointment of Greg J. Le Neveu as Vice President - Americas and Justin Johnson as Vice President – EMEA, to head the operations in the Americas and EMEA, based out of the Denver and London offices respectively.

Greg joins Subex from Micromuse, where he held the post of Major Accounts Director for the Network Service Provider markets and was responsible for the marketing of integrated Network Management and Operational Support System solutions to large Telecommunications and Cable/MSO firms. Greg heads Subex’s Denver office and will be in charge of driving Subex’s sales in the Americas. Justin Johnson, who heads Subex’s EMEA operations, joins Subex from Fair Isaac, where he was Head of Telco Sales for the EMEA region. Justin, who is a regular speaker at the GSM Association’s Fraud Forum and Security group, brings with him more than 15 years of sales, marketing and account handling experience. Justin will spearhead Subex’s activities in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Commenting on the new offices and appointments, Subash Menon, President & CEO, Subex Systems said, “Subsequent to the two acquisitions, we have renewed our commitment to the Americas and EMEA by opening the two offices. We intend to leverage our strongest USP – Customer Support. The two new offices will aid us in handling customer queries better, in these two key geographies besides giving a considerable push to our sales and marketing activities. The new appointments will also help us achieve this since both Greg and Justin have been extremely successful in the past in areas similar to ours.”

RevMax, from Subex, offers telecom operators an integrated platform for revenue maximization solutions and eliminates the need to invest in point solutions. A single platform optimizes the IT infrastructure besides costing significantly lesser and such integration drives informed, holistic business decisions and course corrections. The operational benefits of an integrated platform include streamlined, standards driven end-to-end Revenue Maximization workflow across the organization. RevMax also provides architectural flexibility to add new modules and thus extracts maximum analytics value with minimum resource requirement.

US-based Communications Fraud Control Association's (CFCA) pegs annual worldwide telecom fraud losses to be in the range of USD 35 - 40 billion. According to estimates, currently only about 27% of operators use any revenue maximization solution. Of these, around 60% use systems developed in-house. Subex's RevMax suite, through its products Ranger FMS and INcharge revenue assurance solution, maximizes revenue and profits through, assuring earned revenue, enhancement of revenue and cost optimization. [l=www.subexsystems.com/]http://www.subexsystems.com/[/l]

    

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