Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) today announced their intent to develop and market a solution for “Convergent Charging and Receivables”. This next-generation convergent billing solution will deploy Alcatelâ€™s real-time rating engine in the billing workflow, and provide fixed and mobile operators with a highly efficient architecture that simplifies operations, while enhancing the operatorâ€™s marketing capabilities and reactivity.
The convergent billing solution will enable operators to offer the same level of service, regardless of subscription type and any type of access for Fixed – Mobile Convergence (FMC), VoIP etc. For instance for mobile services, a prepaid user could chose to receive a bill that records all his top-ups, or he could automatically recharge his prepaid account each month. A post-paid user could request real-time cost control for particularly costly services such as international calls, data services, etc.
Moreover, with Alcatelâ€™s real-time rating engine and Oracleâ€™s user-centric E-Business Suite, the operator will be able to take appropriate action when customer consumption thresholds are reached (e.g., notify the user, disable the service, apply a bonus in real-time, give the user real-time access to his account balance and history, etc.).
Alcatel will provide all network-related facilities, including access types, network provisioning, session supervision, online / offline mediation, as well as a real-time rating engine and billing aggregation product. The solution is scheduled to be pre-integrated with Oracleâ€™s E-Business Suite and its Customer Relation Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications. In addition Oracle plans to provide a single, consistent application for data management, customer views and workflows. The pre-integrated solution is expected to implement an “order-to-cash process,” and include activation of the operatorâ€™s Intelligent Network (IN).
“Alcatel and Oracle have been partnering for more than 10 years. Leveraging Alcatelâ€™s leadership in prepaid solutions and its worldwide footprint with telecoms operators, we decided to launch this groundbreaking initiative, which combine the best of both companiesâ€™ technical and business capabilities. This combination will allow operators to significantly increase their business in a cost-effective way, and enable them to launch many new services in a very short time. It will let them provide an attractive and dynamic service offering to customers, enabling them to enjoy the experience of real-time customer care,” noted Lars WahlstrÃ¶m of Oracle, Vice President Telecom & Media Oracle EMEA.
“As one of the key elements of Alcatelâ€™s strategic, IT-based network renovation program, this solution is expected to optimize the operatorâ€™s cost efficiency and revenue assurance,” added Marc Rouanne, Chief Operating Officer of Alcatelâ€™s mobile communications activities. “The target market for this solution is composed of operators seeking next-generation convergent billing capabilities, reduced costs for the renovation of their billing chain, and enhanced capabilities to differentiate themselves from competitors.”
“Introducing convergent billing capabilities in a pre-existing BSS system could be a long and costly journey. With this agreement, Alcatel and Oracle provide service providers with an alternative option to introduce convergent billing capabilities at a reasonable costs, leveraging pre-existing assets” stated Jean-Charles Doineau, Service Infrastructure, Practice Leader at Ovum.
In a demonstration of this radically innovative approach, visitors at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona from February 13th to 16th, 2006 are invited to come and discover this new convergent billing solution (Alcatel Hall 8 booth A09, Oracle Hall1, booth D100). The solution will also be demonstrated at Alcatelâ€™s 3G Reality Centre in Velizy, France.