VOSS Solutions recently announced that its Northbound Integration Module for VOSS-4-UC, which provides integration into billing, asset management and other northbound service management systems through a secure and near real-time RESTful API, has been deployed by a group of early adopter service providers.
VOSS-4-UC provides a single pane view of all UC applications, services, end points and network infrastructure. It offers full feature parity and management of the latest UC applications (single stack: Microsoft and Cisco), and user provisioning through a web portal, workflows (Quick Add Subscriber), bulk loaders (customer provisioning), and APIs.
VOSS North Bound Integration (NBI) monitors for provisioning changes to subscribers or their devices and associated services, issues real-time billing updates (payloads) northbound for charging and controls this billing flow during initial customer provisioning. The billing payload contains information on subscribers and associated services for charging and can be tailored to the needs of individual providers and their respective OSS/BSS systems.
A number of global service providers have selected to deploy this module from VOSS, to benefit from key features, such as:
- Real-Time Billing Payload – Whenever a change to a subscriber takes place, a billing information payload is generated in near real-time and sent on a Restful API to the northbound system – ensuring all UC services that are configured and consumed are correctly charged for – no surprises. Payloads are defined in a standard JSON format.
- Automated Detection of Changes – Any change to the live service is detected by NBI through entries in the VOSS-4-UC Transaction Log. Once a change is detected, NBI uses the standard VOSS-4-UC APIs to extract subscriber and service information and reports this northbound. This end to end automation of the billing process removes the need to double enter information into multiple billing systems and delivers significant efficiency benefits.
- Self-Service – By monitoring for a wide range of subscriber related changes on VOSS-4-UC, NBI allows for a richer set of self-service provisioning changes to be made by a customer – improving turnaround times on these changes and reducing calls to the service desk.
- Call Back – NBI supports a call back function and tracking mechanism, which can be utilized by a northbound system to communicate various status updates or error reports back to the NBI, against each billing payload message sent.
- Provisioning Control and Go-Live Dates – During initial provisioning for a customer, when users are being on-boarded, the billing flow maybe disabled. Users are automatically discovered as they are provisioned onto VOSS-4-UC and placed in a Pending state (no payloads sent). Once a Go-Live billing date has been agreed with the customer, sites and associated users may then be promoted into a Live state. All subsequent provisioning changes then automatically flow into billing (payloads sent).
- Access Control – Access to NBI is fully controlled using secure credentials.
- Diagnostics – NBI includes message reporting screens to track billing payloads and status, integration and alarming with NOC systems (SNMP) and full diagnostic logs.
NBI runs as an appliance under the Ubuntu operating system, has a small footprint to limit disruption to existing services, and offloads billing activities from the main VOSS-4-UC application.