IP Convergent Billing Platforms
[Go Right To: IP
Convergent Billing Platforms Round Up List
The In-House Billing Cycle Check List: A 12-Step Program]
The rapid growth of IP-based services offers an amazing revenue
opportunity for carriers and service providers provisioning these valuable
offerings. The new breed of services also presents a challenge: Next-gen
service providers must not only be able to quickly roll out services, but
they also need to bill for them in a timely manner with an emphasis on
customer management and convenience.
The platforms available in this space go beyond traditional billing and
call accounting systems. They offer a mechanism for service providers to
scale up their portfolios of offerings while giving their customers
real-time access to account information and the ability to choose the
services that best fit their needs. And in a market like Internet telephony
where change is constant and new termination and level of service agreements
are being worked out by the minute, the ability to charge for those minutes
without missing a beat is vital. So do your homework and choose a billing
platform that works with your existing network infrastructure and can
migrate as your service portfolio grows. The solutions outlined below should
serve as a good representation of the multitude of offerings in this market,
and the 12-step check list from Info Directions also provides a good
overview of the billing cycle.
� Laura Guevin
IP Convergent Billing List
XACCT Technologies, Inc.
2855 Kifer Rd., Ste. 105
Santa Clara, CA 95051
- This software platform offers a multi-source, multi-layer architecture
for extracting usage information from many types of network devices. The
information is taken from all layers of the network in real time and
synthesized to create billing records called XACCT detail records,
similar to the call detail records generated by most switches.
- These records are used by billing applications for creating
service-specific usage bills for IP-based services and applications.
Uses include VPN, Voice-over-IP (VoIP), and video-over-IP
GlarNet Communications Services
GlarNet Communications Services, Inc.
200 Lanidex Plaza
Parsippany, NJ 07054-2724
- These outsourced services enable telecommunications companies to
deploy billing and customer care systems in a robust, timely manner.
Through Portal Software�s Infranet software solution, IP telephony
providers can offer real-time billing and customer care/management
systems to their customers.
- The company also provides online and agent-based technical support and
customer care, as well as real-time, Web-based account access for
clients and their customers.
Saville CBP (Convergent Billing Platform)
ADC Telecommunications, Inc. (formerly Saville Systems)
P.O. Box 1101
Minneapolis, MN 55440-1101
- This software solution enables telecommunications and energy companies
to integrate charges from multiple service providers into one service.
It offers customized consumer accounts and verifies credit, enabling
easy customer service and the ability to upsell new services. Companies
have an automated connection to third-party providers delivering new
services, and can confirm service delivery.
- Additional features include a powerful marketing manager module to
enable new products and services to be developed in under an hour, and
easy handling of events like processing of call detail records and
one-time activation charges. The software also offers a multi-switch
interface, flexible rating schemes, and near real-time billing for
multiple products and services.
Savera Systems, Inc.
535 Mountain Ave.
Murray Hill, NJ 07974
- This Web-based settlement and management solution is designed for
telecom and IP carriers, as well as trading houses, resellers, and
service bureaus. It fits the needs of any size network, and lets
carriers accurately track and bill for use of each other�s networks.
- InterCarrier may be used independently or for consolidated reporting,
and supports multiple currencies and languages. It can also handle
changes in network infrastructure such as rating structures, new
services, and management of new agreements. The solution also features a
mediation adapter for multiple input record formats, and an enhanced
auto loader for maintenance, export, and import of all reference data
and price list information through a spreadsheet application.
Total-e Version 2.0
One Speen St., Ste. 130
Framingham, MA 01701
- The latest version of this customer care and billing solution is
designed for broadband service and content providers. The product�s
flexible billing capabilities enable providers to differentiate their
service offerings through innovative pricing models. These models use
qualitative and quantitative metrics linked to the value perceptions of
the companies� target customers and trading partners.
Internet Management System (IMS)
Belle Systems A/S
DK-4300 Holbaek Denmark
- This solution enables consolidation of single invoices and convergent
billing with traditional network services. It lets providers and end
users perform online credit checks and debit and credit card payments,
as well as offering integration into dedicated and legacy financial
- IMS is built on UNIX and Oracle 8 systems, and incorporates inherent
failover functionality and distributed RADIUS servers. It has been
proven to support more than one million simultaneous users and more than
20 million accounts. Additional features include a CORBA business logic
server, port management, a SilverStream GUI interface, and IP address
Info Directions, Inc.
833 Phillips Rd.
Victor, NY 14564
- The CostGuard family of billing products offers an open system billing
and customer care solution on a Windows 95/98/NT platform. The products
offer a fixed-fee licensing program, and are integrated with advanced
Web-enabled functionality for telecommunication companies that want an
immediate return on investment from their billing.
- The family, along with Info Directions� OnlineRep, is based on a
three-tier architecture and uses a core rating and billing engine
written in C++ using Win32 API. The rating engine uses the Microsoft SQL
Server to process tolls at up to 1,200 transactions per second. It
integrates ODBC and DAO database interfaces, and uses SQL server as a
database resource manager.
Biztrans Technology, Inc.
7432 Alban Station Blvd., Ste. B226
Springfield, VA 22150
- Intended for use with the VocalTec Internet Telephony Gateway, this
billing software lets ISPs offer Internet telephony services to their
POP accounts. It enables billing in a central location, and offers
account balance and receivable information, as well as integrated
- The software runs on Windows NT/95, and features an intuitive,
icon-based graphic interface. Features include customer account
management, invoice and call log management, a payment control log,
system administration, and common gateway interface capability. It also
supports customizable billing plans, and acts as a server for retrieving
call logs from co-located gateways.
Galleon E-Business Systems
Galleon Distributed Technologies, Inc.
13555 SE 36th St., Ste. 300
Bellevue, WA 98006
- This comprehensive, Java-based, three-tiered distributed computing
platform is also an application server that supports a suite of
e-business applications. Based on an object-oriented architecture,
Galleon offers extensive business transaction processing logic as well
as a customer-centric database schema.
- This open system records customer activity history and profile
information while providing a complete audit trail for accounting and
billing. The database design also allows for easy addition of
information storage tables. Thin client support is also offered, and
thin client user interfaces are simple to maintain and deploy.
Imagen Technologies, Inc.
174 Fulford-Ganges Rd.
Saltspring, BC Canada V8K 2V6
- This unique invoicing program allows a live Web page to be appended to
any billing invoice to merge customer communications with billing and
e-commerce. Invoy is an open source program and custom programming is
available for additional development. The program e-mails routine
invoices and receipts with windows into news and product pages for an
HTML invoice with an optional Web page appended.
- The program allows users to create an inventory of standard charges,
and build HTML invoices by clicking on charges and taxes. Live HTML
images and links may be added as part of the invoice body, and discounts
and surcharges may be added for up to two different tax levels. XML
reports may also be created, and can be used as a method to transfer
data to databases and other programs.
APEX Billing System
Apex Voice Communications, Inc.
15250 Ventura Blvd., 3rd Fl.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
- This transaction-based call rating and billing system offers reporting
capabilities and flexibility based on an accounting-oriented database.
Its modular software design supports IP telephony services as well as
local, long-distance, prepaid, cellular, and paging services.
- The system may be used in a variety of configurations for pre- and
post-billing needs. One setup incorporates a Cisco VCO/4K switch, and
the billing database uses CDRs from the switch. Another configuration
uses the OmniVox Intelligent Switch for call rating in a PC-based setup.
GRIC Communications, Inc.
1421 McCarthy Blvd.
Milpitas, CA 95035
- GRIC�s Convergent Services Platform (CSP) allows service providers
to deploy and manage Internet services. It handles authentication,
authorization, routing, settlement, and provisioning for multiple
services, allowing service providers to instantly extend their physical
networks by sharing services with members of the GRIC Alliance Network,
while getting immediate reimbursement.
- The CSP can accommodate new software applications for support of
additional next-gen services, and the platform makes it easy for service
providers to add more users. It is also standards-based, and GRIC offers
a variety of services that may be deployed including: GRICphone for IP
telephony service, GRICprepaid calling card service, GRICtraveler for
global Internet roaming, and GRICtraveler Corporate, a complete remote
Telco 2000 SQL
Telco Billing Solutions, Inc.
205-B Venice Ave. West
Venice, FL 34285
- An overhaul of the Telco 2000 Billing Software package, the new
version uses MicrosoftSQL Server 7 to integrate billing for IXC, CLEC,
prepaid, and calling card services. The software features full
accounting capabilities and integrated taxes, as well as a �customer
keeper� for easy access to financial information, call details,
transaction history, service call logging and other information, all on
- The package also features a centralized database that groups all
information, regardless of the number of customers, users, sub-licenses,
or locations. It can also optimize SQL database structures, and offers
integration to the Web through a browser or thin client for remote
access and electronic bill presentment.
DST Innovis, Inc.
11020 Sun Center Dr.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670-6184
- This solution from DST Innovis offers customer care and billing
capability in one package. Intelecable records and generates reports for
inbound and outbound account inquiries, and interfaces with the company�s
CyberCSR product to allow end-user account access through the operator�s
- It offers usage-based billing and a flexible real-time rating system
using various units of measurement. Other features include an open
architecture with a range of distributed APIs, the option to maintain an
individual data center or implement the full-service Platinum Global
Data Center from DST, and language versatility.
Business Support and Control System (BSCS)
LHS Group, Inc.
Six Concourse Pkwy., Ste. 2700
Atlanta, GA. 30328
- This client/server billing and customer care solution is designed for
service providers and network operators, and uses point-and-click
interfaces, and object-oriented construction of rate plans and service
packages. A scalable, open architecture and modular design make it easy
to modify and integrate this solution with an existing infrastructure
that is adaptable to a wide range of telecommunications markets.
- Features include account and service activation to support short
messaging, over the air activation, fleet management, switch auditing,
and dispatch handling. Customer administration features support sales of
services and equipment, on-demand bills, complaint tracking, and
real-time transaction viewing. Other features include maintenance of
subscriber data, adjustment processing, and bill and payment inquiries.
NeTrue IPT BackOffice
NeTrue Communications, Inc.
1400 N. Harbor Blvd., Ste. 601
Fullerton, CA 92835
- The BackOffice billing system offers real-time call handling, as well
as the ability to interface with network access and quality of service (QoS)
modules for billing according to service level agreements, call
authentication, and the measured QoS for individual calls. The system
can support multiple service billing applications, as well as pre- and
post-paid billing accounts.
- Other features provided by the system include real-time account status
and billing reconciliation, and historical invoice data. It can also
interface with Web-based customer care, and supports multiple customer
accounts, rate plans, taxation groups, and currencies.
Clarent Command Center (CCC)
700 Chesapeake Dr.
Redwood City, CA 94063
- The CCC enables flexible call rating for different inbound and
outbound charges, and allows service providers to easily add subscribers
and gateways, and to modify rating tables and reconfigure routing
tables. Dynamic call routing and Web-based management is also included,
and rating can be dependent on parameters like time of day and weekend
and holiday rates.
BillPlex ICP Package
1750 Clint Moore Rd.
Boca Raton, FL 33487
- The Integrated Communications Provider (ICP) Package is a
pre-configured software suite for billing and customer management,
geared toward convergent service providers. It has been developed to
handle packet-based and circuit-switched offerings in LEC and IXC
- The solution is based on an object-oriented, component-based
architecture for rapid implementation and service maintenance. It offers
support of NT and Unix, as well as cross-platform integration. BillPlex
can also offer pre-integrated market packages including the data model
and functionality to expedite launching of new services. Other features
include integration with operational and business support systems
through open industry standard APIs.
Portal Software, Inc.
10200 South De Anza Blvd.
Cupertino, CA 95014
- The latest version of this billing and customer management solution
offers a real-time business infrastructure with transactional
functionality. It features private branding to allow service providers
to offer virtual ISPs multiple services, branding on all customer touch
points, and data segmentation.
- New features include enhanced pricing and simplified, real-time rating
models like discounting and volume tiering. Customer care features offer
a customizable, Web-enabled solution for customer self care and CSR
management, and an enhanced invoicing system offers flexible invoicing
formats. Multiple databases are also supported.
Tempest DVG AMAS And Billing
733 Lakefield Rd.
Westlake Village, CA 91361
- Part of Franklin�s Tempest Data Voice Gateway, the product�s
Gatekeeper provides call details for offline billing, as well as the
ability to specify rates by destination according to rate groups, based
on time and day of the call.
- The Tempest Billing front-end application offers administrative input
through LCR and time zone table entries, and customer service input.
Features include reseller account setup; subscriber setup and
administration; debit, pre-paid, post-paid, and flat-rate billing;
payment history; and new card generation. Other features include
detailed bill output with provisions for call details, late charges,
discounts, and other customization.
Apogee Networks, Inc.
365 West Passaic St.
Rochelle Park, NJ 07662
- This billing system works within a distributed network environment to
allow for billing of services on a usage basis. Companies can give users
monthly billing information based on their account consumption with
NetCountant, using a methodology for implementing metering services used
in the telephone, water, and power industries.
- The system is made up of three components, the billing and management
subsystem for handling tariff calculation and reporting functions, the
collector subsystem, for gathering utilization data, and the
administration and user interfaces. It also features a Java GUI, which
can be launched from any Web browser.
Solect Technology Group
55 University Ave., Ste. 1500
Toronto, ON Canada M5J 2H7
- IAF Horizon acts as a multi-service IP billing platform, allowing
next-gen providers of Internet telephony services to move beyond rate
arbitrage models and quickly add new services. The solution enables
service providers to plug in network services and create pricing plans
for anything that includes multimedia service bundles for packaging
voice with applications like unified messaging, distance learning, and
- Features include prepaid calling card services, support for in-session
call management, branded IVR messages, call redirect and number
blocking, advanced rating capabilities, and calling card management,
which includes tracking by channel and bulk card creation.
NARUS Billing Mediation System
3950 Fabian Way
Palo Alto, CA 94303
- Built on the NARUS Semantic Traffic Analysis (STA) platform, this
system allows vendors to deploy and bill for customer-focused services.
The STA platform offers real-time usage information for every IP-based
service and user session, directly from the network. The data is
collected and distributed at line speeds without any impact on network
- The system supports pre-defined billing plans for VoIP, VPN reporting,
streaming media, dialup, and client and server flow. It is compatible
with all IP networks, and provides data capture in industry-standard
IPDR format through NARUS Analyzer devices. Other features include
mediation modules for transforming event information into billing
records, a system manager with an intuitive GUI and remote management
capability, and an optional archive for long-term storage.
MIND-iPhonEX Version 4
MIND CTI, Inc.
777 Terrace Ave.
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604
- The latest version of MIND�s IP services billing and customer
management platform offers convergent, real-time billing. The new
version supports billing for rapid deployment of services, and provides
the tools to manage a growing subscriber base.
- The product offers real-time rating, e-commerce billing, IP service
management, and content billing capability. It also includes call
management and traffic analysis support systems for load monitoring,
customer behavior analysis, and maximizing resources.
Billing Service Bureau
5883 Rue Farrari
San Jose, CA 95138
- Integretel�s billing service offers three billing platforms and
support for an entire back-office infrastructure in a complete customer
management solution. Phone bill, direct bill, and EBPP platforms provide
features like fraud control, advanced funding, and customer service for
inbound consumer inquiries.
- The service also features online management reporting through
Integretel�s NetImpact, which delivers management and accounting
reports over IP so clients can track all records billed. It offers a
one-stop shop for account creation and management, calculating
everything from collections to taxes, to receivables financing and
65 E. Wacker Place, Ste. 600
Chicago, IL 60601
- This application suite offers convergent customer care along with
order management and billing functionality. Built on Windows NT, the
suite uses Microsoft�s Component Object Module and SQL Server 7.0. The
product offers customers 24/7 access to their accounts through support
of the Web, interactive voice response systems, information kiosks, and
- The solution�s architecture follows through a product�s lifecycle,
from definition to ordering, billing, and problem resolution. It allows
solutions to be assembled from software components, and this increases
the time-to-market advantage. The product is created from SolutionKits,
which handle functions like account and customer management, task
management, and revenue management.
Telephony Gatekeeper Billing Manager
Telephony Experts, Inc.
1900 South Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 212
Los Angeles, CA 90025
- This solution is designed to work with the VocalTec Ensemble
architecture, to provide scalability and third-party access for
real-time prepaid/postpaid billing solutions. The billing server may be
placed anywhere within an IP network, and secured on permission-based
levels to bill for services like postpaid termination partnerships,
PC-to-phone billing, and prepaid phone cards.
- The solution features real-time authorization, parent/child accounting
setup, fraud filters, and automated batch account generation. Other
features include an intuitive interface for rapid deployment, an
administrative security model that allows agents to perform account
maintenance without full administrative privileges, and the option for
ClearIP Clearinghouse Solution
430 Tenth St. NW, Ste. N-204
Atlanta, GA 30318-0500
- Offering clearinghouse support for any IP backbone network, ClearIP
allows service providers to participate in new revenue opportunities and
drive backbone traffic by enabling new applications. The solution can
also increase demand for wholesale IP bandwidth, and can help increase a
customer base and retention.
- Provided as an outsourced service, the solution eliminates the need to
build in-house clearing and settlement solutions, but can also be
licensed so that larger carriers seeking to offer clearinghouse services
to retail customers can provide in-house operations.
400 Chesterfield Center
Chesterfield, MO 63017
- This billing solution offers flexibility and scalability for
high-speed data service providers, CLEC/ICPs, and wholesale service
providers. It is designed to be a seamless billing system and offers
service providers enterprise-wide, supply-chain management capabilities
for security, service, and retention of their customer bases.
- The product may be delivered in a variety of manners, including site
license, service bureau, and facilities management, aimed at established
and emerging carriers.
4660 La Jolla Village Dr., Ste. 880
San Diego, CA 92122
- This billing/management software suite is aimed at ISPs, and features
bank reconciliation, online subscription capability, customer support,
online statements review, and the ability to e-mail customers. It also
features automated account setup on NT and a variety of Unix-based
servers, a universal billing interface to accept usage information, and
is completely Web enabled.
- RODOPI features real-time authentication for credit cards and allows
for a wide selection of plans, billing terms, and promotions. It offers
customer support through a help button, and filters and controls to
allow only specific information to be entered.