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April 23, 2009

IMS Forum Launches BSS/OSS and Security Technical Working Group

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor

The NGN and IMS Forum has created a BSS/OSS and Security Technical Working Group designed to help guide industry momentum for an integrated framework to enable cost-effective transition to IP Multimedia Subsystem (News - Alert) (IMS) and Next Generation Networks (NGN) environments.
The nonprofit association – an advocate for the interoperability of services such as VoIP, business unified communications, fixed-mobile convergence with networks that include WiFi DSL and WiMAX (News - Alert) –  made the announcement at the Billing & OSS World Conference & Expo.
“We have learned through the course of our last 6 Plugfests that billing OSS and security play an integral role in the successful implementation of integrated communications services utilizing NGN and IMS,” said Michael Khalilian, chairman and president of the NGN and IMS Forum. “We look forward to including the input from this Technical and Business Working Group in our Plugfest 7 interoperability test event and in future Plugfests.”
The forum members, says Khalilian, have demonstrated billing interoperability in the past six Plugfests and through commercial deployments.
The new working group will focus on the billing and charging, policy control and security functions required by service providers to capture the value promised by NGN networks, according to Khalilian.

HP will chair the working group with support from vice-chairs, Comverse (News - Alert) and Mu Dynamics.
According to Adam Stein (News - Alert), vice president of Marketing for Mu Dynamics who will also serve as the group’s vice chair, many of the Sunnyvale, California-based company’s operator and vendor clients play an “integral role in this important ecosystem with a high percent of their revenue dependent upon resilient, reliable and secure product development and continuous service deployment.”

“As a two-year veteran of the IMS/NGN Forum and their Plugfest events, Mu Dynamics is pleased
to see the increased industry interest in secure Next-Generation Network deployments that prevent unexpected weaknesses in real-time networked applications,” said Stein.
As networks have become more essential to the operation of businesses worldwide they are becoming more complex. This increased functionality drives complexity and makes it harder to manage, less robust or resilient, and contain an increasing number of security vulnerabilities.
As TMCnet recently reported, companies like Mu Dynamics are helping address these issues through analysis solutions designed to improve the reliability and uptime of networked products and IP business services, they are also proactively addressing robustness and resiliency factors before systems are deployed in production environments. 
And NGN and IMS Forum is designed to help address many of these issues.

“Our goal is to accelerate service providers on the path to an integrated BSS/OSS that allows reuse
of existing resources, lowers cost, and increases revenue opportunities," said Nigel Upton, director of Communications and Media, Solutions at HP. "With interoperability already demonstrated,
our working group will strengthen the business and technical foundation that service providers need for a smooth transition to IMS and next-generation services.”
The Working Group will also develop guidelines on the business and technical aspects of BSS/OSS and security in IMS and NGN services and will define the architecture and requirements for network interoperability and reliable real-time IP service application deployment, according to forum representatives.
In addition, the forum will take a close look at  the operational and management of converged IMS/NGN applications and services delivered over wireless (3G, LTE), wireline (DSL, optical) and cable broadband.
Acision (News - Alert), Aricent and Tekelec are also founding members.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray

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