Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by next-generation communications service providers is differentiation. Offering services that are distinct or unique in one or more ways is an important part of keeping existing customers happy and committed to a long term relationship. Differentiation is also important for growing the subscriber base.
Because there are a lot of players now in the communications market, and most service providers are working with the same basic technologies, often differentiation boils down to price. To succeed in the long run, though, providers have to offer something other than the lowest price. This is where rich and innovative services and features like subscriber-level account control come in.
Generally speaking, the networks run by next-gen service providers have been built with transport and resiliency in mind. The result is that now it’s easy to find a VoIP
service provider (and there are lots to choose from) but much harder to find one that offers enterprise, residential and wholesale services based on a single core network. With disparate networks comes disparate services that are hard to manage in an integrated manner.
Companies are now offering solutions, however, that help service providers take a more unified approach to next-gen offerings. IVR
Technologies, for example, has created a set of service offerings and integrated billing solutions using a portfolio of modular software applications. TMCnet asked Barry Sher (News - Alert), business development director at IVR Technologies, to elaborate on the company’s approach to next-generation services.
Sher emphasized that IVR Technologies has always had a vision of delivering a core solution that combines revenue-generating services with a real-time billing engine that caters to the needs of today’s VoIP service providers. This solution is Talking SIP
, composed of a media server, application server, Class 5 feature server, real-time billing server, and registration server — all in one software package.
“Talking SIP is a turnkey solution that takes very little time to install, configure and launch services with,” Sher explained. “It was designed from the ground up with service providers in mind, enabling them to offer their own brands or white label programs.”
Sher added that IVR Technologies worked hard to ensure Talking SIP is highly configurable and secure. The result is that multiple providers can be hosted on the same network, each retaining its own secure remote access for account generation, feature enablement, and rate plan control.
Talking SIP covers all the basic needs of next-gen service providers, and then some. Its features include:
- Hosted PBX (News - Alert) (with auto attendant, voicemail and ACD)
- Voice over broadband (VoBB) for primary or secondary line services (business and/or residential)
- Class 4 switching for wholesale routing and resale
- Find me/follow me services
- Mobile applications for BlackBerry (News - Alert) and Windows Mobile users
- Reminder services
- Prepaid/postpaid calling card
- Callback and click-to-call (SMS, Web and more)
The various Talking SIP modules integrate seamlessly and can be combined in different ways to create unique service offerings. Coupled with an end-user Web interface module, the features listed above make it possible to build an automated portal where prospective customers can sign up for services using a credit card, and where existing customers can manage their accounts.
To learn more about Talking SIP, please visit the PBX channel on TMCnet.com, brought to you by IVR Technologies.
Mae Kowalke is senior editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae’s articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.