i-Bill On Demand :: overview

Set of Billing/Mediation outsourcing services for Telecom carriers. Whether you wish to control accurately your billing budget or reduce your involvement in every day operations - i Bill On Demand implements a work protocol to externalize your billing operations safely and quickly.

i Bill On Demand is a service for outsourcing billing activities. It covers all activities from Data collection and Data processing to invoicing and invoice publishing.

Process review

Each call made by the subscriber produces a Call Detail Record (CDR). In house billing platforms process the CDRs in the following order: Collection, Mediation, Rating, Invoicing, Publishing. Unfortunately, many existing billing platforms available on the market today provide these functions with a limited feature set and are so tightly integrated that they lose flexibility.

billing process

The CDR acquisition module collects CDR files produced by a network equipment and presents them to the filtering & formatting module. Its primary concern is to be reliable and crash proof since the whole process depends on this link.

CDR filtering and formatting is one of the foundations of a flexible billing platform. Customer requirements evolve rapidly which often translates in network changes that impact the content of CDRs. In order to make the billing platform evolve rapidly as well, it is necessary to be able to manipulate CDRs as they become available. Some CDRs are not used for billing, some need to be sent to a partner company as they become available or some may need to be sent to another billing platform. And each of them could be output in a different format and be processed through a different workflow schema.

Apart from filtering and re-formatting, this module plays a key role in balancing the work load on the network. As an example, if one billing server is saturated, you can simply add a new server with the same configuration on the network and send part of the CDRs to be processed on the new server.

CDR rating reflects in a large part how a product is defined. In order to keep the competitive edge, the challenge is to give the end user means to interactively be capable of defining the rating logic. The operation of assigning a price to a call is a very structured and repetitive task. In most cases, it can be modeled as a succession of functions to be applied to data obtained from a database server. This operation needs to remain in the control of qualified users because of its importance and potential impact on the business. However, it is equally important to give the choice whether to source the qualified staff internally or externally to the company. Today, each modification in the rating logic requires a ‘new development’ which is time consuming, cost intensive and requires the intervention of the company that produced the billing platform.

The rating logic must be exportable to other computers to comply to a real distributed environment. This feature would have other secondary advantages which are out of the scope of this document.

Consolidation and invoice production is the final step in the chain. It manages consolidated discounts and needs to integrate information from all services that the customer has subscribed for. Additionally, from a practical point of view and because of market trends, the output of this module would need to be delivered on a web server in order to give customers access to their bills.

Rating / invoicing process

Recycling process

The recycle process consists in analyzing error codes for calls that could not be rated. Once the analysis is completed the user must bring the appropriate corrections in the iTelco database before re-launching the rating process. If the corrections were successful, the CDRs are rated and sent to the invoicing module.