Biller Unveils Do-It-Yourself Activator


Billing and customer-care software provider Convergys Corp. has updated a key application that will allow cable operators to make up their own rules for service-provisioning systems.

Activation Manager Release 3.0 is designed to give operators more control over how they set up the work flows used to activate and monitor voice, video and data services, according to senior director of product management Shirley Evans.

A piece of software that sits between billing and the customer-care system, the activation manager allows for the provisioning and activation of multiple services ranging from data to voice-over-Internet protocol to IP video.

"What's new is as we have developed products for this market space, we've realized that carriers and operators are really looking for the ability to do more and more themselves, giving them the flexibility to install and enhance their own environment," Evans said.

Therefore, the new version 3.0 system release includes three key tweaks. The first is a set of enhanced business-rules configuration tools, which allow operators to set up the guidelines for activating new services within their networks.

The second key addition is the enhanced event notification configuration, which allows operators to quickly configure Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps anywhere in the network. Such traps are used to collect error messages or forward them to outside alarm management systems.

Finally, the update includes an enhanced configuration for the command-dialog interface, which allows operators to see the communications between the Activation Manager system and the network.

"This is really, from the cable perspective, intended to ultimately be able to support them in their expansion of more converged services, as they get into more data services," Evans said. "It sort of goes beyond their traditional network, as they get into more of the next-generation services from the standpoint of IP services, other data services that will have to be turned on. It's no longer just talking to a set-top box or a network. It's cable modems."