Billing Vendor Proxima Finds Partners


Proxima Systems, a Canada-based developer of
customer-management and billing-software solutions that is expanding into the U.S. market,
has announced two strategic partnerships that will allow the information-management
company to give its cable clients support equipment for new products such as telephony
over the Internet.

Proxima has partnered with Arthur Andersen LLP, the
business-accounting practice, to enhance the "Mystral"
customer-information-management system. Mystral is a flexible, open and integrated
platform designed to support wireline and wireless telephony, cable and pay TV and
Internet services.

The two companies will work in tandem to provide Mystral
implementation services, including system-integration, project-management,
business-analysis, training and product-technology expertise to worldwide
telecommunications operators.

Second, Proxima has entered into a strategic alliance with
XACCT Technologies Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif. XACCT develops Internet-protocol mediation
solutions for Internet-service providers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Mystral will be
integrated with "XACCTusage," XACCT's mediation solution for IP networks.
The integration of the two allows users to create flexible usage-based pricing models for
multiple IP-based services, such as voice, video and data.

This alliance allows Proxima customers to offer value-added
services such as IP fax, IP telephony and streaming-multimedia applications, and to bill
customers based on usage, rather than flat-rate billing.

XACCTusage provides a single point of interface between
IP-network infrastructure and billing applications. The solution captures usage data from
a number of network elements such as routers, switches, fire walls and applications
servers. This activity is synthesized into XACCT-detail records (XDRs), which are
analogous to call-detail records generated by telephone switches.

The companies said that by leveraging the automated
user-account provisioning of the products, service providers can implement self-care or
self-registration programs, which should lower call-center expenses.

"Mystral and XACCTusage together provide
Proxima's customers with the competitive advantage of rapidly supporting new pricing
models that reflect quality of service, variable bandwidth, content category and service
level. In addition, service providers can now roll out new value-added services with a
significantly quicker time to market," XACCT vice president of marketing Anil Uberoi