IPTV Impact on Fulfillment, Assurance, and Billing (FAB)
IPTV Impact on Fulfillment, Assurance, and Billing (FAB)
TeleManagement Forum Catalyst Project: TMW Nice 2006
Sponsor Participating Companies
Developing new BSS/OSS overlay architectures using NGOSS standards is critical for enabling innovative new services to
be efficiently rolled out. Particularly with the advent of triple play offerings, the demands placed on traditional Operating and
Business Support architectures are extended.
However, it is the addition of IPTV into the mix that represents the real challenge. While some services – fixed voice and
Internet, for instance – have already converged with bundles now being widely available, the integration of IPTV can’t be
taken for granted.
This is because IPTV is a fundamentally different type of service altogether. It challenges Operating and Business Support
Systems because the partner relationships involved don’t conform to the structure that most OSS and BSS infrastructures
were designed to support. In fact, IPTV foregoes subtle change and represents a paradigm shift in partnering wherein
commercial deals can be made with the IPTV provider itself, rather than the actual channel providers. Then, acting almost as
a central clearing house, the service provider can deal downstream, where appropriate, with its channel partner. It can also
deal directly with programme providers to targeted or customised content, with film producers for VideoonDemand, and with
advertisers to segmented marketing campaigns.
Furthermore, IPTV has the potential to become a unique, new interface to address end users. New services and products
could be purchased in new ways directly from the TV screen itself. This lucrative but as yet embryonic new revenue stream
demands an integrated fulfilment process, an upgraded Order Management System (which can check bundled offerings),
new service delivery metrics and more.
Perhaps most important of all, new revenue assurance methodologies will also be key to making things work. New billing
processes addressing advanced revenue sharing agreements with the Content Providers must be implemented and IPTV
may also require a new interface for Bill Presentment & Payment. This could see the creation of a new dynamic in the
management of Telecom Services. Where now the processes are linear: to put it simply, the service is provisioned, then
consumed and finally billed, with IPTV, interactions between the service logic and the OSS/BSS components happen at all
sorts of different levels during the fulfilment, assurance and billing processes.
How will it all work, and what will such a new IPTV Service OSS/BSS framework look like? Almost certainly, the related
product will be bundled with other more traditional Telecom offerings and the user will be able to subscribe, consume and
check the charging of the service only by interacting with the TV screen. What does this mean in terms of following an
NGOSS methodology? Can legacy components be leveraged and service enabled in order to offer open APIs and allow
more flexible interactions between the service logic and the OSS/BSS components?
It’s questions like these that through the Telemanagement Forum’s IPTV Impact on FAB (Fulfillment, Assurance, and Billing)
Catalyst we have sought to address. This paper provides an overview of the lessons we have learned in the process.
Traditional telecom operators are facing declining revenues and an increasing battle for market share. The traditional
services on which these companies have been built are yielding an ever smaller return and as a result there is an urgent
need to find innovative ways to leverage networks by providing valueadded contentbased services. One strategy followed
by many operators is to diversify the product offering towards what has become known in the market as “Triple/Quadruple
One core element of the triple play offering is generally accepted to be a television service delivered over the network.
Offering this service puts the provider (operator) in direct competition with players outside its own market space. As a result,
and to make headway in the well established TV market, telecoms operators must provide higher quality services than their
competition in order to succeed.
IPTV, wireless and high speed broadband offer the technologies and platform to do this: to enrich the customer experience
by providing customized and interactive services and to therefore fulfill the vision of providing “content” to any and all of a
consumer’s devices: their wireless PDA/cellphone, their computer, their television.
If this can be achieved, success beckons. Consumers view this “convergence” as extremely convenient because it offers
more selection, greater flexibility and improved convenience for entertainment, shopping and communication, not least as a
result of having access to a single “dashboard” controlling all of the above.
For the Telecoms Operator, IPTV not only offers a more rational use of bandwidth for Pay TV but also provides the ability to
tap into several other revenue opportunities by easily capturing information about the customer and thereby acting as an
effective sales channel on behalf of a myriad of other Value Added Services. However in order to offer these new services,
the BSS/OSS components d involved and also allow consumers to select and deliver their content to any of their media
Telecom Operators are also seeking partnerships with third party “content providers” allowing access so that these
partners can deliver their own media to end customers via the Operator’s network. In these types of arrangements, revenue
sharing between the Telecom Operator and content providers is the likely model.
The above scenarios, while desirable (and even critical to the operators’ future,) not only require service innovation to
implement but also innovation to meet the demands of current OSS/BSS system architectures. It is in response to the need
for evolutionary approaches in this area that the Catalyst Project “IPTV Impact on Fulfillment, Assurance, and Billing” was
The goals of the project were to:
· Implement and demonstrate an interactive IPTV Service which strengthens the Telco relationship with its customers
as well as with its content partners.
· Assess how these new relationships impact the FAB process and determine to what extent existing COTS could be
used or reused.
· Assess whether NGOSS and SOA allow a Telco Operator to efficiently make the necessary adaptations.
· Identify the borders between next generation service logic and BSS components.
The IPTV Impact on FAB project delivers:
· A contribution to the industry at large by demonstrating what next IPTV services bundled with existing telco services
could be and how they will impact existing OSS/BSS systems.
· A contribution to the industry identifying borders between service logic and BSS components.
· A Contribution to the operator community showing how NGOSS and SOA could help enhance legacy environments.
The Catalyst followed NGOSS principles by using:
· A modular architecture where no single application owned the overall Business Process workflow and policies.
· An executable metalanguage description describing the flow of execution between contract instances.
· The SID in order to assist integration and interoperability.
The primary considerations for arriving at the architecture are:
Impact of introducing Next Generation Services on FAB
Adapt the existing OSS/BSS systems to provide Next Generation Services
Reusability of various components and services
Ability to introduce new services with minimal lead time
In Scope Components:
§ Designed and developed using Macromedia Flash
§ Provides an interface for the customer to place an Order
Music Store (Content Provider)
§ Maintained by the Content Provider
§ Is exposed as a service, easily accessible by the OSS systems
§ Workflow and Orchestration defined using Microsoft Biztalk Server 2006
§ Receives the Order from the TV portal and maintains it through out its life cycle
§ Metratech’s CRM service is provides the Customer Profile and preferences
§ Metratech’s Billing System is exposed as a Service to perform the normal billing activities in real time
§ Syndesis’ Activation System is responsible for activating the services that customer signs up for and is
exposed as a Service as well
§ Nakina Systems’ Network inventory system is employed to manage the Network Inventory
§ Nakina Systems’ mediation along with Wipro’s and HP’s systems have been utilized to manage the Service
§ cVidya’s Revenue Assurance system has been deployed to demonstrate active Revenue Assurance
§ The service contracts which are NGOSS and SID compliant have been defined by Tigerstripe
§ These Service Contracts have been translated in Biztalk Server 2006 to be able to consume the various
Enterprise Service Bus
§ Microsoft Biztalk Server 2006 has been used as the ESB for this program
§ The data exchange between various systems is using XML
Out of Scope
Digital Rights Management
Service Contracts defined are NGOSS and SID Compliant
Based on SOA
Real time Rating and Billing
Active Revenue Assurance
EBPP on TV Portal
Two high level scenarios were explored, a normal case which covered all aspects of service subscription, service usage,
ordering and billing. The other case explored some of the aspects of service assurance where a download failure occurs.
Both scenarios are done on the TV screen without any media break. The delivery of the music file on the mobile phone
illustrates the added value of full player.
In the first scenario the customer uses the remote control and the television screen to actually subscribe to IPTV services
which leads to OSS interactions where a customer profile is setup and a data integrity check occurs. Once subscribed, the
user then uses their IPTV portal to order a song (that happens to be provided by a third party content provider rather than the
service provider) with the added complexity of the song being delivered to the customer’s mobile phone where we are
highlighting the value of IPTV as a new sales channel as well as fixedmobile convergence. From a management systems
perspective, onscreen billing is displayed while a background credit check is performed. The overall billing system is also
highlighted focusing on revenue assurance displaying revenue shares, rating and charging.
In the second scenario, the focus is on service assurance and the reaction of the overall system in these cases. Here we
download a second song; however, router congestion occurs which is displayed on our service assurance platforms. Here
the system identifies that the customer transaction did not complete successfully so the customer’s account is credited since
the delivery of the content was not rendered. This scenario is then retried when the network congestion is no longer a factor
in content delivery to successful completion.
IPTV has the potential to greatly enhance the Telco FAB. The Catalyst showed that the following processes could be
v IPTV screen for direct marketing
v Real time ordering and provisioning
v Direct interaction between customer and Service assurance
v Active Revenue assurance
v Realtime billing and spending control
v Portal adapted bill display
NGOSS allowed the project to
v have smooth communications between the Business and Development teams
v reuse of existing components (e.g. the Bill Layout) in different contexts thanks to SOA principles
v save time during the integration phase as well as during the specification phase. The initial time investment
during the specification phase proved to be very worthwhile.
v provide a strong basis to differentiate between Service Logic and BSS area of responsibility. However,
clearer standards at this level could aid in making the process even smoother.
Participating Companies Overview
The IPTV Impact on FAB project uses cVidya Networks' MoneyMap® Revenue Assurance product to demonstrate the
profitability analysis of IPTV operations. Within the scope of the Catalyst project's scenario, MoneyMap® gets information
from the Partner billing system on one hand and from the retail Billing system on the other hand, all of that on top of BizTalk.
For further information, please contact Doron Avidar: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nakina Systems’ role in the IPTV Catalyst project involves network monitoring and service assurance. Nakina Systems
products closely monitor the topology, performance and status of the network. In this project, Nakina directly interfaces into
Hewlett Packard Open View monitoring product by providing a northbound interface for performance management data and
alarm details. Nakina Systems mediation is also being used as an abstraction layer to the network. In this role, Nakina uses
its network adapters to normalize network data and effectively abstract the network to a SID based model and makes all data
available through a unified standards based interface to all other OSS/BSS components.
For further information, please contact Sergio Pellizzari : email@example.com
For the Catalyst project, MetraTech has deployed its MetraNet solution to provide all major CCB functionality in domains
such as CRM, Service Management & Operations, Resource Management & Operations and Partner Relationship
Management, as described in the Enhanced Telecom Operations Map (eTOM). Within the scenarios, Swisscom Music
Content partners can also query their current credit by using MetraParner’s Credit Statement.
For further information, please contact Suzanne Upton: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Catalyst Project leverages Syndesis’ application configuration management capabilities for the project’s subscriber
provisioning scenario, in which subscriber IPTV packages are upgraded to facilitate ondemand song download. Syndesis’
application configuration management solution features a highly scalable, eventdriven framework for configuring
subscribers, their features, and attributes for applicationbased services.
For further information, please contact Sarah Kirk: email@example.com
Tigerstripe™ has participated as the data modeling lead in the Catalyst. The company applied SOA methods and its
Tigerstripe Workbench™ software to design NGOSSbased solutions for IPTV. The IPTV project used a contractsfirst
integration approach, meaning that integration touch points are designed before proceeding to the implementation phase.
Tigerstripe was used to design standardsbased “Service Contracts”.
For further information, please contact Doug Strombom: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wipro: Achieving Quicker Integration
Wipro’s role in the IPTV catalyst project involved working on the Service Assurance part using HP Open view NNM for Event
Handling and integrating south bound systems with Order management using Microsoft BIZTALK server.
For further information, please contact Shatrugan Singh: email@example.com
Swisscom Innovations is RnD unit of Swisscom AG which main task is to develop concrete proposals with a technical and
economic rationale designed for practical use and support in other Swisscom business departments and their current
projects. As a sponsor of the IPTV Catalyst project, Swisscom Innovations tried to addresses the main business needs and
operational challenges of the Swisscom’s business unit responsible for implementation of the IPTV service.
For further information, please contact David Watrin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tata Consultancy Services
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was the technical lead for the IPTV catalyst program being hosted by Swisscom in
Telemanagement Forum in Nice, France (May 2006). As technical lead, TCS was responsible for working with other
contributing companies to monitor the progress of the project and resolve any technical issues, and for ensuring that the
project is delivered as planned. In addition to the technical lead, TCS was also responsible for the development of the IPTV
front end, order management, content server and systems integration of northbound interfaces.
For further information, please contact Douglas Long: email@example.com