American Management Systems, Incorporated, now known as CGI-AMS in North America and CGI elsewhere, part of CGI Group Inc. (TSX: GIB.A; NYSE: GIB), today launched a solutions suite designed to handle every facet of a telecom provider's relationship with data services providers. The Partner Business Suite opens up new revenue streams to providers by driving down the cost of launching, selling and managing partner data applications through end-to-end process automation and control. CGI-AMS will demonstrate the Partner Business Suite at TeleStrategies' Billing & OSS World 2004 on May 5-6 at the DC Convention Center, Booth #1030.
In a highly competitive market, telecom providers increasingly recognize the need to offer the most comprehensive and attractive portfolio of data services - a portfolio that will typically encompass both longer term, strategic services and short-lived opportunistic services driven by current consumer interest. While several providers have strategic partnerships in place, they are now being challenged by the additional level of complexity these partners are demanding, for example in billing options and integration with campaign management. Furthermore, few providers have been able to handle effectively the more opportunistic, casual partnerships that come in very high numbers, are short-lived and often costly to support. Providers' processes and infrastructure are largely unprepared to handle such partnerships, preventing them from mining a potentially profitable market.
“After years of searching for the elusive ‘killer data app,' telecom providers are realizing that the killer data application is choice,” said Nazzic Turner, senior vice president of CGI-AMS's communications, media and entertainment practice. “They also recognize that many of the most profitable applications or service ideas will originate outside their own environment and will be short-lived. This means that providers must expand their data services portfolios and engage in several partnerships with application developers, media companies and content providers, while matching the cost of each partnership with expected revenue.”
“Specifically, providers must drive complexity and cost out of their relationships with short-term partners, enabling new data applications to be brought swiftly and profitably to market and efficiently terminating relationships at the end of the partner and service lifecycle. The Partner Business Suite will enable providers to control these myriad relationships effectively and efficiently,” stated Turner.
The Partner Business Suite is designed to support both strategic and opportunistic partnerships, delivering the appropriate level of automation and support for each partner segment. It enables providers to profit from data services by bringing new services to market quickly and reducing the cost of managing partner relationships. It safeguards customer relationships and network security, giving the provider control over partner access to their network resources and greater visibility into the financial aspects of partner settlement. At the same time, the Partner Business Suite positions the telecom provider as the ‘channel of choice' for content providers, by delivering faster time to market for their services, deeper insight into service uptake and increased confidence in the accuracy of settlement payments.
The Partner Business Suite provides standardization, automation and control across the entire process of interacting with partners, from initial partner registration, through service development and delivery, to payment reconciliation. A modular solution, it comprises four key components, each using state-of-the-art technology:
- The Partner Portal serves as a single point of interaction for partners and providers. It provides partners with application development and testing support and information on service uptake and revenue. For the provider, it delivers application lifecycle approval workflow and auto configuration of business support system (BSS) environments for partner applications.
- The Partner Settler is the central component for managing the financial aspects of the provider/partner relationship. It provides flexible modeling of settlement agreements and a scalable engine for settlement calculations. On provider approval, detailed statements are generated automatically and offered online to partners for analysis and reconciliation, eliminating the need for expensive call center support.
- The Partner Analyzer is a distributed collection engine that ensures data is gathered to create full transparency of traffic and financial flows and to provide the basis for advanced partner analytics.
- The Partner Gateway ensures tight control over access to network resources by securely exposing an array of Web services to which partner applications can connect. The gateway interacts with pre- and post-paid business support systems to ensure provider revenue and delivers services to customers according to their preferences and handset capabilities.
The Partner Business Suite was developed to address the new challenges facing providers with whom the company is working with in North America and Europe . CGI-AMS launched its Data Services practice in North America in October 2003, following earlier success in Europe where the company is actively engaged with providers to enable the profitable delivery of data services that will prevent churn and drive revenue growth.
“While the initial interest in partner management improvements has come from wireless providers, we are seeing growing interest from wireline and broadband customers who are also eager to take advantage of the opportunities offered by data services,” summed up Turner. “We are confident that our new solutions will prove attractive to companies across the communications industry.”
Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest independent information technology and business process services firms in North America . CGI and its affiliated companies employ approximately 25,000 professionals. CGI provides end-to-end IT and business process services to clients worldwide from offices in Canada , the United States , Europe , Asia Pacific as well as from centers of excellence in India and Canada . CGI's annualized revenue run rate is currently CDN$3.7 billion (US$2.7 billion). CGI's shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB) and are included in the S&P/TSX Composite Index as well as the S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology and MidCap Indices. Website: www.cgi.com.