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Telution Dials in With Telephony Support

4/11/2004 8:00 PM Eastern

Telution Inc., traditionally an operating support-services vendor for the telephone industry, is entering the cable space with order-assurance and order-management software designed to make it easier for MSOs to launch voice services.

“We can take the order and flow it through to activation,” said Apollo Guy, vice president and general manager of Telution’s broadband business unit. “That’s simple to do in video, but it is complex for voice. We are the engine behind their order-management platform.”

For example: a customer-service representative might take a call for a phone service order and enter it into the billing system. In many cases, that order must also be manually entered into a different database to activate the service and trigger a truck roll, Guy said.

Voice adds a layer of complexity because consumers have to decide whether or not to get a new phone number or to port their present number to the MSO’s platform. Such a move requires software to track and execute those requests.

Supplemental work orders can be another issue, Guy said. A consumer may order phone service, then call two days later and want a second line added. Telution’s software can handle those requests seamlessly, he said.

Guy’s firm is talking to all the major billing vendors and has a nonexclusive integration agreement with CSG Systems Inc. to integrate Telution’s COMX Cable product, Guy said.

“We can sit on existing platforms and offer visibility for all-voice ordering,” he said. “It’s Web-based and we can set up rules and alarms around this.”

Guy said Telution is close to signing its first major MSO customer, and other cable operators are “seriously looking at the product.”

Telution was founded in 1998 by a group of former Accenture Inc. executives, marketing director Robert Kunzler said. “We started in the [competitive local-exchange carrier] space with unbundled elements, doing front office and back-office support. Z-Tel was our first client.”

Although much of the CLEC market contracted, Telution grabbed enough business to post nine consecutive profitable quarters.

“The applications were built to be modular,” Kunzler said. “The product was built to be flexible,” making it easy to create products for MSOs once cable started looking at telephony.

Guy — who worked at Rogers Cable and Bell Canada in the 1990s, and more recently was at Lemur Networks — said that in addition to the CSG partnership, Telution has working interfaces with Siemens AG and Cisco Systems Inc., and is working towards completing interfaces with Syndeo Corp. and CedarPoint Communications Inc.

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