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Home | New Service Delivery | Ascom, GATE Way to Success
  Mehdi Ahari, Senior Consultant at Ascom
  Mehdi Ahari
Senior Consultant at Ascom

GATE Way to Success

InterComms talks to Ascom’s Mehdi Ahari

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Mehdi Ahari is a Senior Consultant at Ascom and part of the team responsible for the Global Account Deutsche Telekom. He is educated at Universities of Kent and Warwick, United Kingdom. Mehdi has been working with Ascom since 2005, and has actively participated on the Deutsche Telekom projects in all aspects of International Interconnect Business.

Q: With the deployment of more intricate and developed services what are the main complexities facing the carriers in interconnection?
A: In the last decade a significant number of carriers have made investments in deploying systems to address various business needs. Enterprise solutions have helped carriers to address traditional area of concern, namely availability of information. What has become apparent in the last few years is that, carriers have expanded their departmental systems, and business processes somewhat independent of each other. We see rapid rise and diversity of systems to address specific departmental needs, yet not an overarching set of processes or systems to address cross departmental information flow. Meanwhile, the business processes have become ever more complex, and require rapid and reliable information exchange to support informed decision making. It seems that email and Excel sheet exchange have become the common tools for transport of business information. Anyone needing a decision from colleagues sends them an email, and an Excel sheet attachment. This has become the modus operandi for industry. We are seeing an increasing awareness of companies realizing this shortcoming. Informal processes play havoc in business. Traditional processes are replaced with emails. Variations of agreements and contracts are arbitrarily captured in Word and Excel documents, without attention to the downstream systems that expect a particular set of data. In short, ever creeping lack of business process formalism is hampering business expansion and is adding to costs arising from the differences and rising commercial disputes in the industry.

Q: How has Ascom developed its Gate product to help overcome this?
A: Workflow based systems have been around for some years. Ascom has developed a flexible data model around the chosen workflow product, which enabled our client to fully and freely express their business and operational requirements. In the first instance, GATE operates just like a formal order processing system. As an order is processed, supporting information is transparently collected from various departmental systems and sources. Where needed, the application creates tasks for individuals in different departments, some for review, others for action, and when necessary triggers further order processing tasks. GATE system operates across sales, contract and product management, finance, accounts and provisioning divisions. It also maintains and monitors whole life cycle of orders, thus ensuring that “real” and “live” knowledge is shared across diverse business units.

Q: What key benefits have the deployed operators found in using the product?
A: We are seeing two distinct benefits, since the product is commissioned. Customers are reporting benefit from consistency of information and a significant reduction of data loss compared to the traditional email, excel process. Second benefit is in some respect far more important than the first. It is the realization by customer departments and communities, of the need for transparency in business processes. Up front capture of key information, combining it with supporting data and sharing it accurately has reduced the operating costs of order management and order life cycle.

Q: What other problems has Ascom overcome with other products and services?
A: Systems and Solutions division at Ascom has been an active player in the Telecommunications arena for the past 25 years. Ascom has significant experience in deploying workflow managed systems for the sector. We are also active in the Interconnect business support systems, both as enterprise system integrator of repute, as well as having a significant set of niche products and service offerings. We are active in several sectors ranging from Fraud management to revenue assurance, or from trading and rating to routing. Our relationship with our clients is long term, and we ensure that our knowledge and expertise is constantly evolving and improving. This has been our key success factor in remaining trusted and knowledgeable partner for our customers. Simple result is that we gratefully benefit from repeat business.

Q: Where do you see the key changes in this market over the next twelve months?
A: We observe that carriers are investing in new technologies, hardware and switching platforms. They are also actively prepared to mix their network switching infrastructure, as well as acquiring appropriate OSS/BSS from variety of vendors. Along with this trend, we see the need to integrate diverse systems and present the vital business information as if all are part of one large enterprise application.

Q: How is Ascom working to develop new technology and standards to the interconnect market place?
A: Ascom is one of the founding members of the Tele Management Forum (TMF). For a long while we have realized the value of standards and the need to adhere to them. Systems and Solutions division of Ascom has been and ISO certified business for a long time. Close working relationship with our customers ensure that we remain ahead of the curve. For example, in face of the need for transparency standards, Ascom took steps to become SAS70 certified company so that we could support our clients in implementation of SOX compliance practices.

Currently Ascom is working on extending features and functionalities of our workflow systems and provide a set of tools which enable smoother and more transparent communication and information exchange among enterprise deployments of our customers.

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