InterComms :: International Communications Project
  Intercomms Issue 17
Issue 17 Articles

Mission Critical Communication Solutions

Tobias Horstmann, Senior Business Consultant, Ascom
Tobias Horstmann, Senior Business Consultant, Ascom

InterComms talks to Tobias Horstmann, Senior Business Consultant at Ascom

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Tobias Horstmann is Senior Business Consultant at Ascom’s Systems & Solutions and part of the Team for handling Global Sales Operations in the international telecommunications wholesale market. He is an experienced Business Manager with more than 14 years in the Telecommunication sector and a wide experience in different Telecommunication operations holding Positions in Carrier Management, Business Development, Marketing and Product Management. Tobias Horstmann is involved in processes combining commercial and technical aspects within areas like routing, contract management, dispute management, revenue assurance and monitoring solutions.

Q: Where do you see the inter-carrier marketplace developing?
A: The market will stay in a very dynamic mode which makes it even more important to rely on professional and supporting systems like what is being offered by Ascom. Certain areas remain partly untouched like the inter-carrier routing. Other areas like bandwidth and IP based solutions are growing exorbitantly quick. Quality, IP Technology and the tendency towards full service companies summaries the direction we currently see in the market. That’s also why we always need to be one step ahead with our offerings to help our customers grow at the right time with the right solutions.

Q: Routing is an old subject in Telecom’s, what is the difference in your Intercarrier Routing Solution?
A: Everyone would expect to have some kind of professional tool in place to support the growing amount of carriers and especially to cover the increasing amount of products and opportunities offered in the telecommunication market. Our solution is developed to support and help the commercial and technical part alongside the routing management. Based on rules, completely flexible for every carrier, product, route, destination, etc., the solution calculates and creates new routings, pricings, covers the implementation into the switch if requested and overlooks the quality of your routes. The beauty of our solution is the flexibility to adapt the internal processes of our customers without turning them upside down just because a new software solution is going to be implemented within the company. Fully automated process of this tool and the flexibility to implement customer specific processes makes it stand out from traditional routing solutions.

Q: What size companies are deploying these solutions? And how are they benefiting in real market terms?
A: Our solutions are generally interesting for all kind of different company sizes. We are offering flexibility within our solutions which is of interest to specific areas within telecommunication. Our workflow based order management solution or the Invoice Shark dispute management solution are examples that currently are gaining more interest with Tier1 and Tier2 carriers, principally because of the size of interconnected customers and bandwidth, and therefore the need to implement such enterprise solutions. On the other hand, a huge amount of customers or bandwidth is meanwhile not any longer a matter of being Tier1 or Tier2 or even based on headcounts. Ascom is offering also different financing packages for all of our products and solutions. Together with one of the world’s biggest financial institution we are able to offer our customers CAPEX or OPEX based solutions which are linked to the current needs of our customers and opens new doors of financial flexibility and independency.

The benefit to our customers, beside a quick return on investment, is that they have the opportunity to streamline their processes and monitor all areas within their company to stay focused on core business without worrying about the underlying processes. We support our customers with our services, helping them to optimize usefulness usability of their internal and external services, improve their service performance, reduce the functional constraints of their services and to eliminate limiting boundary conditions.

Q: Practical monitoring is a crucial point at the moment, particularly to extract the last piece of quality in IP networks, how can Ascom help?
A: Our solution, the RTP Monitoring system is a passive, mid-point VoIP monitoring solution providing integrated SLA assurance and root cause analysis. The unique technology analyzes all voice packets on a link in real time and creates quality information for each 5 seconds of a call stream. Essentially, the RTP Monitoring solution provides a comprehensive view of the voice service quality based on detailed information about real calls. This is what we call voice service intelligence. This information gives operators full control of the service quality.

Q: Where are the future problems in monitoring coming from?
A: For Ascom monitoring is not focused on one specific part within the company. Monitoring extends to the whole internal processes. On one hand the quality of routes or the traffic flows in general, and on the other hand, monitoring of workflows and processes e.g. capacity management , or monitoring the billing and financial area with our unique invoice shark solution.

With such variety we also address the future problems in monitoring, which is to combine different systems in order to monitor exactly what is happening within your company. Currently with the growing amount of necessary systems to monitor internal processes, the market is facing a growing problem of systems which are not harmonized and counteract each other. At the end, the carrier is forced to invest into a further solution which is combining the results of their different platforms. This is probably one upcoming problem where we at Ascom are concentrating on and interlinking the solutions to give our customers the opportunity to concentrate on their real business.

Q: With interlinking products from Ascom, can you provide a full solution to the Carriers?
A: Yes, we are indeed able to provide full solution coverage to the carriers. Our portfolio of products and services is covering the full chain of technical, commercial and financial solutions. We have already spoken about our turnkey solutions in the area of our award winning GATE (Workflow Management Solution - gtb innovation award) and our new family member the InvoiceShark (Dispute Management) to cover the financial area. Additionally we are actually able to offer solutions for the area of Intercarrier Routing, RTP Monitoring, Revenue Assurance & Monitoring and of course we always welcome new opportunities which can be created with our knowledge and our customers need.

Q: Is it possible to look at a tool evolving to cover future challenges?
A: We have our “crystal ball” which is basically our unique opportunity to round up our internal specialists in combination with the knowledge of our long-lasting partnerships with leading providers of standard solutions. The best tool evolving to cover future challenges is probably the joint venture with a reliable partner who comprehends the customer needs and acts in a supportive manner. Ascom as a system integrator understands the telecommunication business since more than 20 years and knows about the importance of new integration challenges. We are able to work alongside daily business without blocking resources in order to implement a new solution which is, of course, valid for all our solutions. It is important for Ascom to work in a transparent and open style with our customers. We understand that the global market has a huge variety of carriers with different sizes and needs. We have to be flexible and innovative with our offerings and the market needs a trustful partner to grow their business. With our solutions, our customers also have the opportunity to recognize new niches and to monitor the results in order to act “one step ahead”.

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