Frequently Asked Questions

What is ASR in Telecom?

Access Service Request (ASR) is a service that provides access to a telecommunications network. Access services include residential lines, business lines, and PBX trunks for access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). An ASR is an order to originate or terminate connections to your company's telephone network. It is submitted by the customer on OBF-developed ASR forms. You use the ASR order entry screens when you enter the customer-submitted service request.

What is an ASR Order?

The ASR order itself is made up of many types of ordering forms used to order access services. Each form contains entries required for ordering a particular service and for the establishment of billing of the appropriate customer account. The specific forms and fields that you need to complete depend on the details of what kind of access you are ordering.
These forms collectively define details like:
  • Standard conventions for designing network locations, network connections (Trunks ID, Service Circuit ID Telephone Number, Service Circuit ID SERIAL Number, Facility ID)
  • Network Channel (NC) codes and Network Channel Interface (NCI) codes (Type of Physical Conductors, Bandwidth, Protocol, Protocol Options)
  • Ordering metrics for various access service ordering

What is ASOG in Telecom?

Access Service Ordering Guidelines (ASOG) describe the various ordering forms used for the purpose of requesting access service to be provided by providers. These guidelines are equally applicable to manual (paper) and automated (electronic) forms for access ordering by customers when placing an order for access service. This standard ensures consistency between service providers. It is generally updated two times a year, and the entire telecommunications industry must update to the new standard by these dates. Read Managing Telecom Regulatory Updates Proactively to learn more >

What is ATIS?

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) is the leading industry group who brings together the top global information and communications technology (ICT) companies to advance the industry. ATIS delivers standards and solutions to advance transformation in the ICT industry. ATIS’s OBF advisory board issues ASOG standards and the organization is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

What is the OBF?

Ordering and Billing Forum (OBF) creates collaborative standards and solutions that ensure accurate billing for the industry’s core services as well as emerging innovations. It is the industry’s go-to resource for resolving key issues and creating ordering, billing, provisioning, and exchange of information solutions about access services as well as other connectivity between telecommunications customers and providers.

What is a lost order? 

Telecom providers use automated systems to process orders. A lost order in telecom is when it falls out of the automated process for an unknown or unexpected reason, especially one that a telecom provider doesn’t or can’t process manually like network issues or delivery to an incorrect destination system.

What is Firm Order Commitment (FOC)?

A firm order commitment (FOC) is a contract between a service provider and a customer that specifies the delivery of certain telecom services. The FOC generally includes a description of the services to be provided, the price of the services, and the date by which the service will be provided. In some cases, the FOC may also include provisions for service upgrades or cancellations. Service providers use FOCs to manage their commitments to customers and ensure that they can meet their obligations. FOCs are typically used for high-value contracts or for contracts that involve complex service delivery requirements.

What is order fallout?

Order fallout is a term used to describe when errors and exceptions occur during order fulfillment. Examples of order fallout include: incorrect data, low inventory supply, connectivity issues, and other unanticipated issues.

What are order supplements?

Order supplements in telecom occur when additional products or services are added to or removed from an existing service order that is not yet fulfilled. Order supplements are typically used to add new features or services to an existing telecom plan, or to make changes to an existing telecom service order that is in progress. Companies have different business rules and processes for handling supplements. Still, the most important thing is that they are able to track and manage these changes effectively to avoid delays, confusion, or lost orders.

What are retry loops/messages?

In telecom, a retry loop or message is a method for sending a message more than once when it has not been acknowledged (ACKed) by the receiving system. A typical retry loop consists of an initial transmission followed by a series of re-transmissions, each separated by an interval of time. If a re-transmission fails to receive an ACK, it is usually followed by a negative acknowledgment (NACK) or no response, and the process starts over for a specified number of retry attempts or until a time limit is reached. Retry loops are used to ensure that data is transmitted correctly and without errors. They are also used to improve the efficiency of telecom systems by reducing the number of failed transmissions.

What is meant by “accepting and holding” messages?

In a typical telecom system, is it not uncommon for the interconnected systems to have availability and service interruptions. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as network congestion, scheduled or unscheduled downtime, or business logic, such as the need to manage traffic during certain times of the day for efficiency. The ability to accept and hold those messages in one system until the downstream systems are ready to receive them creates greater overall system efficiency and reduces errors. The Seygen SMX API Integration Platform ensures that messages are not lost in transit and can help to improve the reliability of the provider’s internal systems.

What is LSOG?

In telecom, Local Service Ordering Guidelines (LSOG) are a set of standards that service providers must follow when taking orders for local services. This includes specifying the information that must be included in an order, as well as the format in which it must be submitted. LSOG was created to streamline the ordering process and improve customer satisfaction by ensuring that orders are processed quickly and accurately. telecom providers who do not adhere to LSOG may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. In addition, telecom providers may be required to comply with LSOG in order to obtain certain certifications or licenses.

What is LSR?

A Local Service Request (LSR) is a form used by Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) to request local exchange services from an Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC). The LSR is submitted by the CLEC to the ILEC and includes a request for a local loop and/or a port of the subscriber's telephone number.

How does order fulfillment work?

Telecom companies typically use an order fulfillment system to track and manage customer orders. This system encompasses all of the processes from when an order is placed to provisioning at the customer's location, to when it is fully activated and ready for use. Order fulfillment can involve the coordination of multiple telecom services, including but not limited to voice, data, and video. It also includes the provisioning of equipment, such as phones and routers, and the activation of services, such as voice and data services. Telecom order fulfillment connects complex systems and is designed to streamline the process to ensure the customer can effectively access their services. 

What do provisioning and activation mean in telecom?

Provisioning and activation are a part of the overall order fulfillment process at the point of setting up and configuring telecom services for a customer. This can include everything from activating service on a new phone line to provisioning a new customer with an internet connection. In some cases, telecom providers will use an outside company to handle provisioning and activation. This can be particularly helpful for small telecom providers that do not have the internal resources to manage the process themselves.

What is order enrichment?

Order enrichment is an automated process of adding new or missing data to the order. This can be done by accessing internal and external systems, such as zip code +4 look-up, to obtain the necessary data or new business rules. Order enrichment automation helps to make sure that orders are complete and accurate, and it can also help to speed up the process of fulfilling an order by avoiding “swivel chair” manual tasks. In some cases, order enrichment may also be used to add missing data to an existing order. This can help to improve the quality of the data in the system which can help improve customer service, reduce operational costs, and make it more useful for future orders.

What are BSS and OSS?

BSS (business support systems) and OSS (operational support systems) are two types of software used in telecom.  BSS software is typically used to manage customer accounts, billing, and other business-related tasks. OSS software is used to manage the telecom order management network and infrastructure. This includes managing the order workflow of tasks such as network provisioning, monitoring, and troubleshooting. Seygen Order Management Platform (ILIOS) is classified as an OSS.

What is throttling in telecom?

In the telecom industry, throttling is the intentional restricting of the message volume that a telecom company will take from an upstream or downstream system. By throttling the order volume, providers can help to ensure that the network remains stable and that customers experience little to no disruptions in service. In addition, throttling can also help to prevent congestion and improve overall network performance.

What is a legacy system in telecom?

A telecom system is a network of communications facilities and equipment that are used to transmit voice, data, and video traffic. A legacy telecom system is an older system that has been in use for many years. These systems are often complex and expensive to maintain. However, they can be very reliable and offer a wide range of features. Legacy telecom systems are often replaced by newer, more modern systems. However, in some cases, these older systems may still be the best option for a particular application so an API (software intermediary) may be implemented to maintain a working connection.

Our team is always happy to answer your questions. For the last 20 years, Seygen has supported a variety of order management needs for telecommunication common carriers, including wired, cable/broadband, VOIP, wireless, and more. Contact us today to get your questions answered.

What is Business Process Automation in Telecom?

Business Process Automation (BPA) refers to the use of technology, especially software applications and systems, to execute, manage, and streamline recurring tasks and procedures within a communication service provider (CSP). The goal is to overcome challenges and improve the CSP's operational efficiency, reduce manual interventions, and increase consistency and accuracy in workflows.

How can BPA benefit the telecom industry specifically?

BPA can be particularly beneficial in the telecom industry due to the sector's complex and high-volume operations. It might involve:

  • Order and provisioning processes: Once a customer signs up for a service, automation can ensure that the necessary hardware (like SIM cards or modems) is dispatched and services (like bandwidth or specific features) are provisioned correctly without manual oversight.
  • Network management: Automated monitoring of network health, with systems in place to detect and possibly rectify issues without human intervention.
  • Billing and payment: Automatic generation of bills, sending reminders for payments, and processing of recurring payments can be handled using BPA.
  • Maintenance and updates: Scheduling and tracking routine maintenance tasks or software updates for network equipment.
  • Regulator compliance and reporting: Ensuring that all processes adhere to regulatory requirements, managing updates to evolving regulations, and auto-generating necessary reports for regulatory bodies.
  • Inventory management: Keeping track of hardware, such as routers, modems, or switches, ensuring timely replenishment and efficient distribution.
  • Automating customer service inquiries: Using self-service portals, SMS, or automated email processors to handle routine customer inquiries, usage tracking, troubleshooting, or request a change in service.

What are typical processes in telecom order management that can be automated?

Telecom order management processes are a critical component in the service delivery chain, ensuring that services requested by customers are provisioned accurately and in a timely manner. Automation can greatly help in enhancing efficiency, accuracy, scalability, and customer satisfaction. Here are some key processes in telecom order management that can be automated:

  • Streamlined order intake: BPA can help in digitizing and automating the order intake process. Whether it's a new service subscription, an upgrade, or any other service modification, automation can capture and validate customer input, ensuring that orders start off accurately.
  • Automated order validation: Before an order progresses, it's essential to validate it against available inventory, customer credit, and any applicable business rules. Process automation checks these criteria, reducing the chance of errors and ensuring orders are processed faster.
  • Order Decomposition: In telecom, a single order might consist of multiple sub-orders. For example, subscribing to a bundled package might involve phone, internet, and television services. Automation breaks down such composite orders into individual tasks or sub-orders for parallel or sequential processing.
  • Workflow automation: BPA can guide an order through various stages of its lifecycle, from initiation and validation to provisioning and completion. This helps to prevent order fallout in the process.
  • Inventory management integration: One of the key challenges in order management is ensuring that required resources (like SIM cards, routers, or specific bandwidth) are available. Automation can integrate with inventory systems, automatically checking availability and reserving necessary items or capacity.

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