Amdocs Caters to Multiplay Customers

Amdocs Tuesday announced a version of its eponymous customer-management software that the company said is specifically designed to provide billing and other functions for multiple services -- voice, video, data and content.

“It’s the first integrated platform developed for the needs of cable and telecom providers across any service,” vice president of product marketing Mike Couture said.

The Amdocs 7 package integrates technologies from DST Innovis, a provider of billing and customer-care software focused on the cable industry, which Amdocs acquired for $238 million in July 2005.

“We took those capabilities [from DST] and enhanced the core Amdocs platform to support current and next-gen data, voice and video on one platform,” Couture said.

Amdocs, which historically targeted the telco market, now counts among its customers Comcast, Cox Communications, Cable One, DirecTV and Rogers Communications.

The full Amdocs 7 suite, available now, encompasses two main areas of business processes: customer-facing systems, such as billing, self-service tools, settlements and digital-commerce management; and network-oriented operations-support systems, such as service fulfillment and inventory management.

Using service-oriented architecture software standards to facilitate data exchange among components, Amdocs said the platform provides a “single view” of a customer and can more easily tap into external sources of data.

Couture said Amdocs 7 is modular, meaning that customers can choose to use only certain functions (like billing) rather than having to buy and deploy the entire suite. “We’ve built in capabilities to provide a longer-term, incremental solution,” he added.

One of Amdocs’ key competitors is Oracle, which, in the last three years, has rolled up several customer-relationship-management packages, including those of Siebel Systems and PeopleSoft.

Couture acknowledged that Oracle “has quite a large enterprise-software suite” but said a key difference is that Amdocs has concentrated on tailoring its system to service-provider customers. “Amdocs has been focused on service providers for the past 25 years,” he said.

The core Amdocs 7 software runs on Unix operating systems from Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun Microsystems.