CSG Blazes Digital Path With ‘Ascendon’

Customer care and billing services company CSG Systems has launched Ascendon, a digital services platform for its raft of services partners,  a group that includes cable operators.

CSG said Ascendon can be overlaid on existing business support systems, enabling service providers to rapidly launch new digital services without uprooting existing infrastructure.

Ascendon supports a number of digital hooks, including support for elements such as digital lockers and device management, enabling services such as electronic sell-through, transactional video-on-demand and potential pay-for-bandwidth applications.

According to Kent Steffen, CSG’s president of digital services, Ascendon has three primary target markets – communications service providers, retailers that are also digital content aggregators, and content providers that are going direct to the consumer.

Some initial adopters of Ascendon include Comcast, which is using it for the MSO’s new IP-based multiscreen Xfinity On Campus service, which allows students to log in with their university credentials. ESPN is also using it to manage premium services such as ESPN Insider and its fantasy products, and  Sony is tapping in for EST offerings in multiple countries, using Ascendon in support of digital lockers and the service’s ties to UltraViolet.

“Service providers worldwide are seeking a less disruptive way to enter, maintain and compete for position in the digital services market to help them take advantage of immediate opportunities,” said Ken Kennedy, CSG’s chief technology officer and senior vice president of product management and software development, said in a statement. “Ascendon reflects a multi-year effort, working with some of the world's most innovative brands, to deliver digital services through various business models.”