Allowing Telecommunications Firms with Different Standards to Communicate

The Challenge: Providing a Cost-Effective Method for Letting Organizations with Different Standards “Talk” to One Another’s Databases

Since passage in 1996 of the Telecommunications Act, many Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) have sprung up. While competing with Regional Bell Operating Carriers (RBOCs) for delivery of telephone, Internet, and data services, the new CLECs are still interdependent with the Bell Carriers for facilities, equipment, and customer data.

When a customer chooses to leave a RBOC for a CLEC, the CLEC must contact the RBOC with several pre-order and one or more order transactions. They must also collect key customer information for billing and other business purposes from the former Bell provider.

While Bell Carriers work from ordering standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Forum (TCIF), there are currently three TCIF standards in use by RBOCs, and each carrier has its own nuances which become of subset of the TCIF standard, making data exchange with CLEC’s a challenge. Each time a RBOC makes a change in its system, that change must be reflected in the CLEC’s systems as well.

To fulfill the need for communication between CLECs and RBOCs, LymeWare created ConnectGate data exchange software, designed to be a module that could fit in with the CLEC existing systems. It helps CLECs communicate with RBOCs by creating generic SOAP messages, converting them into the proper EDI format for that RBOC, sending them, then sending the response back in generic SOAP format.

LymeWare wanted to find an EDI translator technology that would allow ConnectGate to perform all of the above. A tall order, especially when price is brought into the consideration.

The Solution: Flexible, User-Friendly Mapping

LymeWare researched several providers, and the top two were Redberri and other solution. The second solution charged $80,000 per user organization license, though, and didn’t meet all the requirements, so they were ruled out, and Redberri was selected.

One of the features that impressed LymeWare’s Mike Kobar most was Redberri’s Map Builder, which allows creating a map between applications. He states, “It’s phenomenal. The Map Builder is very powerful, as good or better than anything else out there on the market, and it’s easily extendible.”

Another feature that was important was how easy it is to use: no coding or XML knowledge it required, relieving the burden on busy, taxed CLEC IT departments.

The Result: Faster, Easier Data Conversion

Using Redberri, LymeWare’s staff can now map between RBOC and CLEC programs in a fourth of the time it took with their old translator program. This is in part because Redberri is macro-based; since 1/3 of the transactions are the same, the use of macros allow them to bypass repetitive steps and focus on what’s unique to the order.

LymeWare’s ConnectGate was now able to connect smaller CLEC clients, who often have difficulty connecting using standard commercial ordering systems, to RBOCs that may only support a small percentage of ordering types. The “translation gap” has been bridge with the SOAP-based technology, with faster, streamlined mapping in a user-friendly format.

Contact Redberri today to learn more about how it can help you leverage your firm’s data and allow greater communication with distributed