Bell Canada will use software from MetaSolv Software, Inc., to speed up activation of services for its customers.

The service activation software was originally

developed at Nortel Networks Corp., and MetaSolv acquired Nortel’s service commerce operation support system (OSS) business in 2002. David Sharpley, Ottawa-based senior vice-president of marketing for Plano, Tex.-based MetaSolv, said his company had an existing relationship with Bell’s Mobility arm, which uses its service-activation software for mobile services.

Sharpley said one possible benefit to Bell from choosing the MetaSolv software would be the ability to use one vendor’s technology to activate multiple services across its wireline and mobile businesses.

What attracted Bell to the product was its focus on activation and its support for a broad range of devices, said Mike Cole, senior vice-president of system delivery, national programs, at Bell Canada. “”The one thing we really liked about the MetaSolv product was its architecture,”” Cole said. Unlike some other products, he explained, MetaSolv is tightly focused on doing activation well, and Bell was looking for a “”best of breed”” product for that purpose. Cole also praised the “”fairly extensive list of equipment that they know how to interact with”” and MetaSolv’s scalability.

Initially, Bell will be using MetaSolv’s software to activate Centrex services for its business customers, affecting some 1.3 million lines. Though Centrex is not a particularly new or “”sexy”” communications service, Cole said Bell found its existing home-grown software was not up to handling the complexity of Centrex services. The MetaSolv software can also be used for activating services such as digital subscriber line (DSL), asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), Frame Relay and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

The hope is that Bell will use the product for activating other services in future, Sharpley said – “”we’re working with them right now (with the intention) that they roll it out for additional services.””

Cole added that Bell is planning to replace its in-house activation system, and while he did not want to imply the company is committed to MetaSolv or that it will necessarily be the only activation software Bell uses, the carrier is comfortable that the MetaSolv product could support its future needs.

Sharpley said the new technology will mean faster response to Bell customers’ orders. Cole said it will be used primarily in Ontario and Quebec, the carrier’s traditional territory.

Sharpley would not disclose the value of the contract, but he did say that “”it was a large business transaction for us clearly, and we continue to work with the Bell team.””

MetaSolv’s other Canadian customers include Telus Corp. – which uses its products to activate voice and Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) services – Aliant Inc., Rogers AT&T Wireless and Sprint Canada.

The company has more than 180 customers worldwide, including major U.S. and European telecommunications carriers, said Sharpley. Among them are Sprint, Qwest, Cox Communications, France Telecom, Brasil Telecom, and Saudi Telecom.

MetaSolv offers more than 80 software “”cartridges”” that provide interfaces to various pieces of telecommunications equipment. Bell will be using a significant number of these cartridges, Sharpley said.


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