The next step

Saudi Arabia's Integrated Telecoms Company (ITC) is deploying Cramer's operational support system (OSS) platform to manage its next generation network.

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By  Angela Surtherland Published  March 19, 2006

|~||~||~|Saudi Arabia's Integrated Telecoms Company (ITC) is deploying Cramer's operational support system (OSS) platform to manage its next generation network. The enterprise OSS software vendor says with internet usage in the Middle East having increased by more than 300% from 2000 to 2005, the total number of internet users in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has increased by more than 1000% in the same five-year period. ITC, which is a licensed data service provider, is capitalising on this demand by constructing the Middle East's largest internet protocol (IP) network. The platform, which is being built by communications technology solutions provider Intracom, will have Cramer's OSS platform playing a pivotal role in managing ITC's service portfolio and streamlining its network management. The solution will be deployed to provide an inventory backbone for the ITC network and service provisioning. Initial services include broadband for enterprises; however, it will be extended to next-generation-networks (NGNs), including voice, data and video. “ITC is building a new Greenfield IP based network, which will be the most advanced IP infrastructure in the Middle East region. ITC is building a network that will allow it to compete in a large market in Saudi Arabia and deliver a high level of customer service and satisfaction. ITC, understanding that it needs to deliver services quickly and efficiently, decided to build an OSS platform at the beginning of the network rollout, helping it to efficiently manage the rollout and deploy new services,” says Dr. Mohammed Omar, president and CEO of ITC. “We selected Cramer for a number of reasons. Firstly, due to the company's thought leadership in inventory management, its superior reputation in the IT industry in the Middle East and its ability to scale. ITC needed a solution that had the ability to scale in order to meet the needs of its business. Cramer's OSS will centrepiece delivering and provisioning services for our clients,” he explains. The OSS deployment is part of a wider software deployment that will include other platforms including billing, customer relationship management (CRM), and problem management and service assurance solutions. The vendor will support the timely delivery of a range of customised services including digital leased lines, broadband, wireless communications and IP services. “When embarking on a project of this scale, it is reassuring to be working with technology partners like Cramer and Intracom. Their combined experience in deploying and managing the IP network infrastructure will be critical to the success of the [overall] project," Dr. Omar notes. As for the return-on-investment (ROI), Dr Mohammed says it is difficult to measure at the initial stages of a deployment, however, in most Greenfield situations, ROIs are realised within the first few months of the implementation. “Considering that manually provisioning services on a network typically requires large numbers of people throughout an organisation, Cramer will automate the entire process from order to activation. As a result, ITC can reduce complexity and costs, which will be a significant ROI for us,” he states. Securing the ITC contract in KSA is a huge success for Cramer, which is trying to exploit the Middle East’s lucrative enterprise market. Since ITC is a strategic customer for Cramer, the partnership will also help the vendor explore similar deals in the future. "It is a significant milestone for Cramer to be at the heart of a network of this magnitude in such a rapidly developing region," says Jon Craton, co-founder and chief marketing officer for Cramer. "This project will give Cramer the opportunity to demonstrate its expertise with IP networks to transform the economics of the carrier's business,” he adds The Middle East is a key strategic market for Cramer as it broadens its market reach. For this reason, the vendor has established a local presence with local leadership. “The Middle East is strategic for us for a number for reasons, with deregulation now underway, we expect to see at least 15 new operators within the region over the next two years. We are also seeing a high volume of NGN migration, making Cramer's solutions well suited for the growing number of operators in this region. Today Cramer has five operating customers in the Middle East and has [ambitious] plans to expand its business,” Craton adds. ITC says NGNs are critical not only for corporations in the Middle East but also for all operators throughout the world. “Deregulation of telecommunications market in the Middle East and the high level of customer demand for new services make NGNs critical platforms for all operators. ITC is building a long-term business and is currently deploying a very strategic plan to market, expecting to have a number for customers on board when fully operational,” enthuses Dr Omar. The NGN and 3G mobile networks are expected to be the two largest money-spinners in the future for the telecommunications industry. Industry professionals say in the future NGNs will seamlessly integrate interoperable telecommunications and computer networks, broadcast infrastructures and other network resources. ||**||

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