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Client Name: Ventraq (Formerly ACE*COMM) and MBlox


Ventraq develop new billing product OpenARMS™ based on open source ERP

 

New billing product developed for Ventraq based on open source ERP

 

This case demonstrates 1Tech's expertise in helping technology organisations build innovative new products assembled from open source solutions. 1Tech was engaged by Ventraq (formerly known as ACE*COMM) to provide expert consultancy on how the open source ERP solution opentaps could be used, customised and extended to deliver a billing and order management solution which would become their flagship product.

 

The first purpose was to develop the core solution as a new product (named OpenARMS™) offering. The second purpose was then to deliver a customised version of OpenARMS™ in a major implementation for mBlox through an aggressive multiphased global roll-out programme for a billing solution.

 

The new product OpenARMS™ would provide an advanced revenue management solution which would deliver on an unmet market demand for allowing the definition, fulfilment and billing and settlements of telecom services. The core solution included the modelling of the service, payment structures, commissions, costs, and other critical functions.

The Company

Ventraq is a global provider of value-added services for managed mobility applications that advance personalization and enable service providers and enterprises to realise greater revenue with minimum time or cost to market. Via a suite of service delivery solutions, Ventraq delivers the customisable, platform independent and easily deployed tools that directly impact the user's bottom line.

mBlox is the world's largest mobile transaction network. The company specializes in simplifying the complexities, commercial and technical, of mobile billing and message transmission for its clients. Via a carrier-grade network, mBlox enables companies to communicate with mobile subscribers on more than 500 carriers in 180 countries, millions of times each day. 1Tech is engaged as the open source integration partner with Ventraq and mBlox to provide assured delivery of the customisation and integration of opentaps into their challenging global programme.

The Problem

Ventraq approached 1Tech to assist in developing their new product OpenARMS™ based on Open Source ERP. mBlox a key client of Ventraq required a world class, superior billing solution that would provide advanced revenue management that could also be integrated with their OSS products. 1Tech were asked to implement OpenARMS™ using opentaps. Opentaps is a complete open source business applications platform providing ERP and CRM capabilities. It is based on the Apache Open for Business (OFBiz) framework. The OpenARMS™ system would be used by clients (such as mBlox) to provide billing, financials, orders and product management, event processing, CRM, SFA and business intelligence within their range of telecoms services. The system was to be fully integrated with the mBlox portal and OSS systems. The diagram above illustrates the roadmap of functionality that OpenARMS™ would provide.

The Solution

  • Develop an initial prototype to prove integration between opentaps and other enterprise components
  • Perform detailed business and technical analysis to ascertain opentaps functionality to be reused, the level of required customisations and implementation path for the overall solution
  • Provide expert leadership to architect, design, develop and implement both the core solution and the customised mBlox implementation
  • Develop the core product OpenARMS™ based on opentaps. The existing financials component was customised to meet the specific telecom billing requirements whilst new modules were built to provide event processing, order and product management capabilities
  • The opentaps system was deployed in mBlox's strategic technical architecture consisting of:
    • Oracle (RDBMS)
    • Opentaps (Billing and Financials ERP)
    • Jasper Reports (Business Intelligence Engine)
    • Apache Tomcat (Application Server)
    • IBM WebSphere ESB 6.1 (SOA Enterprise Service Bus)
    • IBM WebSphere Portal (Portal Server)
    • IBM HTTP Server (Web Server)
    • Linux (OS)
  • The system architecture is based on service oriented architecture. The system can be configured to provide billing, order management, CRM, and ERP functionalities.
  • Full integration with key internal telecoms systems including Ventraq's NV2 OSS components and the mBlox telecom finance and portal components. Enterprise integration was achieved between the opentaps SOA engine and IBM WebSphere ESB
  • Full user experience design and implementation. Portalisation of user interface to provide integration within portal server
  • Bulk data migration of existing financial billing data
  • Fully integrated interactive business intelligence reporting engine
  • Mentoring of developers and business users on opentaps
  • Project and delivery management
  • Post implementation support with ongoing functionality enhancements

The Result

  • Successful prototype ensured Ventraq won the business to provide an advanced revenue management system for mBlox
  • Ability to develop both the core OpenARMS™ product and deliver a large phased enterprise scale solution for mBlox
  • Delivery of a unique and innovative new product and the mBlox billing solution within 12 months using 1Tech's assured open source integration methodology (1TechOSIM) based on RUP
  • Delivery was on time and budget ensuring Ventraq won further business with the client mBlox
  • OpenARMS™ was based on proven open source ERP software using the well established opentaps framework
  • No licensing or core software fees in developing OpenARMS™ ensuring Ventraq could further market and sell their unique product
  • Savings of approximately £5m in license fees compared to other commercial solution providers
  • Improved efficiency and productivity for mBlox clients and faster processing of financial data
  • Open standards based integration with the mBlox portal, ESB and telecoms components preventing vendor lock in
  • Highly scalable and performant solution with the ability to process millions of invoices
  • Modular and tiered architecture allows for easy modifications or additions
  • The opentaps framework allows for rapid development of enterprise, web-based business automation solutions. A lot of functionality is provided out of the box most elements requiring basic configuration
  • World class led implementation by leading open source integrator 1Tech providing both in depth knowledge and expertise around the opentaps product and implementation into a commercial enterprise environment
  • Opportunities to further exploit additional opentaps capabilities such as inventory, marketing and product catalogue
Conclusion

1Tech's assured delivery of a communication technology company's flagship product ensured both a successful delivery to their key client. mBlox and Ventraq remarked on how professional and efficient 1Tech consultancy services were as they obtained a guaranteed result for such a complex and important delivery programme.

 

This case study proves how Open Source ERP software can be deployed as the foundation for mission critical commercial systems processing billions of dollars of transactions per day. Opentaps (http://www.opentaps.org/) is 1Tech's preferred open source ERP, CRM and SFA solution, based on many previous successful implementations. Opentaps is a tier 1 open source ERP and CRM platform built on top of the Apache OfBiz framework. Opentaps provides flexibility and low cost of ownership that only open source can deliver.

 

1Tech are a certified opentaps services provider ensuring high quality and cost effective delivery of open source ERP, CRM and SFA solutions. Opentaps certified services providers are professional services organisations which work with Open Source Strategies Inc (opentaps creator) in a collaborative partnership to deliver high-quality, cost-effective open source enterprise software to their clients.

 

For further information on our open source ERP solutions please visit: http://www.1tech.eu/solutions/studies/erp