Plus Communication Case Study

Implementation of Comarch BSS Suite

Plus Communication SH.A. (Albanian: PLUS) is a telecommunication company headquartered in Tirana, Albania. It is the first Albanian mobile telecommunication company and 4th mobile operator in Albania. It is also the sponsor of the Albanian football team.

The Approach

The project approach was focused on the ultimate goal of a short time frame for the service launch, which was forced by the local regulatory body, as well as on PLUS’ strategic objectives, including strong customer cooperation and an ability to use as many out-of-the-box functionalities as possible.

Comarch proposed a phased implementation model, which divided the project into three phases. Such an approach was chosen as an optimal solution for PLUS in terms of scope, schedule and costs, based on Comarch’s experience with previous mobile startup projects.

The project phases included:

  • Phase 1 – functionalities required to start selling the services to customers
  • Phase 2A – functionalities related to rating, invoicing and payments
  • Phase 2B – functionalities such as reporting, automatic payments, trouble ticketing and general ledger (GL) export

Phase 1 lasted 1,5 months – so this means PLUS was able to start registering first customers 6 weeks after the project had started. The whole project was finished within 4,5 months from the starting date, which provided PLUS with a significant competitive advantage and enabled it to meet the regulatory requirements.

Once the implementation finished, Comarch’s cooperation with PLUS was continued and extended e.g. with migration to a new hardware platform, required due to the growth of the operator’s customer base.

The Business Need

Plus Communication (previously Mobile 4 Al / M4AL – operator of the PLUS network) challenged the Albanian mobile market in 2010 by acquiring a license to operate in the GSM900 and GSM1800 spectrums in Albania. Its goal was to become the leading mobile operator in Albania with a strategic focus on customer satisfaction, innovation & quality of service.

In order to be granted the license, PLUS had to meet strict requirements of the local regulator regarding the provisioning of mobility services and having a fully operational mobile network in a very short timeframe. PLUS needed a fully-fledged BSS solution that would be ready to serve first customers within a few months from the project start.

Requirements for the project included:

  • Maximally short time between the project start and the first customer visit in a shop
  • Flexible and agile approach to the project
  • Non-movable “go-live” date
  • A solution that would cover the whole BSS area and that would be composed of off-the-shelf products (i.e. mediation, postpaid rating, billing / reporting / invoicing, payments module, order management, customer module)

Implemented Solutions

The Solution

The implemented solution consisted of four integrated COTS products from Comarch’s BSS portfolio:

  • Comarch Convergent Billing provides a complete billing functionality for postpaid and prepaid convergence – in the project for PLUS, because of the project requirements, it was installed with its postpaid modules only. It’s architecture is based on two main modules - a central database and a highly efficient, scalable Data Processing Server. The database stores all data of PLUS customers, including reference, financial and usage data. An embedded product catalog module handles the definition of tariffs and products. The Data Processing Server was deployed on a cost-effective hardware platform, ready for the future growth of PLUS customer base.
  • Comarch Business Process Management – a flexible and powerful business process integration component with a workflow management functionality, allowing for fast and reliable definition of business workflow processes for customer management.
  • Comarch Customer Management – a web- based frontend for customer management includes customer registration, service contracting, account data management and more. A user friendly and intuitive user interface can be used in call centers, by customer service representatives, as well as in multiple shop locations, since it can be accessed from any PC via a web browser.
  • Comarch Billing Mediation – a complete set of functions for flexible and powerful interfacing aimed to extract usage data from both network and business entities (e.g. data from roaming clearing houses in different formats and protocols, and delivery of electronic data records (EDRs) in a file format expected by the billing system. Upon processing the gathered data, the mediation module also performs tasks such as data decoding, filtering, record de-duplication and enrichment.

The Results

  • Implementation of a fully-fledged billing & customer management solution finished in a very short time (4,5 months) enabled PLUS to meet the regulatory requirements
  • Shorter time-to-market for launching new tariffs and services, thanks to a modern, open product catalog
  • Possibility to offer great customer experience, thanks to a user-friendly web-based portal for call centers, customer service representatives and retail outlets
  • Very good efficiency of CDR (call detail records) collection and their delivery to the billing system, thanks to integration of the BSS solution with corresponding network elements
  • A phased approach enabled PLUS to expand the solution scope according to business strategy and requirements
  • A future-proof solution thanks to easy integration with external systems coupled with great performance and scalability
  • Multiple configuration options with regards to customer management processes, thanks to a flexible business process management (BPM) engine

Why Comarch?

"PLUS recognized Comarch as a well-known BSS solution provider, with global and regional experience. Comarch’s BSS solution met all PLUS’ requirements and was offered as a set of out-of-the-box features, with only a slight amount of customizations. Being both a software vendor and an integrator, Comarch was able to provide not only strong products, but also customization services, necessary to adopt the solution to the requirements specified in the RFP, as well as integration with external systems."

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