Telephony Online says in a worthwhile article that entitlement management systems are the next important evolution in back office systems for broadband services. Snippets:
Providers are now beginning to discover that while billing systems can provide a basic level of entitlement support, the systems are not optimized to perform in this capacity. Specifically, the traditional approach forces different billing solutions together and creates additional work, because providers must typically lean heavily on their internal resources when it comes to reconfiguring or troubleshooting these custom-built, in-house systems for entitlement functions. Providers have also found it challenging to gather and analyze data from billing systems in order to make critical business decisions. In using a billing system to perform the entitlement function, providers are also strictly limited in the way they can “push,” or send, broadband services and content offerings out to customers.
These challenges will increasingly limit telcos as they begin to offer a wide range of broadband services and seek to maximize the way that these services are offered. Without a way to access information housed within multiple billing systems, telcos cannot easily provide services such as real-time customer support and self care. Telcos are also dealing with complex service and content offerings. As telcos look to sign up customers for bundled services, it becomes necessary to combine billing information across multiple services to increase customer loyalty and gain a competitive advantage. And to support new services and offerings, telcos must also be able to integrate to both the conditional access system (CAS) and digital rights management (DRM).