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June 1, 2000

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Business News - BellSouth's RoboTAG Adds GUI to EDI Gateway

Posted: 06/2000

BellSouth’s RoboTAG Adds GUI to EDI Gateway
BY BRUCE CHRISTIAN

BellSouth Interconnection Services (www.interconnection.bellsouth.com) has introduced RoboTAG (short for robust TAG), new software that gives resale and facilities-based CLECs the ability to access pre-order information and submit orders through an electronic interface gateway with a GUI.The software also lets CLECs receive and process real-time customer data, instead of just viewing it.“BellSouth’s Telecommunications Access Gateway is by far the most sophisticated of the electronic interfaces BellSouth offers to CLECs,” says Terrie Hudson, assistant vice president of sales, BellSouth Interconnection Services. “However, when we first introduced TAG, CLECs were faced with the need to create their own front-end interface before they could be up and running. This took up to three to six months and cost between $200,000 and $350,000 for programming. That’s why we decided to develop a packaged solution that combined TAG with a customizable GUI.“RoboTAG software helps CLECs minimize headaches and expense involved in creating their own front-end interface,” Hudson says. “RoboTAG software can cut implementation time from three to six months to around 45 days.”That can be a savings of $250,000 to $1 million over a three-year period, says Marcia Moss, OSS systems manager for Bell South Interconnection Service Sales. This is because RoboTAG will reduce the programming that CLECs may have had to do without the software.Moss says in-house development, with an outside third party, will ensure its customers also can receive updates, as functions may change. “It’s a complete package that we install, test, train the users, update and maintain. It’s basically ‘plug and play,'” Hudson adds.In addition to the RoboTAG software, BellSouth provides project management and implementation, complete and timely installation, training and testing, database management, and ongoing maintenance.Among the pre-order functions RoboTAG supports are address validation, telephone number reservation, appointment availability, service and feature availability, access to customer service records and due date determination.The software also supports submission and retrieval of local service requests for resale, unbundled network elements, network combinations and directory listings. Additional firm order functions include retrieval of purchase order numbers, order status information and issuance of unsolicited messages–including completion notices and error messages.

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