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Navigating the Intercarrier Maze of Buying and Selling Wholesale Services

Delivering broadband

Q&A with John Denemark, SVP of Carrier Provisioning at TransUnion

Buying and selling wholesale network services between communications service providers (CSPs) has been a complex undertaking for many years. It’s becoming even more so with surging demand from enterprises for services like SD-WAN and SASE, and the increased need for high-speed broadband to support those services.

Broadband is not ubiquitous like many may think, and when it comes to ordering off-net broadband or other services, finding the right wholesale connectivity provider in the right service area at the right price can become a real challenge.

TransUnion SVP of Carrier Provisioning John Denemark recently spoke at the MEF Global Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) event about the complexities of intercarrier transactions, and how to automate and streamline order management of buying and selling wholesale network communications and services. Here are some highlights from his presentation.

Why is buying and selling wholesale services so complicated?

It’s a pretty chaotic ecosystem. There are literally thousands of buyers and sellers across the world. And while all those buyers don’t purchase from all those sellers, a single buyer may work with hundreds of suppliers. This creates a need for a multitude of interfaces between CSPs, including APIs, GUIs, email and even faxes. Adding to that, many different standards are being used — creating a bottleneck.

Can APIs help simplify the complexity?

Yes and no. Automation is essential in the ecosystem of intercarrier buying and selling of wholesale services — and APIs are the mechanisms that bring it all together. However, if a CSP exposes an API to support a part of its ordering process — for instance, it adds a ‘quote’ API but not an ‘order’ API — there's still much back-end work to be done within the CSPs’ own processes and business support systems (BSS) to enable the automation APIs promise. CSPs still end up with varying levels of partial automation and manual swivel chair activity — requiring them to stitch together standalone systems to manage order flows.

Learn more about How APIs Bridge the Gap for Communications Service Provider Interoperability.

How can CSPs alleviate these challenges?

CSPs need a solution that acts as a conduit, connecting and simplifying this back-office chaos. TransUnion TruContact™ Universal Order Connect (UOC) is a cloud-based platform that helps buyers order just about any wholesale connectivity service from almost any seller. UOC supports the different steps of the intercarrier process of buying and selling wholesale services from address validation and serviceability to quoting and order lifecycle to circuit lifecycle management and trouble ticketing.

UOC has everything built in, including MEF LSO Sonata APIs, ASOG/ASR, and TM Forum standards. It can also manage non-standard orders like broadband — which is critical today for serving enterprise customer needs. It’s all within the platform and can natively translate between these different standards and non-standards, enabling an efficient flow of orders between buyers and sellers.

How does UOC wholesale ordering work for sellers?

Sellers are looking to automate and streamline their wholesale customers’ experiences with ordering as much as possible, and they’re looking to integrate that process via API into their back-end BSS stack. This integration into the BSS stack is typically enabled by a seller-defined API — which UOC Marketplace, our sell-side platform, uses to standardize the outward-facing component. UOC Marketplace exposes the different various ways of ordering from the seller via a custom-labeled GUI or MEF LSO APIs. 

Does UOC Marketplace work both domestically and internationally?

Yes. It’s live and working at many CSPs in the US, including Windstream’s Kinetic Wholesale, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC), and Everstream. Internationally, we are bringing Latin American wholesale seller Tigo together with AT&T International, a MEF-based buyer utilizing MEF LSO APIs.

Learn more about the AT&T and Tigo project by listening to John’s full presentation.

How does UOC work for the buy side customer?

Buyers are looking to simplify how they order wholesale services so they can submit orders in a standard way. Before UOC, a typical ASR order may have needed up to 100 different pieces of information, causing buyers to hunt down data from 5 to 10 different systems.

UOC enriches orders as they go through the process, drastically reducing the additional data a user needs to add to an order — simplifying the ordering process through automation through UOC’s product catalog, once the order is ready. Whether it be an Ethernet, broadband or transport order, UOC translates it into whatever standard the seller uses. 

Click here to watch how  GTT uses UOC to improve its buying of wholesale connectivity.

Any key takeaways for our readers?

Absolutely. We have MEF APIs built into the UOC solution, bridging the timing gap to speed up the implementation of MEF LSO Sonata. We work with LSO APIs and non-LSO APIs, and more importantly, we can bring volume to your LSO API implementation because your suppliers or your wholesale customers can submit orders any way they want. And finally, we help with BSS simplification as well.

Visit MEF GNE | 2 October | LSO Global Summit | Use Case: LSO Ordering the Existing Ecosystem to watch John’s presentation in its entirety.



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