Monday, April 17, 2006

Oracle Outlines Roadmap for Telecom Service-Oriented Architecture

Oracle outlined its roadmap for a standards-based Service Delivery Platform (SDP) for the telecommunications industry. The plan is to help service providers, network operators and system integrators to evolve current silo-based network investments into a service-oriented architecture (SOA) supporting IP-based services. Enterprises could also deploy the Oracle SDP as a foundation for VoIP, mobile and real-time applications.

The Oracle SDP extends the company's Fusion Middleware for network-centric applications. Key functionality includes:

  • IMS Support: Oracle SPD includes a SIP Application Server, Presence Server, Proxy Registrar and Location for a complete IMS-ready Infrastructure. Oracle acquired the SIP Infrastructure as part of its Hotsip acquisition.

  • Support for Legacy Networks: Oracle SDP provides a programming environment that extends J2EE for asynchronous, event-based programming that is crucial to support and leverage existing legacy telecommunication networks. It supports the industry standard Java API Parlay X Web Services standards. Oracle has acquired Parlay and SLEE technology as part of its acquisition of Net4Call, a Norway-based provider of carrier-grade Parlay infrastructure software.

  • Network Adaptation Layer: Oracle SDP provides a rich set of adapters to connect the SDP to existing network elements and telecommunications equipment enabling service providers to rapidly roll out new services while protecting their existing investments.

  • Messaging: Oracle SDP provides facilities to access content from Mobile Devices across a variety of standard protocols including SMS and MMS.

  • Carrier-grade Communication Infrastructure, including Oracle Database 10g, Real Application Clusters and Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database for supporting scalable, always-on, real-time services. This is particularly relevant in a telecom environment where end-to-end service availability across middleware and database tiers is critical.

Oracle SDP -- Future Functionality Plans:

  • Call Control, and Charging Facilities: To provide call control capabilities that are intended to work across IMS and Legacy networks as well as a charging enabler to quickly integrate SDP with billing systems.
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  • Device Management and Device repository: To provide support for standards-based device management, and a comprehensive device repository.
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  • Out of the Box Services: To include a suite of services such as mobile content delivery, VOIP and virtual PBX that can be immediately deployed for faster Return on Investment.

Oracle said it is uniquely positioned to combine its identity management and middleware expertise to bring to market an SDP that would allow operators to provide highly personalized services to their customers based on customer profiles and preferences. It aims to enable a single J2EE-based programming environment to provide support across next generation and current generation networks and OSS/BSS integration, thereby simplifying service development, integration and management for developers.

"Our vision is to address market needs and provide customers with a comprehensive, scalable, IP-based services platform," said Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle Server Technologies. "We are building the ideal platform for developing and deploying new telephony services that deliver value over today's networks, both wireline and wireless, as well as for the converged networks of the future."
  • Earlier this month, Oracle agreed to acquire Portal Software, a global provider of billing and revenue management solutions for the communications and media industry, for approximately $220 million in cash.

    Portal offers a billing and revenue management solution based on an object-oriented architecture built on Oracle that can bill and manage all communications services including wireline, wireless, broadband, cable, voice over IP, IPTV, music, and video. Its customer list includes AOL Time Warner, China Mobile, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom/Orange, NTT, Reuters, Sirius Satellite Radio, Softbank BB, Sony, Telecom Italia Mobile, Telefonica Mexico, Telenor Mobil, Telstra, Vodafone, and XM Satellite Radio. The company reported $126.8 million in revenue for fiscal year 2004.

  • In February, Oracle acquired Sweden-based HotSip AB, a provider of telecommunications infrastructure software and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) enabled applications for IP telephony, presence, messaging and conferencing on new converged networks. Financial terms were not disclosed. Hotsip offers convergent off-the-shelf applications as well as an open Service Creation Environment (SCE) for building new customized SIP and web applications. The company's core product is its Hotsip Multimedia Communication Engine (M2CE), a carrier-grade Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server.

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