What other interfaces can IMS support?
VC4’s IMS Operations Support System (OSS) can link up to and support other systems and applications that a telecom service provider may be using.
For instance, it can connect to:
- Network Management Systems (NMS interface)
- Alarm and Performance Management Systems
- CRM systems
- Workflow / Order management systems
- GIS systems
- Billing systems
Network Management System Interfaces (NMS Interfaces)
Breaking this down further, forms of network management system that IMS can support include COBRA, TL1, MTOSI, SNMP, those based on XML (extensible mark-up language), database-to-database interfaces, flat files (such as txt and csv), telnet/SSH and properietary interfaces – ISN and SAM-O, for example.
Network reconciliation with IMS
One of the most common reasons for telecom service providers to link IMS up with another interface is for network reconciliation purposes.
The software will take a snapshot of the NMS data, comparing it with information stored in the database – typically, this will be performed once a day.
This reconciliation process involves:
- IMS collecting data from NMS/EMS or NEs.
- Importing this data into the reconcile table in the IMS database
- Looking up ‘equipment types’ in relation to the ‘management system’ to see whether or not the interface is active. Note: IMS will recognise the link even if the name of an object has been changed, as each one is unique. This also applies for those running over multiple platforms
- IMS will query the data in the reconcile table against the ‘normal’ IMS data to check it is in its proper state
Network Auto Provisioning
The IMS software application supports automatic provisioning into NMS, EMS and NE’s.
NBI’s supported are:
- CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture).
- ISN Alcatel-Lucent
- Telnet / SSH
Alarm Management System Interfaces
Alarm management systems, such as IBM Tivoli, Netcool, HP TeMIP and Centina NetOmnia, can also be connected to IMS to correlate with the alarms activated by the NMS, EMS or NEs.
Pushing the inventory data from IMS to the alarm management system would be an example of a simple interface, while a more comprehensive form would be to create a web-service interface between the two.
Once these alarms are sounded, the trouble ticket functionality of IMS automatically performs impact analysis within the system to determine how serious the problem could be for other services and customers.
If you’d like more information on this, contact one of our team firstname.lastname@example.org or on +31 72 5621771.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems can also be used in conjunction with the Inventory & Management System, allowing IMS to use consumer data when making future decisions.
This usually takes the form of a simple interface, enabling data to be extracted from CRM and synchronized with IMS.
What’s more, telecom service providers can decide if they would like their CRM software to read from the IMS database, either in the form of a web-service interface, or by using a simple database view.
In addition, interfaces can be created in IMS in correspondence with workflow systems, the trouble ticket functionality and billing and GIS systems, to name just a few examples.
If you’re unsure how creating such interfaces could be beneficial to your business, get in touch with one of the VC4 team to find out more.
We’ve mentioned the IMS web-service a couple of times in relation to interfaces – it allows external systems to read or write data within the software.
This is possible due to messages being sent by simple object access protocol (SOAP) over HTTP. SOAP messages are XML-based and are often used to exchange information between systems.
The web-service also allows users to read, create, edit and delete IMS data, as well as initate workflows and set up automatic network provisioning.