Microsoft Working Group Embraces XML and Directory Services For Telecom Operations Support Systems Solutions

ATLANTA, June 6, 2000 — One year after its formation, a Microsoft Corp.-led industry organization is continuing to drive the development of a new operation support systems (OSS) model that will allow service providers to deploy cost-effective end-to-end OSS application solutions to address next-generation services. The OSS Working Group, which today includes 37 industry-leading independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators, is working collectively to define an industry-standard OSS Markup Language (OSSML) that will enable interoperability between a wide range of third-party OSS applications. OSSML will comprise XML schemas used for OSS application-to-application interoperability for competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), application service providers (ASPs) and broadband service providers.

Historically, interoperability between multivendor OSS applications has been approached through complex, proprietary interfaces or custom application development. Embracing new, open technologies such as XML, SOAP and directory services, the OSS Working Group will work to create common schema or message formats that will enable application-to-application interoperability across major OSS functional areas. By utilizing the Windows® 2000 operating system, ISVs can realize the scalability, reliability and flexibility needed to develop these new OSS solutions. The benefit to service providers will be broader application choice, reduced costs and the ability to readily adapt their OSS applications to support change and a broad range of new services.

“By helping create an OSS industry framework based on XML, the OSS Working Group is playing an important role in enabling service providers to ‘program the Web’ for next-generation services,”
said Thomas Koll, vice president of the Network Solutions Group at Microsoft.
“Given their enhanced scalability features and extensive XML support, Windows 2000, Microsoft® SQL Server™ and BizTalk™ Server are the ideal core building blocks for service providers deploying next-generation OSS solutions.”

Working closely with the service provider community to help incorporate their unique and dynamic needs into OSS solutions, and increasing its focus on the new open solutions technologies, the OSS Working Group is helping ISVs and others in the industry employ a common framework for delivering OSS applications that address new application hosting, DSL, cable, and wireless voice and data services. Beginning this summer, the OSS Working Group will make the results of its work broadly available to the industry through the BizTalk Web site ( ), a community of standards users with the goal of driving the rapid, consistent adoption of XML to enable electronic commerce and application integration. Solutions will also leverage Directory Services as a means to model common subscriber profiles, configuration and policy data.

“Aggregation of common resources in a directory is an efficient way to ensure accuracy and consistency of persistent information across applications,”
said Mark Russell, chief technology officer at Ceon Corp., an OSS Working Group member company.
“Leveraging simple, nonproprietary technology and schemas allows us to focus our resources on the features of a solution that the industry demands.”

“I am happy to see that the OSS Working Group is encouraging OSS vendors to develop loosely coupled business applications using XML and Active Directory™ ,”
said John Peacock, managing engineer, Application Group at DIGEX Inc.
“The tools and techniques provide the lowest-cost delivery vehicles available in the industry today in terms of resources for people, time and money because they are easy for development teams to learn to use together.”

“The fact that the OSS Working Group is working with open standards such as XML and SOAP technologies represents a logical solution for Internet-enabling OSSs,”
said David Hawley, an analyst with The Yankee Group.
“The use of open standards to mitigate interoperability problems will not only speed the Internet-enabling of those OSS systems, but allow them to integrate with each other more effectively.”

Created in June 1999, the OSS Working Group brings together vendors representing all telecommunications management network functional areas to help deliver best-of-breed solutions that can be quickly and easily integrated with each other or with legacy systems to create complete solutions for service providers.

New members of the OSS Working Group include Abatis Systems Corp., Andersen Consulting, BusinessEdge Solutions Inc., CoManage Corp., CommTech Corp., DevelopMentor, Exceleron Software, Info Directions Inc., Step 9 Software Corp., TeleKnowledge Inc., Telution LLC, XACCT Technologies Inc. and Xevo Corp.

Other members of the OSS Working Group are AI Metrix Inc., Arkipelago Inc., BroadJump Inc., Ceon Corp., Clarify Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Daleen Technologies Inc., Deloitte Consulting LLC, DST-Innovis Inc., Eftia OSS Solutions Inc., eQuest Technologies Inc., Group1 Software Inc., Intertech Management Group Inc., Mantiss Information Corp., MetaSolv Software Inc., Microsoft, Minacom International Inc., Palm Associates Inc., Portal Software Inc.,

TransPoint LLC, USHA Communications Technology, Vertel Corp., Visual Networks Inc. and Vroom Technologies Inc.

The OSS Working Group is part of the OSS/BSS (business support systems) Industry Initiative within Microsoft’s Windows Telecommunications Alliance, an industry program designed to support network equipment providers and ISVs currently engaged in developing Microsoft Windows operating system-based telecommunications solutions for the corporate and service provider markets.

More information, including details about how to participate in the OSS Working Group, is available at or by e-mail at [email protected].

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