Bay Packets lets user’s voice be heard

Bay Packets Inc. is making its debut with a service platform for voice carriers that will let customers directly set the features they want from services such as voice VPNs, advanced 800 service and unified messaging.

If a provider has Bay Packets’ Rapid Service Introduction System in place, customers will be able to use a Web interface to make changes to service characteristics. For example, if a customer wants to change the grouping of phones on a voice VPN, that change can be entered from a customer workstation.

It is then up to the service provider to link the request to a provisioning platform that would set network devices to enforce the changes. Bay Packets provides an XML interface for these bridges to the provisioning software.

Bay Packets’ RSI system is being tested by potential customers now, with one expected to run field trials next month, said Ken Epps, the company’s president and CEO.

Carriers may find this an attractive platform because it enables new services by integrating with their existing networks rather than by introducing new equipment, said Tom Jenkins, vice-president of TeleChoice Inc., a telecom marketing consultancy.

The RSI system runs on Sun Solaris workstations and can coordinate services among circuit-switched, IP and ATM networks.

These services are defined by service applications that are part of RSI Processor 8000, the provisioning and service management piece of the RSI system. Currently, Bay Packets has written applications to support unified messaging, advanced-800-number and voice VPN services.

Another piece of the RSI system called RSI Mediate 6000 handles call data that can be processed by billing, fraud-detection and customer-care applications. So if a customer’s calling patterns showed abuse by users – such as repeated use of 900 numbers – the fraud application could halt service or trigger customer notification.

Similarly, the customer care application could automatically announce at the end of a phone call that the customer will get the next US$50 in phone calls free, then configure the billing system to execute the deal. Such an offer could be reserved for a specific customer group that had been separately identified as likely to switch carriers.

Bay Packets said it wants to sell its gear to long-haul and international carriers and cable providers that sell voice services.

Bay Packets says the cost of the RSI system will be based on number of simultaneous calls it can handle and the peak number of calls, but that the company is still setting specific prices.

Bay Packets was founded in February 2000 and has US$24 million in funding from investors including Lucent Venture Partners, Diamondhead Ventures, INC3 Ventures Series I, TeleSoft Partners, Antillion Capital II and Mentmore Ventures. The company has about 80 employees, split between the U.S. and New Delhi, India.