Blended Routing Module

Why do carriers need blended routing?

When discussing traffic offers, carriers often get the following requirements from their clients: a client agrees to send a certain significant amount of traffic provided that we are able to meet certain ASR and ACD (or probably other) quality requirements. Taking into consideration the price that the client is able to pay we understand that we can’t meet both quality and price requirements: we have either very good quality but expensive routes, or cheap ones but with low ASR/ACD values. If you already have Alaris inVoice system with basic routing functionality, you probably know that its routing module is able to mix (defining percentage of traffic) high quality/high price and low quality/low price routes for a client. The problem is that you have to manually define the traffic share for each vendor route, which means that in reality one of the two things happens very soon: either the quality that is provided to the client goes down to average values (between the “good” and “bad” routes) or our cost of termination also averages to a level too high to be good. That means that the mix of vendor routes needs to be frequently evaluated and redefined. Doing this job manually (sometimes as often as every hour for every client destination!) is something a human being can’t possibly be efficient at.

The Blended Routing module in Alaris inVoice system aims at automating the described process. You only need to define minimal ASR and ACD values that your client expects and weighted average cost that you are able to pay to the vendor side. The module will automatically control the stats on the client route in near-real-time manner and make the needed adjustments to the vendors mix in order to meet the defined ASR/ACD/COST combinations.

How does blended routing work?

Given

Let’s take an example: carrier ABC Telecom wants to send us traffic to destination “Russia, MTS, mobile” at price 0.0017 with ASR not lower than 30% and ACD not lower than 3 mins. Our target margin that we would like to earn on this traffic is 0.0002 per minute. That means that the target weighted average cost that we have to get from our vendors is 0.0017 - 0.0002 = 0.0015 USD. At the same time we are sure of two facts: 1) the client expectations about ASR/ACD target values are excessive (since we know that this destination normally gives lower ASR/ACD) 2) the client is likely not to remove traffic even if ASR drops down to 15% and ACD - to 1.7 min.

Defining blended route parameters

Each blended route requires the following parameters to be defined: client whose traffic will be controlled by this rule; destination of traffic; priority of the rule; context; activity period of the rule. A separate block of parameters defines target ASR, ACD, weighted average cost thresholds - the module will use them as guidelines to control the traffic metrics; if any of the values goes below threshold, the rule will be deactivated. A sliding window according to which the stats are calculated is defined by Stats internal and Number of attempts. The default values being set to 3600 seconds and 100 attempts make sure that the statistics taken for ASR/ACD calculation will take into consideration traffic for no less than last hour and not less than 100 call attempts. The ASR and ACD parameters get priorities, which define which one of them will make greater effect on the vendors choice (priorities are set within 0 to 5 range).

Alaris inVoice. Blended Routing Module

Under certain conditions it is impossible to meet the target client quality and price requirements and maintain the desired vendor weighted average cost. In this case the module will send out a notification to the manager responsible for blended routing. It is also possible to configure the behaviour of the module for such situations: either to block traffic from client (Block) or to switch to regular generic routing scheme (Bypass to regular routing).

Vendor mix calculation

Vendor share column (in the image) contains the result of the optimisation algorithm that calculates the needed vendor mix for the given blended routing rule. If the requirements for traffic are too strict and it is impossible to calculate realistic vendor mix, the value in that column is empty. After initial configuration the system functions in an automatic way making the needed vendor mix changes based on the statistics for traffic that comes from the client to the destination affected by this rule. If one of the vendors in the mix decreases quality or increases price, the change is automatically considered in the next iteration of the mix update.

To try Blended routing functionality simply take advantage of the trial version of the module, which includes 2 blended routing rules for free. (Blended routing module is a part of Alaris inVoice billing and routing system and cannot be installed separately as a standalone solution).