Alaris LCR Engine

New Challenges in Carrier Business

Ever-growing competition in the carrier market constantly places major challenges before its players. Abundant supply witnessed in the recent years inevitably dropped prices for customer services causing unprecedented margin degradation. Only a few years ago a carrier could gain up to several cents on a minute of international traffic, while presently the race is run for centesimal parts of that profit. Market changes are not limited only to price slumping but are clearly felt through raised demands on the part of end users, who desire communications with highest quality at lowest cost.

Only large players with significant traffic volumes could successfully survive and develop in the low-margin market. New reality imposed a new type of challenge: high performance alongside with increased reliability of traffic processing systems. With dozens of termination options for a single call out of simultaneously incoming hundreds, an efficient method of selecting optimal routes, naturally, became a fundamental requirement to routing systems.

Alaris LCR Engine: What’s Behind

Alaris LCR Engine developed by Alaris Labs is a smart routing system for voice and SMS traffic with an option of real-time management of VoIP and PSTN switches. The primary objective of the system is to provide optimal call routing to maximize overall earnings by gaining the highest possible margin on each separate call while securing the required connection quality level. Alaris LCR Engine solution is unique in the way it combines a wide range of routing criteria with highly efficient traffic handling. Routing policy is defined by the user by indicating destination cost and quality criteria in the required order. Quality indicators employed in routing procedures include ASR, ACD, NER, PDD, Short Calls Ratio and other statistic parameters that can be obtained from raw CDRs.

Alaris LCR Engine connection to the switching equipment of major VoIP and PSTN-solution developers is uncomplicated and provides for easy integration with the operating network of a carrier. Currently supported interconnection protocols include the most common SIP and INAP. However, Alaris LCR Engine solution may be further upgraded by the development team if a carrier network comprises equipment using any other routing management standards.

Distinguishing feature of Alaris LCR Engine is a kit of user-friendly tools for handling rate plans, indispensable for cost-based routing. Rate import is fast, supports documents in various formats, and allows creation of templates for each carrier partner, considerably saving time in further operations. At a customer request Alaris LCR Engine may be integrated with the billing system currently employed by the carrier, securing a unified rate entry point in the network.

Yet another unique attribute of Alaris LCR Engine solution is comprised in its powerful analytical properties. The system creates real time reports on any required parameters or statistical layouts. At any point of time such traffic and financial indicators as number of calls, duration, ASR, ACD, cost, margin, etc. are available for any client, vendor, or destination. Thus a user can easily create tailored reports of any structure or complexity. Moreover, the system is equipped with the alert generation mechanism enabling notification of concerned users in case if any significant changes in monitored parameters are detected.

Alaris LCR Engine: Operation Concept

Alaris LCR Engine has a multi-component architecture, which provides for optional installation of different modules either on a single or several servers.

  • Configuration database is the main repository of all data related to routing rules configuration, equipment, rate plans and CDRs. All the core intelligence of the product, except for realtime-based procedures, resides within the DB module.
  • Routing unit is a module responsible for interoperation with the switching layer of the network which manages call routing in real time from operating switches. The unit RAM comprises a local database which is automatically synchronized with the Configuration DB and thus constantly kept up to date. Routing module also collects CDRs from network switches to optimize future routing decisions on the basis of call history statistics.
  • Web interface is a single control point for the whole system, employed by the user to register new partners, enter technical parameters, import rate plans and define routing rules.

Alaris LCR Engine Architecture

Alaris LCR Engine is designed to provide complete geographical redundancy with the possibility to locate different system components at different sites. In particular, routing modules might be allocated to different cities as close as possible to relevant switching equipment increasing load distribution efficiency and traffic processing rate. At the same time such distributed environment does not require Internet connection with high throughput capacity to link routing modules with the central database since most of the information is stored locally.

Alaris LCR Engine: Benefits

Wide variety of routing criteria:

  • least cost routing (LCR),
  • margin-based routing,
  • quality-based routing linked to ASR, ACD, NER, etc.,
  • customized routing policies based on tailored combinations of cost and quality criteria
  • destination or client-linked traffic sharing between vendors,
  • static routing – fixed vendor selection for traffic bound to specific destinations from par-ticular clients.

Interoperation with various VoIP and PSTN switches:

  • VoIP switch integration via SIP,
  • TDM switch integration via INAP (connection to TDM switches is effected via TelcoBridges gateways),
  • possible adjustments for supporting non-standard interconnection.

Intuitive rate import mechanism:

  • data import from xls. and csv.,
  • high import rate (2-3 minutes per 100 thousand rates with more than 20 checks for errors and indirect rate increases),
  • possible integration with billing systems for rate synchronization.

Advanced analytical features:

  • statistical and financial data for various layouts (clients, vendors, destinations, etc.),
  • creation of tailor-made reports on processed traffic,
  • alert notifications in case of changes in monitored parameters.

High reliability:

  • distributed architecture,
  • full geographical redundancy.

High performance:

  • performance rate appr. 500-700 CPS (сalls per second) per one CPU core (depending on rate plan structure and routing complexity).

Scalability:

  • single-server installation (all modules), or multi-server installation with geographical distribution, load balancing, and redundancy protection.