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Publication numberWO1999067923 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/SE1999/000924
Publication date29 Dec 1999
Filing date28 May 1999
Priority date25 Jun 1998
Also published asCA2335587A1, CN1307770A
Publication numberPCT/1999/924, PCT/SE/1999/000924, PCT/SE/1999/00924, PCT/SE/99/000924, PCT/SE/99/00924, PCT/SE1999/000924, PCT/SE1999/00924, PCT/SE1999000924, PCT/SE199900924, PCT/SE99/000924, PCT/SE99/00924, PCT/SE99000924, PCT/SE9900924, WO 1999/067923 A1, WO 1999067923 A1, WO 1999067923A1, WO 9967923 A1, WO 9967923A1, WO-A1-1999067923, WO-A1-9967923, WO1999/067923A1, WO1999067923 A1, WO1999067923A1, WO9967923 A1, WO9967923A1
InventorsRoch Glitho, Christophe Gourraud
ApplicantTelefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Service provider access to operation and maintenance information within a telecommunications system
WO 1999067923 A1
Abstract
Operation and maintenance information (26, 30) generated from a network infrastructure (18) and a service infrastructure (16) of a telecommunications system (10) is collected and pre-processed by a service agent (12). The pre-processing action taken by the service agent concentrates (40), filters (42), abstracts (44), correlates (46), inferences (48) and/or presents (50) the collected telecommunications system operation and maintenance information in a format more suitable for service provider consideration and that is directly related to telecommunications services, subscribers and subscriptions. Using a management system (15), the service provider may take any other necessary actions for reviewing, supplementary processing and managing the service agent pre-processed and presented operation and maintenance information (52).
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A telecommunications operations and maintenance service management system, comprising: a telecommunications system comprising a telecommunications service infrastructure and a telecommunications network infrastructure, the service and network infrastructures each independently generating operation and maintenance information; and a service agent connected to the service and network infrastructures to receive the service infrastructure and network infrastructure generated operation and maintenance information, the service agent operating to selectively collect the received operation and maintenance information and produce user friendly service information therefrom.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein the service infrastructure includes telecommunications services, and the network infrastructure includes telecommunications network elements supporting execution of the telecommunications services.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein the selective collection operation performed by the service agent comprises performing at least one of the following operations: concentration of the received operation and maintenance information to combine related information from multiple sources; filtering of the received operation and maintenance information to eliminate irrelevant portions of information; abstracting of the received operation and maintenance information to summarize information; correlating of the received operation and maintenance information to identify relationships between information; and inferencing of the received operation and maintenance information to identify problems from current information.
4. The system of claim 1 wherein the selective collection operation performed by the service agent to produce user friendly service information generates service provider exploitable operation and maintenance information directly related to telecommunications services, subscribers and subscriptions.
5. The system of claim 1 further including a service provider operation and maintenance management system connected to the service agent to receive the user friendly service information and process user friendly service information for service provider consideration.
6. The system of claim 5 wherein the processing performed by the service provider operation and maintenance management system comprises performing at least one of the following: managing operation and maintenance related faults and alarms indicated by the user friendly service information; and interfacing for service provider review of the user friendly service information.
7. A telecommunications operations and maintenance service management system, comprising: a telecommunications system comprising a telecommunications service infrastructure and a telecommunications network infrastructure, the service and network infrastructures each independently generating operation and maintenance information; a service agent connected to the service and network infrastructures to receive the service infrastructure and network infrastructure generated operation and maintenance information, the service agent operating to concentrate the received operation and maintenance information by combining related information received from multiple service and network infrastructure sources to produce correlated service information; and a service provider operation and maintenance management system connected to the service agent to receive the correlated service information, the management system outputting the correlated service information to a service provider.
8. The system of claim 7 wherein the service infrastructure includes telecommunications services, and the network infrastructure includes telecommunications network elements supporting execution of the telecommunications services.
9. The system of claim 7 wherein the service provider operation and maintenance management system operates to perform at least one of the following actions: managing through the service provider of operation and maintenance related faults and alarms indicated by the correlated service information; and supporting service provider activity in supplemental processing, interpretation and exploitation of the correlated service information.
10. A telecommunications operations and maintenance service management system, comprising: a telecommunications system comprising a telecommunications service infrastructure and a telecommunications network infrastructure, the service and network infrastructures each generating operation and maintenance information; a service agent connected to the service and network infrastructures to receive the service infrastructure and network infrastructure generated operation and maintenance information, the service agent operating to filter the received operation and maintenance information by eliminating unnecessary information received from the service and network infrastructures to produce filtered service information; and a service provider operation and maintenance management system connected to the service agent to receive the filtered service information, the management system outputting the filtered service information to a service provider.
11. The system of claim 10 wherein the service infrastructure includes telecommunications services, and the network infrastructure includes telecommunications network elements supporting execution of the telecommunications services.
12. The system of claim 10 wherein the service provider operation and maintenance management system operates to perform at least one of the following actions: managing through the service provider of operation and maintenance related faults and alarms indicated by the filtered service information; and supporting service provider activity in supplemental processing, interpretation and exploitation of the filtered service information.
13. A telecommunications operations and maintenance service management system, comprising: a telecommunications system comprising a telecommunications service infrastructure and a telecommunications network infrastructure, the service and network infrastructures each generating operation and maintenance information; a service agent connected to the service and network infrastructures to receive the service infrastructure and network infrastructure generated operation and maintenance information, the service agent operating to abstract the received operation and maintenance information by summarizing information received from the service and network infrastructures to produce abstracted service information; and a service provider operation and maintenance management system connected to the service agent to receive the abstracted service information, the management system outputting the abstracted service information to a service provider.
14. The system of claim 13 wherein the service infrastructure includes telecommunications services, and the network infrastructure includes telecommunications network elements supporting execution of the telecommunications services.
15. The system of claim 13 wherein the service provider operation and maintenance management system operates to perform at least one of the following actions: managing through the service provider of operation and maintenance related faults and alarms indicated by the abstracted service information; and supporting service provider activity in supplemental processing, interpretation and exploitation of the abstracted service information.
16. A telecommunications operations and maintenance service management system, comprising: a telecommunications system comprising a telecommunications service infrastructure and a telecommunications network infrastructure, the service and network infrastructures each generating operation and maintenance information; a service agent connected to the service and network infrastructures to receive the service infrastructure and network infrastructure generated operation and maintenance information, the service agent operating to correlate the received operation and maintenance information by determining relationships between information received from the service and network infrastructures to produce correlated service information; and a service provider operation and maintenance management system connected to the service agent to receive the correlated service information, the management system outputting the correlated service information to a service provider.
17. The system of claim 16 wherein the service infrastructure includes telecommunications services, and the network infrastructure includes telecommunications network elements supporting execution of the telecommunications services.
18. The system of claim 16 wherein the service provider operation and maintenance management system operates to perform at least one of the following actions: managing through the service provider of operation and maintenance related faults and alarms indicated by the correlated service information; and supporting service provider activity in supplemental processing, interpretation and exploitation of the correlated service information.
19. A telecommunications operations and maintenance service management system, comprising: a telecommunications system comprising a telecommunications service infrastructure and a telecommunications network infrastructure, the service and network infrastructures each generating operation and maintenance information; a service agent connected to the service and network infrastructures to receive the service infrastructure and network infrastructure generated operation and maintenance information, the service agent operating to draw inferences as to future service problems from current operation and maintenance information received from the service and network infrastructure and produce inferred service information indicative thereof; and a service provider operation and maintenance management system connected to the service agent to receive the inferred service information, the management system outputting the inferred service information to a service provider.
20. The system of claim 19 wherein the service infrastructure includes telecommunications services, and the network infrastructure includes telecommunications network elements supporting execution of the telecommunications services.
21. The system of claim 19 wherein the service provider operation and maintenance management system operates to perform at least one of the following actions: managing through the service provider of operation and maintenance related faults and alarms indicated by the inferred service information; and supporting service provider activity in supplemental processing, interpretation and exploitation of the inferred service information.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

SERVICE PROVIDER ACCESS TO OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE INFORMATION WITHIN A TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Technical Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to operation and maintenance (O&M) information communication and, in particular, to a mechanism for supporting telecommunications system service provider access to such operation and maintenance information. Description of Related Art

There are a number of actors involved in the provision of telecommunications services. Examples of such telecommunications services are subscriber based calling services ranging from basic services like calling capability to advanced services like call waiting, call forwarding, call conferencing, and the like which supplement basic calling services. One actor is the "end user" (also referred to as the subscriber). The subscriber is the entity which purchases access to the telecommunications services. Another actor is the "service implementer." The service implementer is the entity that designs, installs, makes available and maintains the telecommunications services (comprising a service infrastructure). Yet another actor is the "network operator." The network operator manages the network infrastructure on which the developed telecommunications services are executed. The network infrastructure comprises the physical, interconnected network equipment, elements or nodes (like exchanges, switches, databases, communications links and the like) needed to execute the telecommunications services. Still another actor is the "service provider." The service provider owns and exploits the telecommunications services which are executed on the network infrastructure. A further actor is the "service retailer." The service retailer sells telecommunications services to subscribers on behalf of the service provider.

The roles of the network operator and the service provider are commonly played by the same business entity. This business entity is typically a large telecommunications company (for example, CANTEL, AT&T or a baby Bell company). More recently, however, the trend is to divorce the network operator from the service provider by having the network operator lease use of its network infrastructure to one or more service providers. The role of the service implementer is usually played by companies (for example, Ericsson) that sell the network infrastructure related equipment to the network operator. The network operator, service provider and even a third party software development house may act, based on their acquired telecommunications expertise, as the service implementer as well.

Operation and maintenance (O&M) refers generally to a functionality for supporting configuration management, performance management, accounting management, fault management, and security management within a telecommunications system. In this regard, the telecommunications system includes a number of managed resources and comprises the combination of the service infrastructure and the network infrastructure. Configuration management is a functionality for accessing and modifying the configuration of managed resources within the telecommunications system. Through configuration management activities, new services or service releases are loaded onto the service infrastructure, and data concerning current network infrastructure configuration may be correlated with service requirements to configure the system for operation. Performance management is a functionality for setting, collecting and processing of performance data (such as counters), as well as making decisions on relevant actions, if required, within the telecommunications system.

Through performance management, service usage statistics may also be collected for use in long term service planning and marketing. Accounting management is a functionality for setting, collecting and processing of data required for billing subscribers for use of the telecommunications system. Fault management is a functionality for generating and managing alarms, as well as the taking of relevant actions, perhaps in response thereto, to prevent and solve problems within the telecommunications system. Through fault management, service problems are anticipated, detected, monitored and handled. Security management is a functionality for managing the mechanisms used to protect against unauthorized access to managed resources within the telecommunications system. Through security management, external access to restricted systems is controlled through the use of authentication and authorization techniques.

In connection with its actions for designing, installing, making available and maintaining the telecommunications services, the service implementer further defines and provides access to service infrastructure related operation and maintenance information. This operation and maintenance information is needed by the service provider in order to efficiently operate and manage its services for the benefit of the subscribers. The network operator typically manages its network infrastructure through a conventional operation support system (OSS). Network infrastructure related operation and maintenance information is of concern to not only the network operator, but also the service provider as some network infrastructure related data is relevant to the operation of the service infrastructure. The primary objective of the service provider is to have services which work and can be activated for the benefit of the subscribers. It is recognized that a number of problems may arise during service activation or service execution. Thus, the operation and maintenance functionality of primary importance to the service provider is fault management. Alarms must be communicated to the service provider, and these alarms must provide sufficient information to assist the service provider in detecting and solving problems relating to the provision of telecommunications services.

A second objective of the service provider is to reduce its operating costs. An efficient O&M fault management functionality supports this goal. Perhaps equally important, however, is optimizing usage of the service infrastructure (i.e., service specific managed resources) and the network infrastructure (i.e., network specific managed resources) through use of the O&M performance management functionality. Additionally, accurate and reliable billing for service provision requires satisfactory O&M accounting management functionality. Yet another objective of the service provider is keeping its subscribers satisfied with their service. This may be accomplished through the use of flexible billing policies (supported by the O&M accounting management functionality), minimization and anticipation of problems (supported by the O&M fault management and performance management functionalities), and the dissemination of information of interest and importance to the subscribers concerning telecommunications system operation (i.e., the provision of O&M related information).

Another objective of the service provider is to anticipate the needs of its subscribers and plan for the future. For instance, the service provider must be able to recognize the new telecommunications services that could be required, the existing telecommunications services that need to be removed or adapted because they no longer meet the needs or expectations of the subscribers, and the necessary evolution of telecommunications system related resources (to account, for example, for increased growth). The O&M performance management functionality can supply meaningful information relating to these issues for service provider evaluation and consideration. Yet another concern of the service provider is to protect the integrity of its service infrastructure against fraud and malicious attacks which may impede the exploitation of the telecommunications services. An efficient O&M security management functionality supports this goal.

Thus, it is evident that the service provider is the main customer for service infrastructure related operation and maintenance information, and has a high level of interest in some network infrastructure related operation and maintenance information. However, it is the service implementer that provides to the service provider both the telecommunications services and the means to manage those services. The service implementer accordingly is charged with the obligation of ensuring that the proper operation and maintenance information (such as alarms, counters and configuration) is generated by the telecommunications service infrastructure and supplied through the network infrastructure for review and consideration. It is also important that the service implementer make this operation and maintenance information exploitable by the service provider (who cannot be expected to know and understand the technical details of either the service infrastructure (e.g., service logic execution environments (SLEEs) and the like) or the network infrastructure (e.g., network elements such as exchanges, home location registers, operation support systems, service control points, and the like) or the models internally used by these infrastructures (e.g., service information building blocks (SIBs), Java beans, and the like). Furthermore, the service implementer must ensure security of access to the operation and maintenance information, especially in those situations where the same service infrastructure is shared among several service providers through a shared network infrastructure.

It is thus recognized that the service provider needs access to, and the service implementer is charged with providing (and further can relatively easily provide) a significant amount of operation and maintenance information relating to the service infrastructure. It is further recognized that the operation support system is similarly capable of supplying a significant amount of operation and maintenance information relating to the network infrastructure. In many instances the operation and maintenance information provided from the service infrastructure, and the operation and maintenance information provided from the network infrastructure are related, or may be correlated, in such a manner as to provide a more complete picture of telecommunications system operation. The main concern, simply stated, is that a service provider may become inundated with operation and maintenance information on such a large scale as to preclude efficient, effective, and accurate analysis in order to efficiently operate and manage its services for the benefit of the subscribers. Put another way, given access to this significant amount of service and network infrastructure related operation and maintenance information, the service provider may have difficulty determining what information is necessary, pertinent, related or redundant, and thus be unable to utilize the volumes of information in a meaningful way. Accordingly, there is a need for a mechanism to pre-process generated service and network infrastructure related operation and maintenance information for efficient and effective service provider review and consideration. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A service agent collects and pre-processes operation and maintenance information generated from a network infrastructure and a service infrastructure of a telecommunications system. The collected operation and maintenance information includes configuration management data, performance management data, accounting management data, fault management data, and security management data. The preprocessing actions taken by the service agent on any received operation and maintenance information include: concentrating, filtering, abstracting, correlating, inferencing and/or presenting the information for service provider consideration. A management system supports service provider actions for reviewing, supplementary processing and managing the service agent presented operation and maintenance information.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A more complete understanding of the method and apparatus of the present invention may be acquired by reference to the following Detailed Description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying Drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a block diagram of a telecommunications system with an operation and maintenance information service agent interface to a service provider.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference is now made to FIGURE 1 wherein there is shown a block diagram of a telecommunications system 10 with an operation and maintenance (O&M) information service agent 12 interface to a service provider 14 implemented O&M management system 15. Although only two service providers 14 are illustrated, it will, of course, be understood that many more than two such service providers are typically present. The telecommunications system 10 comprises a service infrastructure 16 and a network infrastructure 18. The service infrastructure 16 comprises the telecommunications services 20 provided for subscriber use. Examples of such telecommunications services 20 (comprising the service infrastructure) are services like call waiting, call forwarding, and call conferencing. These services are implemented, for example, through the use of service information building blocks (SIBs) and Java beans, and are run on the network infrastructure. The network infrastructure 18 comprises the physical, interconnected network elements or nodes 22 needed to execute the telecommunications services. Examples of such network elements 22

(comprising the network infrastructure) are service control points (SCPs), exchanges, cross-connects, home location registers (HLRs) and transmission links. The service infrastructure 16 includes an engine 24 for generating operation and maintenance information 26 concerning the provided telecommunications services 20. Similarly, the network infrastructure 18 includes an engine 28 for generating operation and maintenance information 30 concerning the functioning of the network elements 22. In each case, the generated operation and maintenance information relate to configuration management data, performance management data, accounting management data, fault management data, and security management data. This service infrastructure 16 and network infrastructure 18 related operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 is needed by the service provider 14 in order to efficiently operate its services for the benefit of the subscribers.

More specifically, the operation and maintenance information 26 generated by the engine 24 may concern the semantics of telecommunications services 20 and their management (such as their activation). With respect to the engine 28, the generated operation and maintenance information 30 may concern the functionality and operability of the network elements in supporting the provision of the telecommunications services. Examples of the kinds of operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 generated by the engines 24 and 28 include: counters concerning usage of a given service; configuration data impacting the execution logic of a service; alarms generated when telecommunications service logic fails; alarms generated when a service activation request fails; alarms generated by the failure of a network element; and information concerning the remaining capacities of software and hardware resources dedicated to services support.

It is recognized that the service provider 14 may not necessarily know or understand how the telecommunications services 20 are implemented. By this it is meant, for example, that the service provider 14 may not know or understand, for example, the following things: which network element 22 implements the service; or which design paradigm and internal modeling (such as SIBs or Java classes) were used in creating the service. The service provider 14 may simply have limited knowledge of what logical telecommunications services 20 are available, and what data is required to activate and configure those services (i.e., a limited understanding of the service infrastructure 16). Moreover, the service provider 14 may have little or no knowledge concerning either the telecommunications network infrastructure 18 on which the telecommunications services 20 operate, or the data and views managed by an operation support system (OSS) 66 for the network infrastructure. The engine 24 and 28 generated operation and maintenance information 26 and

30 is, however, generally speaking, far too technical, detailed, precise and voluminous to be of any practical benefit to the service provider 14. The main concern here is one of supplying the service provider 14 (and more particularly the O&M management system 15) with exploitable operation and maintenance information directly related to services and subscribers. Exploitable service related information comprises, for example, information concerning which services are not available due to faults in the network infrastructure. Exploitable subscriber related information comprises, for example, information concerning which subscribers are affected by the unavailable services. The engine 24 and 28 generated operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 is accordingly pre-processed by the operation and maintenance information service agent 12 interface before being passed on to the service provider 14 operation and maintenance management system 15.

The pre-processing actions taken by the service agent 12 on any received operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 comprise selectively collecting the received infrastructure generated information to produce the service and subscriber related exploitable information. This selective collection action includes: - concentrating (through functionality 40) the operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 received from the engines 24 and 28 in the service infrastructure 16 and the network infrastructure 18, respectively. In this regard, concentration of the received information refers to the combining of related information obtained from multiple sources. The sources may comprise different infrastructures, or various plural sources (i.e., service nodes or physical nodes or other managed resources) within a single infrastructure. An example of such a concentration action would comprise the processing of alarm information from plural network elements to produce a single alarm;

- filtering (through functionality 42) the operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 received from the engines 24 and 28 in the service infrastructure 16 and the network infrastructure 18, respectively. In this regard, filtering of the received information refers to the elimination of engine 24 and 28 generated information which, from the perspective of the service provider, may be too numerous, redundant or not entirely relevant. More specifically, the filtration functionality restricts the supplied information to a specific service provider need, or to a specific service. An example of such a filtration action would comprise choosing not to pass on to the service provider 14 service infrastructure 16 related operation and maintenance information 26 relating to an alarm identifying the failure of a service logic to retrieve necessary service processing data when network infrastructure 18 related operation and maintenance information 30 relating to the failure of network communications link has been reported. Another example would comprise choosing not to pass on to a first service provider the operation and maintenance information relating to the telecommunications services of a second service provider;

- abstracting (through functionality 44) the operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 received from the engines 24 and 28 in the service infrastructure 16 and the network infrastructure 18, respectively. In this regard, abstraction of the received information refers to a conversion or separation of the information to a level (such as a summarization) that is more pertinent to the service provider 14. An example of such an abstraction action would comprise processing several operation and maintenance information reported counters to generate a more meaningful (less detailed) indicator on service usage;

- correlating (through functionality 46) the operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 received from the engines 24 and 28 in the service infrastructure 16 and the network infrastructure 18, respectively. In this regard, correlation of the received information refers to determining relationships between service infrastructure 16 and network infrastructure 18 information, as well as between information from the same infrastructure. An example of such a correlation action would comprise an identification of a correspondence or relationship between plural pieces of operation and maintenance information 26 and/or 30 in order to assist the service provider in, for example, a determination analysis of a root cause for a service failure. In another example, service performance data may be correlated with network performance data to provide a summarized report on the issue of system performance;

- inferencing (through functionality 48) the operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 received from the engines 24 and 28 in the service infrastructure 16 and the network infrastructure 18, respectively. In this regard, inferences (i.e., anticipations or predictions) of the existence of future problems may be taken from currently presented operation and maintenance information. An example of such an inferencing action would comprise analyzing a network infrastructure 18 engine 28 generated alarm to infer a future service infrastructure 16 engine 24 generated alarm. Thus, problems may be anticipated at a time before they actually impact subscribers; and

- presenting (through functionality 50) the service agent 12 concentrated, filtered, abstracted, correlated and/or inferenced operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 to the service provider 14. Preferably, this agent 12 output operation and maintenance information 52, which is generated through the actions of the concentrating, filtering, abstracting, correlating and/or inferencing functionalities, is passed by the presentation functionality 50 over a well defined and open interface 54. The presentation functionality 50 operates to collect and present the concentrated, filtered, abstracted, correlated and/or inferenced operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 in a user friendly and informative format (perhaps in accordance with customizations specified by the service provider 14).

The service agent 12 further includes a customization functionality 56 that operates, in response to service provider 14 operation and maintenance management system 15 issued commands 58 passed over the open interface 54, to control and refine the operations of the concentrating, filtering, abstracting, correlating, inferencing and/or presentation functionalities. As an example, the service agent 12, through the actions of the customization functionality 56, may specify its desired customizations with respect to the presentation of the concentrated, filtered, abstracted, correlated and/or inferenced operation and maintenance information 26 and 30. As another example, the service agent, through the actions of the customization functionality 56, may customize its O&M service by specifying which ones of a number of operation and maintenance information 26 and 30 related data, indicators, alarms, and the like that are of most interest.

The service agent 12 still further includes a routing functionality 60 that operates, in response to service provider 14 operation and maintenance management system 15 issued commands 58 passed over the open interface 54, to route those commands to appropriate or specified nodes containing managed resources within the service infrastructure 16 and the network infrastructure 18. As an example, the command 58 may comprise a request for the communication of certain operation and maintenance information 26 or 30. The routing functionality 60 then acts to communicate the service provider 14 issued request to a particular network element 22 within the network infrastructure 18. An interface 62 is provided between the service infrastructure 16 (more particularly, the O&M engine 24) and the service agent 12 to support the communication of operation and maintenance information 26, commands 58 and other data. This interface 62 is preferably an open or standardized operation and maintenance interface. Another interface 64 is provided between the network infrastructure 18 (more particularly, the O&M engine 26) and the service agent 12 to support the communication of operation and maintenance information 30, commands 58 and other data. This interface 64 is preferably a limited access, consultation only type (open, standardized or proprietary), operation and maintenance interface provided through the operation support system (OSS) 66 of the network infrastructure 18. The service provider 14 operation and maintenance management system 15 provides a user interface allowing the service provider to review 80 the service agent 12 concentrated, filtered, abstracted, correlated and/or inferenced operation and maintenance information 26 and 30. A number of off-line tools 82 are also provided through the management system 15 to assist the service provider 14 in the supplemental processing, interpretation and exploitation of the received information. As an example, these tools 82 may assist the service provider in determining severity, status, impacted services and subscribers/subscriptions, and a root cause. Additionally, the management system 15 facilitates service provider 14 management 84 of operation and maintenance related (and reported) faults and alarms. Management 84 functions may also assist in determining severity, status, impacted services and subscribers/subscriptions, and a root cause, but also facilitate service provider taken actions in responding to such problems.

Although preferred embodiments of the method and apparatus of the present invention have been illustrated in the accompanying Drawings and described in the foregoing Detailed Description, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments disclosed, but is capable of numerous rearrangements, modifications and substitutions without departing from the spirit of the invention as set forth and defined by the following claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
WO1996028942A1 *11 Mar 199619 Sep 1996Nokia Telecommunications OyMethod of communication and connection control
US5652787 *5 Oct 199529 Jul 1997Northern Telecom LimitedManagement system for public and private switched networks
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Classifications
International ClassificationH04Q3/00, H04L12/24
Cooperative ClassificationH04Q3/0095, H04L41/046
European ClassificationH04L41/04C, H04Q3/00D4W
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