CenturyLink to consolidate ordering, billing across its markets

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CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is moving to consolidate its local service ordering and billing systems so it can streamline its process and systems across its markets for wholesale CLEC customers.

The telco currently operates two ordering and billing systems for its local services products, a product of the various acquisitions it has made over the past two decades, including Qwest, Embarq and a number of former GTE properties.  

"Due to acquisitions, CenturyLink currently operates two different ordering and billing systems for Local Services," CenturyLink said in a FCC filing. "As a result, customers that are in multiple locations within CenturyLink's network could be using both systems, making this inefficient for customers and for CenturyLink."

As part of this consolidation process, CenturyLink will move all of its Local Service Request (LSR) ordering to Electronic Administration & Service Order Exchange (EASE) and the associated billing to Amdoc's Ensemble platform.

These migrations, which it says will provide various benefits, will particularly affect its wholesale CLEC customers.

By consolidating its ordering systems across its markets, CenturyLink said it would provide a single standardized order entry channel for LSR services, a standardized process for LSR handling, single view of all LSR orders, and one set of training requirements

Likewise, the the benefits of consolidating the billing systems across all CenturyLink's markets will provide similar benefits: a single process for LSR billing functions, consistent billing levels -- e.g., grouping of accounts across states, consistent method to view the billing for any products and services ordered on an LSR, and consistent bill format for all local billing.

The service provider said it will reduce potential risks to wholesale customers by implementing the conversion "in three phases, one CRIS region at a time."

During the three-phase process, CenturyLink will migrate properties off the Interconnect Mediated Access (IMA) and Customer Records Information System (CRIS).

CenturyLink said the first phase of the billing and ordering platform consolidation is expected to go into place "no earlier" than December 2016, while phases two and three are planned for no earlier than mid and late 2017.

It has notified affected wholesale customers and has begun meeting the requirements of the Change Management Process (CMP) that are part of CenturyLink's Interconnection Agreements as well as merger-related settlement agreements.

For more:
- see this FCC filing (PDF)

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