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System and method for managing feature interaction of telephone services

Info

Publication number
WO1998044707A1
WO1998044707A1 PCT/US1998/006068 US9806068W WO1998044707A1 WO 1998044707 A1 WO1998044707 A1 WO 1998044707A1 US 9806068 W US9806068 W US 9806068W WO 1998044707 A1 WO1998044707 A1 WO 1998044707A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
feature
service
call
processor
manager
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1998/006068
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Craig L. Schafer
Steven E. Valin
Timothy M. Weinrich
Gregory M. Fisher
Douglas Beck
Original Assignee
Bell Communications Research, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/42136Administration or customisation of services
    • H04M3/4217Managing service interactions
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q3/00Selecting arrangements
    • H04Q3/0016Arrangements providing connection between exchanges
    • H04Q3/0029Provisions for intelligent networking
    • H04Q3/0041Provisions for intelligent networking involving techniques for avoiding interaction of call service features

Abstract

A service control processor (100) includes a plurality of service feature processors (106a-106n), each corresponding to a selected telephone service, and a plurality of call processing records (104a, 104n), each corresponding to a customer of a service provider. The customer call processing records specify services subscribed to by the caller. A feature manager processor (102) manages call processing and the implementation and execution of services by managing the individual service feature processors. In an alternative embodiment, multiple feature manager processors are included, and a trigger manager selects between them in response to call processing triggers.

Description

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MANAGING FEATURE INTERACTION OF

TELEPHONE SERVICES

Field of the Invention The present invention relates to the field of service management in a telephone network, and in particular to managing service features in a service control point.

Background of the Invention Bellcore has developed the SPACE® and MSAP® applications to permit the development and instantiation of telephone services in the advanced intelligent network ("AIN"). Multiple service providers utilize the SPACE and MSAP languages. In general, call processing records corresponding to each customer are generated by a service provider and stored in a database associated with a service control point ("SCP") in a telephone network. Calls to or from a customer trigger execution of the call processing records to provide the subscribed-to services for each customer. Prior to this invention, the system was oriented toward a single service per trigger execution, using predetermined service components . Adding a new feature to an existing service involved changing the service itself.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to improve call processing applications and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of call processing procedures.

Description of the Invention To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purposes of the invention, as embodied and broadly described, the invention includes a service control point for a telephone network, including one or more service feature processors, each service feature processor including means for executing a predetermined set of instructions to implement a predetermined telephone service, and one or more customer call processing records, each call processing record including data corresponding to one or more service features in each customer's service portfolio, a feature manager processor including means responsive to one or more trigger messages for selecting one or more service feature processors dynamically to implement each customer's service portfolio .

The invention further includes a SCP including one or more customer call processing records and one or more service feature processors, a method of implementing one or more of a plurality of service features, including the steps of identifying which service features a particular customer subscribes to, and dynamically executing each of the identified service features.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

Brief Description of the Drawings Fig. 1 illustrates a block diagram of an ISCP with a feature manager processor in accordance with one; embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2 includes flow processing of a feature manager processor that manages seven service features: "do not disturb," "selective call filtering," "call forwarding," selective call forwarding," "free phone," "distinctive ringing," and "premium rate" services, in accordance with one embodiment of the invention; and

Fig. 3 illustrates a block diagram of an ISCP in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention. Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention

Reference will now be made in detail to the construction and operation of preferred implementations of the present invention which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings .

The following description of the preferred implementations of the present invention is only exemplary of the invention. The present invention is not limited to these implementations, but may be realized by other implementations .

Fig. 1 illustrates a block diagram of an ISCP with a feature manager processor in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

ISCP 100 includes feature manager processor 102, a plurality of call processing records 104a-104n, and a plurality of service features processors 106a-106n. In accordance with the present invention, service feature processors 106 provide specific call processing for predetermined telephone services. For example, service feature processor A 106a may correspond to a call forward feature, service feature processor B 106b may correspond to a call blocking feature, and service feature processor C 106n may correspond to a distinctive ring feature. Service feature processors 106 preferably comprise software applications developed using the Bellcore SPACE® language as described, for example, in Bellcore Document No. BR 780-003- 186

Call processing records ("CPRs") 104 correspond to each individual service customer. The CPRs 104 preferably identify the services each customer subscribes to and includes the data necessary to execute each service. For example, CPR 1 corresponds to a first customer who subscribers to service A. Accordingly, CPR 1 includes data A that is used by the service feature processor A 106a to execute that service for the customer. A customer who subscribes to services B and C would have a CPR such as CPR 2 104b which includes data B and C used by service feature processor B 106b and service feature processor C 106n to execute those services. The configuration of such call processing records is described, for example, in Bellcore Document No. BR 780-003-186.

In accordance with the present invention, feature manager processor 102 communicates with each CPR 104 and each service feature processor 106 to manage the processes provided by a service provider. Feature manager processor 102 controls the manner in which services are executed (if at all) for each customer. Feature manager processor 102 manages multiple features on a single line and manages the interaction of these features. A service provider can program a feature manager processor 102 to manage a portfolio of services provided by that service provider. Thus, call processing is provided by the service feature processors 106 using data from the customer's CPRs under the control of a feature manager processor 102.

Generally, to process a call to or from a subscriber, feature manager processor 102 makes decisions about whether a customer subscribes to certain features and requests execution of those service features by the corresponding service feature processors 106 depending on whether the customer subscribes to the service. Feature manager processor 102 also makes decisions based on the results provided by service feature processors 106. This configuration allows service creators the flexibility to modulize features and functions. In accordance with the present invention, feature manager processor 102 may comprise any hardware processor and corresponding application necessary to implement the functionality described herein. Preferably, feature manager processor 102 includes the Bellcore application implemented using the Bellcore SPACE software, as described in Bellcore Document No. BR 780-003-186.

To help illustrate the functionality of a feature manager processor 102, Fig. 2 includes flow processing of a feature manager processor that manages seven service features: "do not disturb," "selective call filtering," "call forwarding," selective call forwarding," "free phone," "distinctive ringing," and "premium rate" services. To manage these services, a service provider programs the feature manager processor to execute these services as provided, for example, in Fig. 2. Thus, each call directed to any of the customers corresponding to CPRs 104 would be processed according to the processing flow of Fig. 2.

Initially, feature manager processor 102 responds to a termination attempt (step 200). The termination attempt is a trigger corresponding to a called telephone number of a customer. In response, feature manager processor 102 initially performs a "feature invoke" operation for the "do not disturb" feature (step 202). The "feature invoke" operation initially determines whether the customer subscribes to that service. Feature manager processor 102 preferably does so by reviewing the data in the CPR corresponding to the dialed telephone number. If the customer subscribes to the "do not disturb" feature, feature manager processor 102 hands over the processing to the service feature processor 106 corresponding to the "do not disturb" feature. The corresponding service feature processor 106 performs the corresponding call processing and returns an instruction to the feature manager processor 102, which uses the information from the service feature processor 106 to further control processing (step 204) . For example, for the "do not disturb" feature, the service feature processor 106 may have determined that the customer being called does not wish to receive calls after 9:00 p.m. If the phone call is being made at 10:00 p.m., the service feature processor 106 will return a "terminate call" message to the feature manager processor 102 (step 206) . The processing then preferably jumps to the corresponding call processing to terminate the call (steps 208-212).

If the customer does not subscribe to the "do not disturb" feature, the feature manager process 102 simply continues processing to step 204.

If the "do not disturb" service feature processor returns any message other than terminate call (step 214) or the feature did not execute, then the feature manager processor 104 invokes the next feature, "selective call filtering" (step 216) . The "selective call filtering" feature may be used to block a call from a particular party.

Here again, feature manager processor 102 initially determines whether the customer subscribes to a "selective call filtering" feature 106. If so, feature manager processor 102 hands over processing to the corresponding service feature processor. If not, feature manager processor 102 continues.

Feature manager processor 102 then awaits the results of the processing by the service feature processor 106 and uses the information returned by that service feature processor 106 to determine further processing (step 218). For example, if the service feature processor 106 returns the instruction to terminate the call (step 220) , feature manager processor 102 jumps to the processing necessary to terminate the call (steps 208-212) . For any other instruction (step 222), feature manager processor 102 continues. In this example, feature manager processor 102 next determines whether the customer subscribes to a "call forwarding" service and hands over processing to the corresponding service feature processor 106 if the customer does so subscribe (step 224) . If the customer does not subscribe to a "call forwarding" feature, feature manager processor 102 continues to step 226.

In the example shown in Fig. 2, the feature invoke 224 and the subsequent feature invoke "selective call forwarding" service (step 226) provides for overriding feature invocation. For example, the "call forwarding" service may route calls to the customer's home phone during certain times of day and to a business phone during other times of the day. The "selective call forwarding" feature may provide a specific list of parties that will be forwarded to the customer's cellular phone. Feature manager processor 102 invokes both of these features before deciding on further call processing (step 228). Since "selective call forwarding" (step 226) may execute immediately following the "call forwarding" feature without confirming the results of the "call forward" feature, any call state changes affected by the "selective call forwarding" feature override those of the "call forward" feature. This overriding mechanism is used in this example to "specialize" the behavior of one feature with another. For example, if a customer has requested that phone calls be routed to the home phone during certain times of day, the call state will be set to "forward call" and the called party will be routed to the customer's home phone. However, if the subsequent "selective call forward" feature determines that the particular caller should be routed to the customer's cellular phone, the call state will be changed appropriately thus overriding the action requested by the prior feature. Feature manager processor 102 then makes a decision to continue processing based on the information returned from the two service feature processors 106 corresponding to the "call forwarding" and "selective call forwarding" features.

For example, if the instruction "forward call" (step 230) or any other message other than "auth-termination" (step 236) , the feature manager processor jumps to the steps necessary to complete to the call (steps 208, 232, and 234).

The authorized termination state (step 238) corresponds to a caller who has made it through the "do not disturb" and "selective call" filtering features without being blocked and has proceeded through the "call forwarding" and "selective call forwarding" features without being forwarded. For these callers, feature manager processor 102 then decides whether the customer subscribes to a "free phone" service (step 240) . Feature invoke decide node allows the premium rate feature to be invoked if the free phone feature was not executed. This differs from the feature invoke node for which execution proceeds indiscriminately to the following node.

If in step 240, feature manager processor 102 determines that the customer does not subscribe to a "free phone" service, feature manager processor 102 then determines whether the customer subscribes for a "premium rate" service. In this manner only one of these two features may be executed. The premium rate service charges a premium to any caller calling the customer, similarly to a 900 telephone number (step 244) .

Lastly, the feature manager processor 102 uses a feature invoke "distinctive ringing" step (step 242) to determine whether the customer desires distinctive ringing for incoming calls. At step 208, the feature manager processor examines the final state of the call and routes or terminates the current call as needed. Fig. 3 illustrates an ISCP configuration in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, an ISCP includes multiple feature manager processors 302 and 304 and a trigger manager 306, as well as call processing records 104a-104n and service feature processors 106a-106n. In this embodiment, each feature manager processor 302 and 304 manages a selected number of service feature processors 106. For example, feature manager processor 1 302 manages service feature processors A 106a, B 106b, and C 106c, while feature manager processor 2 304 manages service feature processors C 106c and D 106n.

Trigger manager 306 is included to determine which feature manager processor to invoke to control the call processing. For example, feature manager processor 1 302 may be dedicated to all services that trigger on a dialed telephone number, while feature manager processor 2 304 may be dedicated to manager all features corresponding to a calling number. In response to a called telephone number, trigger manager 306 would select feature manager processor 1 302 to perform call processing. In response to a call from a customer, trigger manager 306 would select feature manager processor 2 304 to continue call processing.

While there has been illustrated and described what are at present considered to be preferred embodiments and methods of the present invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made, and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the true scope of the invention.

In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular element, technique or implementation to the teachings of the present invention without departing from the central scope of the invention. Therefore, it is intended that this invention not be limited to the particular embodiments and methods disclosed herein, but that the invention include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims

Claims
1. A service control point for a telephone network, comprising: one or more service feature processors, each service feature processor including means for executing a predetermined set of instructions to implement a predetermined telephone service; and one or more customer call processing records, each call processing record including data corresponding to one or more service features in each customer's service portfolio; and a feature manager processor including means responsive to one or more trigger messages for selecting said one or more service feature processors dynamically to implement each customer's service portfolio.
2. A SCP according to claim 1, wherein said data is used by a corresponding one of said one or more service processors when executing said predetermined set of instructions .
3. A service control point for a telephone network, comprising: one or more service feature processors, each service feature processor including means for executing a predetermined set of instructions to implement a predetermined telephone feature; one or more customer call processing records, each call processing record including data corresponding to one or more service features in each customer's service portfolio; and a feature manager processor including: means for identifying which service features a particular customer subscribes to; and means for dynamically executing said service feature processors corresponding to said identified service features .
4. A SCP according to claim 3, wherein said data is used by a corresponding one of said one or more service processors when executing said predetermined set of instructions .
5. A SCP according to claim 1, wherein said feature manager processor further includes means for communicating with each of said service feature processors.
6. A SCP according to claim 3, wherein said feature manager processor further includes means for communicating with each of said service feature processors.
7. In a SCP including one or more customer call processing records and one or more service feature processors, a method of implementing one or more of a plurality of service features, comprising the steps of: identifying which service features a particular customer subscribes to; and executing each of said identified service features.
8. The method according to claim 7, wherein said executing step includes the step of arranging more than one feature invoke nodes in a predetermined order.
9. The method according to claim 7, wherein said executing step includes the step of executing based on data from a call processing record.
10. The method according to claim 7, wherein said executing step includes the step of executing based on data from a current call state.
11. A service control point ("SCP"), comprising: one or more service feature processors, each service feature processor including means for executing a predetermined set of instructions to implement a predetermined telephone service; one or more customer call processing records, each call processing record including data corresponding to one or more service features in each customer's service portfolio; a plurality of feature manager processors, each feature manager processor corresponding to a predetermined set of said service feature processors; and a trigger manager for selecting one of said plurality of feature manager processors depending on a trigger.
12. A SCP according to claim 11, wherein each of said feature manager processors includes: means for identifying which service features a particular customer subscribes to; and means for selecting said service feature processors corresponding to said identified service features; and means for determining an order of execution of said service feature processors.
13. An SCP according to claim 12, wherein said determining means includes more than one feature invoke nodes in a predetermined order.
14. An SCP according to claim 13, wherein said determining means includes data from a call processing record.
15. An SCP according to claim 13, wherein said determining means includes data from a current call state.
PCT/US1998/006068 1997-03-31 1998-03-27 System and method for managing feature interaction of telephone services WO1998044707A1 (en)

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US08829595 US5966434A (en) 1997-03-31 1997-03-31 System and method for managing feature interaction of telephone services
US08/829,595 1997-03-31

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CA 2283861 CA2283861C (en) 1997-03-31 1998-03-27 System and method for managing feature interaction of telephone services
EP19980913200 EP1013060A1 (en) 1997-03-31 1998-03-27 System and method for managing feature interaction of telephone services
JP54183698A JP3507510B2 (en) 1997-03-31 1998-03-27 System and method for managing the exchange of telephone service feature

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Also Published As

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CA2283861C (en) 2002-08-13 grant
US5966434A (en) 1999-10-12 grant
JP2000510315A (en) 2000-08-08 application
EP1013060A1 (en) 2000-06-28 application
CA2283861A1 (en) 1998-10-08 application
JP3507510B2 (en) 2004-03-15 grant

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