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TUCoPS :: Phreaking General Information :: ess06.htm

OSPS Operator Feature for the 5ESS Switch



A New Operator Service Feature for the 5ESS Switch


                        A New Operator Service
                        ----------------------
                      Feature For The 5SS Switch :
                      ----------------------------
                    OPERATOR SERVICES POSITION SYSTEM

                             By  Bandito

A new operator services system for the 5ESS switch gives phone companies and
worldwide phone service administrators unparalleled flexibility in deploying
operators.  The system is called the Operator Services Position System (OSPS),
and it's operation is based on the Intergrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
capabilities of the 5ESS switch.  These capabilities permit simultaneous data
and voice communications between the switch and the operator's terminal
equipment.
     OSPS allows the phone service providers to provide full-featured North
American and international operator service with operators located a distance
from the switching system.

AT&T has added a new feature--the Operator Services Position System--to its
5ESS switch.  A major difference between OSPS and the previous operator
system--the Traffic Service Position System  (TSPS)--is OSPS's ability to
provide several applications simultaneously on one switching system.  One
Switch with OSPS can serve up to 128 teams of operators handling different
applications, such as directory, toll, and operator assistance.
     The OSPS can be deployed as a stand-alone system or integrated with a
local, toll or gateway 5ESS switch.  For directory assistance, a basic services
terminal and a Directory Assistance System/Computer provide the directory
listing.  A video display terminal helps with charging and completing toll and
assistance calls.  In some applications, the OSPS supplies data from external
computer systems at the operator terminal.  The OSPS can also offer fully
automated services such as Automated Calling Card or Automated Coin Services.
It does this by linking to network data bases to validate credit or calling
card numbers, and to determine the charging rates.
      For international applications, OSPS provides the international features
used in local, transit, and gateway applications,  For these applications, the
system makes available services such as call booking(thats when you say that
you want to make a call to Russia and the operator say "I'll call you in 5
hours so you can place the call, ok?"), and it can handle various types of
international trunking and signaling.

DESIGN OBJECTIVES

     Besides providing state-of-the-art operator services, OSPS also improves a
phone company's financial results by reducing operator, administrative, and
maintenance costs, improving network design efficiency, and creating new
revenue opportunities.

Operator Expense
     Reducing the average amount of time operators take to handle a call can
cut expenses by millions of dollars.  A major effort, therefore, was devoted to
achieving this.  Attention to human-machine interfaces led to operator
positions that reduce the motions and concentration needed for each function.
For toll and assistance, for example, the video display terminal improves the
position of information on the monitor screen and the grouping of action keys.
The display terminal also has single keys that are set up to perform complete
functions.  This results in faster action and reduces operator stress.(I hope
this will help them get a better atitude)
     To speed things up, the OSPS automates operator tasks associated with call
handling.  Paper records and information bulletins are eliminate by
computerized ticketing and an automated multileaf bulletin.  Since a
significant portion of operator work time is normally spent in determining if a
line is busy and waiting for answer, this portion of the call can be automated.
Future releases of the system will allow operators to handle other calls during
these periods.

Administrative and Maintenance Expense
     Since OSPS is a feature of the 5ESS switch, administrative and maintenance
expense is reduced by making common use of the base 5ESS switch capabilities
and by using a common maintenance force.  The operator service center, where
the operators are, may be located away from the host 5ESS switch.  Additional
equipment, therefore, is provided to support administrative printers and
terminals, and the management of the operators.
     Such support comes from the OSPS administrative processor (OAP), an AT&T
3B2 computer.  Expense is minimized by allowing one administrative processor to
support as many operator services centers as the phone company desires; not too
many of these are need. Only one OAP is needed for every switch.  Most
commercial automatic call distributor applications use some type of manegement
information system (MIS) to provide similar administrative control and
reporting as does the OAP ofr OSPS.  Overall, administrative expense is reduced
by allowing several teams of operators and several types of calls to be
administered together.

Network Design Efficiency
     The 5ESS switch with remote integrated services line units allow operator
service centers to be hundreds of miles from the host switch.  OSPS can be
added to a 5ESS switch dedicated to operator services with any combinationn of
different applications, or integrated into a network switch serving other
gateway, toll, tandem, or local traffic.  If initial operator needs are small,
a single switch could serve just a few operator positions. (Because of the
modular design of the switch, the number of operator on one switch could grow
one by one until they got over 100. There could be as many as 128 teams of
operators handling a total of nearly 100,000 calls an hour.
     One OSPS can handle call processing and a second OSPS can handle operator
assistance.  This can be a permanent arrangement to minimize new operator
trunks and/or the number of sites staffed with operators.  It is also possible
to reconfigure operator teams.  Entire OSPS systems or selected teams can be
closed down during periods of low traffic.  Calls are then directed to other
teams or another OSPS in the network.  Because of these capabilities, the
network can be redesigned continuously to meet changing needs.

More Service Opportunities
     The OSPS is based on ISDN capabilities and open interfaces that support
customization, customer independence, and flexiblilty.  ISDN supplies
packet-switched access to data bases, as well as interfaces to operator
terminals and support systems.  The open interfaces make it easy to add new
services and to support multiple interchange and local exchange carriers.  Data
can be sent to the operator terminal from computer systems external to the
switch, allowing an operator to talk with a caller while receiving data from a
remote data base.  Both the data base information and the telephone information
can be displayed using the windowing capabilities of OSPS video display
terminals.

SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE

     The OSPS was designed and built on the existing ISDN architecture of the
5ESS switch.  The switch consists of three major hardware modules, handling
administration, communications, and switching.  There are two types of
switching modules, one for normal voice calls, and another, an ISDN module, for
voice and data.  The ISDN switching module is the interface between operators
and the switch.
     The administrative module provides system administration functions,and
supports automatic calll distribution to operators for each OSPS application.
Hardware and software are added to the basic switch to perform automated and
manual operator functions.  Different types of operator terminals are furnished
for different OSPS applications.  An OSPS administrative processor is available
to support each particular application.  The terminals allow operator to
receive and control calls, and to send and receive data through the switch.
Functionally, these are ISDN terminals with simultaneous voice and data
communications capability.
      The terminals are connected by digital subscriber lines to the switch's
integrated services line unit (ISLU) or to a remote ISLU (RISLU) when the
operator services center is a distance from the host switch.  The ISLU or RISLU
acts as an operator position controller.  Operator terminals may be located
several miles from the position controller, with the exact distance dependent
on the application and type of interface.  Where the RISLU and multiplexed onto
digital facilities that connect to the host 5ESS switch.

Systems Interfaces and External Data Bases
     For directory assistance, the 5ESS switch communicates with a
vendorsupplied Directory Assistance System Computer (DAS/C).  In response to
customer requests, the operator consults the system for directory listings.
Like the basic services terminal with which it works, the DAS/C can be
connected to a RISLU and share the remoting capabilities with the basic
services terminal or it can be connected directly to the ISLU.
     The OSPS administrative proccessor is used for directory assistance as
well as toll and assistance operation.  This processor is located in the
operator services center and/or force management center.  It is used with
administrative terminals and printers to support administration and managemnet
personnel by providing traffic, performance, and operator team data when
requested.
     The OSPS connects to other vendor or phone company data bases as well as
to other 5ESS switches.  The connections to other switches make available
remote capability for complete call handling.  The phone company may choose to
use these connections as paths between switches to provide call processing at
the originating switch and operator services at another switch.
     The switch's common channel signalinng interface accesses a number of
external data bases.  Network signaling interfaces unique to the international
application are available to provide new features.  These interfaces vary from
country to country.

SYSTEM OPERATION

     The heart of the OSPS is a full-featured, flexibly administered automatic
call distributor (ACD).  A call coming into an OSPS is selected for a
particular operator team based on its incoming trunk and the dialed digits.
The originating switching module determines the call type and gives the ACD the
information needed to select the proper operator team.  If operators are
available, the call is routed to one on the team who has been sitting one her
ass the longest.  If an operator isn't available in that serving team, the ACD
holds that call and the customer is sent a response (a ring, announcement,
silence, music, etc.).  When an operator becomes available, the customer that
has been on hold the longest is routed to the operator who hasnt had a call the
longest.
     For directory assistance, the operator asks for number-identifying
information and then taps into the database.  The number is given to the
customer by a recorded announcement or the operator.
     For toll and assistance requests, the operator asks for charging
information and the system handles charge recording and the call completion.
Alternate billing is verified and coins collected where appropriate.  Domestic
and international system function similarly, but with different country
specific features.
     The OSPS automated features include Automated Calling Card and Automated
Coin Toll Services.  The automatic charge recording feature for certain calls
includes automated announcements, coin-tone detection, and multifrequency tone
(from touchtone sets,DTMF) detection.  The system can tell if collect calls or
third-party calls are being charged to a uncollectable number(like payphones,
non-working numbers, phones with unpaid bills,etc) and informs the operator on
this.

OPERATOR TERMINALS

     There are three types of operator/agent terminals to match applications
and customer needs.  All are designed to increase operator comfort and
performance, reduce training time, and improve flexibility and control.

Video Display Terminal
     The video display terminal (VDT) is for toll and assistance applications.
The VDT's digital voice capability achieves silence between calls and clear
voice transmission.  The voice features include automatic volume control,
toll-quality voice path, multiple alerting tone capabilities, and voice-path
fraud prevention.  Operators and office administrators have the option of using
mute and split capabilities, which isolate the parties' voice paths at
appropriate times during a call to eliminate talk-over. (Talk-over is a brief
message between the caller and the called person while they shouldnt be
talking.  For example, if collect charges will be accepted be the called party.
 No more of the "hey dude!! call me back I'm out of codes!!!)
     The VDT's keyboard looks pretty good.  Has 117 keys, this includes a
little dialing pad, to the left of the keyboard where the IBM function keys
usually are, are keys like hold, 'MUTE', 'SPLIT ON', 'VOL UP', and 'VOL DOWN'.
Also I can make out some keys like 'Cancel Call' and 'Make busy'. The keyboard
is lightweight and detachable, this lets the operators position it easily to a
comfortable position.  The keyboard has tactile feedback, keys are logical
grouped, and the most frequently used ones are larger than the rest.  Customers
can program macro-keys that will initiate a sequence of key strokes with only
one key.  These are located near the top of the keyboard and have no writing on
them.
     The VDT conveys call-status information and enables operators to follow
the progression of calls.  The terminal has a large, high-resolution display to
increase readability, a glare-free, positive video screen (dark characters on
light background), and a type font that is easy to read.  A screen refresh
rate, well above current norms, prevents flicker.  In addition, several
controller capabilities further clarify call information (multiple character
sets, reverse video, underlining), and are used in a consistent manner to draw
the operator's attention to particular types fo call-handling information.
     To minimize movement of the operator's eyes and head, the most critical
information about a call is displayed at the bottom of the screen.  The display
shown during a calll relays only the information needed to handle that call.
To a avoid distraction, information may be held by the system and not
displayed.  Fields can be edited locally to reduce time required to correct
operator keying errors.
     Now im going to make a pretty pitiful attempt at showing you the screen
how it appears in a picture I have of it.

    _____     ____      ______                  ____   _____    _______
___|SCRN|____|I&C|_____|RATE|__________________|PG1|__|PG2|____|LOGIN| AT&T___
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|______________________________________________|______________________________|
|                                              |S T A T I O N   C O L L E C T |
|                                              |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|                    3 ___~~  2 ___:)  1 ___~` |Fwd  #  :614-555-6534         |
|                     |        |        |      |                              |
|                   :)|        |        |      |                              |
|                     |        |        |      |                              |
|                     |___~`   |___~`   |___~` |Bk  #   :312-555-2679         |
|                        0 + NON - COIN        |                              |
|                                              |                              |
|______________________________________________|______________________________|

| QUIT |      |  GET  | | V 3 |  |RATE| |    |  |   |  |AUTO   |  |HOTEL|
| RATE |      | RATE  | |     |  |TIME| |    |  |   |  |COLLECT|  |RM #  3

    The ":)" are faces. Yes they see faces on the screen and ~~ is a picture of
a phone. And ~` is a picture of a phone off the hook. Didn't I tell you the
picture of the operators terminal was going to be pitiful?

Intelligent Communication Workstation
     The intelligent communication workstation is for the international market.
 It has all the functions of the VDT but uses a personal computer with a color
display.  This adds flexibility to meet the requirements of different countries
and includes software to assist operators in handling otherf languages.  A
chinese version of the system, for example, allows the operator to enter names
using Chinese characters for entry into billing records.  Future releases will
make this a combined services terminal which can be used for both toll and
assistance and directory assistance.

Basic-Services Terminal
     The basic services terminal (BST) is for directory assistance.  It has a
20-character display rather than a cathode-ray tube display.  Dedicated
function keys allow easy access to conference, transfer, and emergency
functions.  The BST has the same voice features as the VDT.  The display,
keyvoard arrangement, and call-handling keying sequences minimize operator
call-handling.

APPLICATIONS

     The OSPS offers services and features for North American and international
directory assistance, and toll and assistance.  Capacity depends on the
application and the features required.  System capacities for North American
applications are shown in the panel below:

Service                   Current           Next System Release
Directory Assistance
Calls/hour                90,000            160,000
Operator positions        512               1000
----------------------------------------------------------------
Toll and Assistance
Calls/hour                68,000            100,000
Operator positions        512               700
----------------------------------------------------------------
For these applications, call handling capacity is now 68,000 calls an hour for
toll and assistance and 90,000 calls an hour for difectory assistance.  While
these high capacities stem from the distributed architecture fo the 5ESS
switch, its modular design allow the OSPS to grow incrementally depending on
customer needs.
     Continuing architectural and design and hardware improvements will lead to
even higher capacities.  The next system relase, for example, will increase
toll and assistance to 100,000 calls an hour and directory assistance to
160,000 calls an hour.

Directory Assistance
     With directory assistance a caller gives a name and address and an
operator or the system responds with a phone number.  With vendor computer
systems, OSPS uses an internal audio response unit to "speak" the number to the
caller.  Future releases will permit adding or changing announcements by
interfacing with external audio response units.  Future releases also will
enable the operator to connect the person requesting the number and apply
billing in response to the caller's requests.  This provides a telephone
company with signigicant new revenue opportunities.  OSPS directory assistance
allows conferences between operators and hand=off of the call to another
operator.  Incoming directory assistance calls can be rerouted to operators on
a second OSPS.

Toll and Assistance
     These operator services help callers complete toll calls, bill the call to
calling cards or to a third party,  bill the call person-to-person, and give
general help.  OSPS uses ISDN to furnish some of these services.  For example,
the system gives operators access to customer-supplied database computers.
These computers may contain frequently referenced data such as emergency
numbers or rate and route information.  Operators are looged onto the database
automatically and single key actions transfer data from the data base screen to
the call handling screen.

International Applications
     Features start with a subset of the ACD, derectory assistance and basic
toll and assistance operator call handling features as in the North American
version.  Specific international needs are addes such as real-time billing
information, completed call retrieval, call booking, and a visible instruction
table.
     Real-time billing information for international calls includes validation
of credit-card numbers or billing number, computing charges in real time and
storing them in completed call records.  The billing information can be
supplied to the customer by a synthesized announcement of time and charges or
direct operator quotation.
     Completed call retrieval aallows the operator to retrieve the record of a
completed call, including call charges in response to customer inquiry.  It
also allows the operator to give correct billing in the case of a call being
cut off and reconnected.
     Call booking is for customers wanting calls placed at a particular time
and to allow operators to store calls for later completion during less
congested periods.  Data for these calls is stored in the OSPS and may be
distributed to operators for setup as soon as possible or at a designated time.
 Operators also may request retrieval of previously booked calls.
     The operator uses a visible instruction table to obtain special dialing
instructions or otherf call-handling material.  The text is stored in the 5ESS
switch as a series of pages, and is displayed in a window area on the VDT
screen.
     Additional features include customer and operator fraud protection,
enhanced charge and duration advice and language assistance, depending on the
needs of the particular country.  OSPS also supports the major international
signaling systems.


NEXT GENERATION

     The OSPS represents a new generation in operator services based on ISDN.
The system can be configured to serve any operator application requiring access
to data bases and automated call distribution to operators. Since it is a
application on the 5ESS switch, it allows operator services to be provided at
local, tandem, or toll switching centers.
     The design enables operators to be hundreds of miles from the switch.
Features reduce a phone company's costs in the areas of operator expense,
administration and maaintenance, and network design.  The OSPS includes many
operator services not previously available and permits a wide mix of
applications on a single switch.

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Downloaded From P-80 International Information Systems 304-744-2253 12yrs+




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