FAQs

Company: Company FAQs

Company

What is TeleKnowledge?
Where is the company based?
What do you do?
Who are your customers?
Are you a telecommunications company?
What is Content Commerce?
Why is Content Commerce emerging today?

Competition

How are you different?
I have an in-house system that does this already. Why do I need you?

Solution

What does your solution do?
How does it work?
What are the strengths of the platform?
What are the biggest impact areas on a content business?
Why is my current subscription-oriented offering not the answer?
What is the chief concern about customer care?
Why would I invest in this today?
What is the best way for me to proceed?
How is Total-e priced?

Technology

Where does Content Commerce fit within my existing systems?
How do Content Commerce platforms differ from content management platforms?
Why can’t I just use a Payment Gateway?
Does TeleKnowledge support mobile content?
What standards do you support?
What technologies are you using for interfaces?
What are the performance measures for your system?
Which OS platforms are supported?
Which database servers are supported?
How long does it take to implement the platform?
Who does the customization work?

Company

What is TeleKnowledge?

TeleKnowledge is a software company that focuses on solutions for Content and data services delivered through any digital media. We market an adaptive billing platform that enables Content Commerce and other fee-based services. Our products allow providers to profitably generate revenue in new ways from their digital assets. In short, TeleKnowledge Makes Content Make Money.
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Where is the company based?

We are based in Framingham, MA, U.S.A., in the heart of Boston’s high tech community. The company also has offices in San Francisco, New York and across Europe.
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What do you do?

TeleKnowledge provides the mission-critical infrastructure software to enable providers to develop, price, package, promote and bill for their digital content and services. In addition to automated billing, it handles royalty payments and commissions and provides the management information needed to maximize revenue and profit.
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Who are your customers?

TeleKnowledge serves customers in the consumer content, business content, business services and communications industries. Customers include digital media companies, entertainment organizations, business information providers, news providers and aggregators, information resellers, music companies, video on demand, online portals and more. We also work with some of the largest network operators in the world, whether they are traditional telephony companies, cable operators or wireless telephony operators.
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Are you a telecommunications company?

No. TeleKnowledge was founded in 1997 with the aim of establishing itself as a premier provider of billing solutions. The initial idea for the company emerged from a project at the Israeli National Telecom carrier – Bezeq – to source a billing platform for a variety of new content services that it was planning to offer. At the time, there was no billing platform in the market that met the flexibility, scalability and adaptability requirements these emerging content services demanded. And so TeleKnowledge was formed to fill this critical market gap. Today we serve a wide range of content and service providers.
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What is Content Commerce?

Content Commerce is emerging as a new business discipline within communications, media, entertainment, information and publishing companies. It involves all of the processes associated with generating revenue from a company’s digital assets. Successful Content Commerce requires providers to effectively define content products; package, promote and sell these offerings; deliver them to the customer; receive payments and settle royalties/commissions with license owners and distribution partners. It then allows our customers to redefine the content offerings in response to subscriber feedback and market success.
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Why is Content Commerce emerging today?

Across the communications market the build-out of advanced networks that support faster data delivery across cable, wireline, and wireless channels is allowing the introduction of a range of new content and data based services. Among content owners and providers there is a growing acceptance of fee-based services following the dotcom collapse, which demonstrated the critical need for companies to generate revenue and profits online if they were to succeed. Interest in Content Commerce also is being driven by the current economic downturn, which has reduced company forecasts for revenue and profit growth. The imperative now is for organizations to leverage their existing technology infrastructure and their digital assets to generate profitable growth. Content Commerce is a credible way to achieve this goal.
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Competition

How are you different?

Our platform has been developed to address the specific needs of content and fee-based service providers. It provides a comprehensive set of commerce features: product definition, pricing, customer and service management, rights management, channel and partner management, invoicing, financial settlement and management reporting. It is flexible, easily configured to handle any service, provides carrier-class robustness and scalability, offers a 50%-75% lower cost of ownership as a result of its architecture and configurability. back to top

I have an in-house system that does this already. Why do I need you?

We understand that many companies already have an in-house solution. In fact, companies often have several, incompatible in-house systems that have arisen either as a result of mergers, or as a result of incremental services being offered over time. In either of these cases the logic for a new platform built expressly for Content Commerce is easy to demonstrate.

Companies that have a single in-house solution also can benefit from the TeleKnowledge solution. In-house solutions are costly to build and maintain and generally represent an inefficient use of resources when considering robust, flexible commercial solutions are available. In addition, the technical challenges of billing and customer care are formidable, requiring skills and experience not always readily available in-house. Finally, the Content Commerce business and technology are changing quickly, which requires a level of continuous dedication that few in-house groups can afford to provide.
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Solution

What does your solution do?

TeleKnowledge’s Content Commerce platform, Total-e Content, enables content providers to generate revenue from their digital assets through any digital media channel. Simply put, this is a way of growing your business. The platform enables companies to do the following:

• Define new digital content services
• Price them in multiple ways for different individual users
• Sell them to a variety of end users with different promotional offers and deals
• Distribute them through multiple channels and partners
• Manage access control, rights, users and services
• Settle all of the financial payments between end-users, content owners, service providers and channel partners
• Manage all customer care queries and requests
• Determine the success of various marketing and sales tactics and refine offerings accordingly
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How does it work?

You are probably familiar with receiving periodic invoices from your wireless provider, Internet service provider, gas or electric utility, or from the major suppliers to your business. The Content Commerce platform takes this billing concept and applies it to the world of digital content. The platform interacts with the content delivery systems of the organization and sits between these application servers and the end user. At its most simple level, the platform monitors incoming requests from customers and outgoing traffic content delivered to customers, and establishes the validity of each individual transaction and the service price for that user. At the end of the month, or whenever the appropriate billing period ends, the system compiles a summary of the activity for that account and prepares an invoice. This can be mailed in hard copy or in electronic format, and can be settled by separate manual transaction with the customer or by automatic funds transfer payment form the designated payment source.
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What are the strengths of the platform?

The real strengths of the platform are its ability to assemble new types of content-based offerings, price and promote them in a variety of ways, offer different variations on the same underlying content set to different groups of customers, and manage this frequently changing set of variations quickly and easily.
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What are the biggest impact areas on a business?

Our platform typically impacts both the top line (revenue growth and profitability) as well as the bottom line (cost reduction). The ability to generate revenue from all your digital media will be greatly enhanced as a result of installing a marketing and pricing engine designed for this task. The additional revenue will come from better addressing the needs of existing customers and from offering more ways to reach new users of your content and services.

On the cost side, most organizations will experience a reduction in the overhead required to manage their billing and customer care operations, dependent upon their current business processes. In addition, automating royalty and/or commission payment processes will result in further cost savings for most organizations.
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Why is my current subscription-oriented offering not the answer?

The Content Commerce market is only just becoming established in many cases. The revenue models that will work have yet to become finalized. Certainly many companies are testing alternative schemes, but the initial approach in many cases is a flat-fee subscription offering. Existing subscription-based systems generally cannot handle the range of new revenue models, such as pay-per-view, micro payment, usage-based, cross discounts, promotion periods and incentive trials – or a combination of these and revenue models not yet devised.

In this market situation characterized by high uncertainty, the best approach is to test multiple offers and refine on the basis of feedback from the market (rapid prototyping). In order to do this companies must ensure that they install a billing platform that allows them to refine their business model quickly as new information and demands emerge. The worst decision you can make is to install a costly billing platform that restricts your business functionality sometime in the future. This is the reason that Total-e Content was developed. It is a flexible offering that can be readily reconfigured by customers, as the market needs change.
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What is the big issue about customer care?

When they launch new for-fee services, many companies do not realize the implications of satisfying customers, particularly with a web-based delivery channel. Users are now familiar with self-service and demand ease of use and also ease of care.

The costs of poor customer care are easy to see in lost revenue, but what is equally important is the cost of customer care provision itself. For example, if customers need to speak with a call-center operative to have their billing issues resolved, this can quickly erode the margins available from new channel delivery methods. Enabling customers to address many of their questions via a web interface can deliver significant benefits in cost savings for companies. In addition, even if the queries require a call to a live representative, it is vital to ensure that the representative has all the relevant details at his or her command. This is readily available through the Total-e Content solution.
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Why would I invest in this today?

Deciding when to invest in new technology is always a tough decision. Many companies invested significant amounts in IT during the boom years of the Internet growth in the late 1990s and were left with little to show for it. However, an investment in Content Commerce technology actually leverages much of the existing infrastructure and the organization’s digital assets, and is a direct means of generating revenue. Companies that invest in Content Commerce platforms like Total-e are making a statement that they wish to generate revenue from their digital assets, which enhances their top line company growth. This cannot be said for many of their other IT investments.
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What is the best way for me to proceed?

Many companies are installing trial platforms to test and adapt their revenue-based offerings. We believe this is the right approach – invest small amounts today to enable you to understand what revenue models will work and then modify your plan in response to feedback from the market.
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How is Total-e priced?

Pricing is based on a software license model, driven by number of users and Total-e modules. Pricing starts as low as $50,000-$100,000 and ranges higher for the larger and more complex global implementations. Enterprise-wide, unlimited use options also are available. Standard maintenance is 18%.

For those organizations looking to minimize their initial investment and risk, or are just starting to grow their fee-based business model, transaction-based user pricing is available. This allows the customer to pay only if they are successful in gaining revenue from the system. The TeleKnowledge platform is highly configurable by the customer, but there typically is some initial integration and customization required. TeleKnowledge, the customer, or a third party integrator can do this work.
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Technology

Where does Content Commerce technology fit within my existing systems?

The Content Commerce platform interfaces with multiple elements of the content engineering infrastructure, including a company’s content management system, digital rights management platform, General Ledger and other financial systems, web application server, CRM platform, ERP system and the payment gateway.
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How do Content Commerce platforms differ from content management platforms?

A content management system improves the efficiency and accuracy of the content creation and delivery process, distributing the right content to appropriate users on demand. The Content Commerce platform performs a different function. It is responsible for managing subscribers and their content use, managing the pricing and packaging of various content service offerings, authorizing access to certain content offerings based on business rules, billing users for the appropriate offerings, and clearing the financial payments for the entire content supply chain.
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Why can’t I just use a payment gateway?

A payment gateway connects online businesses to credit card processors and the banking settlement and clearance systems. These solutions are perfectly adequate for one-off purchases or for very simple billing situations. However, for micro-payment-based approaches, or where multiple individual authorizations and transactions are necessary, the payment gateway solution is inappropriate.
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Does TeleKnowledge support mobile content and VAS?

TeleKnowledge is fully capable of supporting content delivered over a mobile infrastructure as well as content delivered over a fixed line. As our system interfaces with the content management and delivery infrastructure and with existing financial and legacy billing systems, it can operate as an adjunct solution, leveraging the existing investment in billing environment while providing a best-of-breed approach for any form of content or Value Added Service (VAS) delivery.
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What standards do you support?

TeleKnowledge is tuned to market developments and standards. We are following activities in multiple areas and are committed to support for de facto industry standards and other widely adopted technologies. Some of the standards currently tracked and on the product roadmap include IPDR (transaction detail record standard), Parlay (service management, authentication, authorization standard), XrML and XMCL (content exchange standards), SOAP (as a web services infrastructure) and some proprietary content delivery and DRM technologies. These are tracked to allow out-of-the-box compatibility for usage collection and service management for content services delivered over these standards. TeleKnowledge is also prepared to meet standards with regard to system integration and supports state-of-the-art technologies including JCA, SOAP, LDAP and other technologies.
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What technologies are you using for interfaces?

Fully dynamic APIs are available, supporting XML, SOAP, Java, LDAP, flat files, COM/DCOM, C++ and RDBMS views.
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What are the performance measures for your system?

Independent third parties have conducted detailed benchmarking performance studies on the TeleKnowledge platform and found that we can successfully manage over 15 million subscribers and process over 4 million transactions per hour. Full details are available on request.
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Which OS platforms are supported?

TeleKnowledge supports Unix (Sun Solaris v2.7 and 2.8) and Windows (Windows NT 4 server with SP4/5/6; Windows 2000 Professional, Server and Advanced Server) platforms.
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Which database servers are supported?

TeleKnowledge supports Oracle 8i and 9i as well as SQL Server 2000. Supported platforms for the Oracle infrastructure include Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, HP-UX, and Windows NT and Windows 2000.
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How long does it take to implement the platform?

Platform implementation for Total-e Content is generally a rapid process, as the platform is designed to deliver an almost out-of-the-box solution for content providers. Implementations have been as short as six weeks. Complex situations requiring a greater need for customization will take longer. An exact timescale for your specific implementation will be determined during the gap-analysis stage as part of signing a contract.
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Who does the platform customization work?

Our approach is to ensure that we deliver a software solution that meets each client’s needs. We support our customers fully throughout the implementation with a dedicated professional services team comprised of third-party and TeleKnowledge experts, both on-site and remotely. Where appropriate, we utilize the implementation phases as a means of training the internal team and transitioning the ongoing software customization/personalization efforts to the internal team, if desired.
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