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Competitive Carrier Penn Telecom Deploys Info Directions' Comprehensive Back Office Solution.

Info Directions' CostGuard.NET Provides Leading Regional CLEC with Broad Feature Set Designed to Streamline Operations and Enhance Customer Service

VICTOR, N.Y. -- Info Directions, Inc. leading developer of net-centric billing, rating, order management, workflow and selling solutions for the telecommunications industry, is pleased to announce that the Pittsburgh Region's leading competitive service provider, Penn Telecom, has implemented its CostGuard[R].NET ASP solution to manage operations and billing functions for its growing customer base.

Penn Telecom Inc. operates an advanced broadband network delivering multi-media communications, information services and IT applications to enterprise customers throughout Western Pennsylvania. The company's facilities-based optical network infrastructure is among the largest of the region's telecom providers. Established in 1979, Penn Telecom focuses on next-generation communications delivery and provides information networking services to some of the largest and most communications-intensive users in the Pittsburgh area - including prominent customers in industries such as education, health care, banking and professional sports.

Penn Telecom is one of three operating businesses of North Pittsburgh Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: NPSI). NPSI consists of Penn Telecom, Nauticom and North Pittsburgh Telephone Company, one of the 25 largest phone companies in the U.S. NPSI celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2006 and is recognized as one of the Top 50 Businesses in Western PA, a Top 10 Technology Firm and a Top 30 Growth Firm in the region.

Replacing a combination of legacy-based and internal systems, Penn Telecom selected Info Directions and its CostGuard.NET solution because of the system's product flexibility, open architecture, comprehensive workflow capabilities and Windows-based user interface. Penn Telecom employs CostGuard.NET's flexible product catalog and ability to support convergent technologies to respond to changes in the market, creating and deploying new services and product bundles quickly and easily. In addition, CostGuard.NET's open architecture makes it possible for Penn Telecom to exchange data with a number of leading third-party IT/networking applications while eliminating manual operations. CostGuard.NET's workflow management features helped Penn Telecom to automate repetitive processes, streamline new order entry, and provide greater accountability throughout the system. With CostGuard.NET's user-friendly interface, Penn Telecom is enhancing customer care capabilities and improving its ability to provide a single-contact response to customer questions.

Info Directions' CostGuard.NET also provides Penn Telecom with enhanced capabilities such as financial management, equipment inventory, trouble ticketing, collections management, number inventory, and electronic bill payment and presentment. This suite of features creates, for the first time, an integrated back office solution that places business-critical information at the fingertips of the customer care, marketing, sales, product, finance, accounting and executive team members who require such synthesized data to effectively run a carrier business.

"CostGuard.NET embodies the essence of next-generation back-office solutions: namely, supporting our focus on 21st Century service and support. In particular, CostGuard.NET helps us to provision services faster and more efficiently, and that alone translates into higher customer satisfaction and more competitive products," said Al Wiegand, Vice President of Operations for Penn Telecom. "We were also able to work closely with Info Directions to define our workflow processes and model our business operations. As a result, we now generate those critical data points that we absolutely require in order to secure a more comprehensive picture of our operations. The net benefit to us?C*Now we can better enhance Penn Telecom's productivity and competitiveness."

Furthering Weigand's insights, Info Directions President Donald Culeton added: "For a facilities-based communications provider like Penn Telecom offering progressive products while consistently delivering top-notch customer service is a combination that the marketplace values as a key differentiator. This differentiation gives them a distinct competitive edge. The advantages Penn Telecom is bringing to its customers - enhanced by CostGuard.NET's feature set - will clearly extend its enviable position as a benchmark in the industry. CostGuard.NET is designed with the open infrastructure and vast selection of tools that leading companies like Penn Telecom need to continue growing and offering value-added services to their customers."

About Penn Telecom, Inc.:

Penn Telecom has been bringing innovative telecom products and services to Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas since 1979 and today offers a complete package of services including broadband, local and long distance service, carrier hotel, and VoIP products for business applications. The company's ever expanding roster of high-profile clients includes the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Penn Telecom is a subsidiary of North Pittsburgh Systems, Inc. (NPSI) based in Gibsonia, PA. NPSI, with total assets of $156 million, operates an integrated high-technology telecommunications business in Western Pennsylvania that provides competitive and local exchange services, long distance, Internet services and other telecommunication technologies through its subsidiaries, North Pittsburgh Telephone Company, Penn Telecom, Inc., and Pinnatech, Inc. (d/b/a Nauticom). As of June 30th 2006, NPSI served approximately 68,000 access lines in its franchised local exchange territory and over 63,000 access line equivalents in its competitive local exchange carrier edge-out markets.

About Info Directions, Inc.:

Info Directions is a software engineering company that designs, hosts and installs net-centric billing, rating, order management, workflow and selling solutions for progressive communications service providers. Info Directions' benchmark CostGuard[R] line of installed and ASP OSS/BSS products deliver convergent, web-enabled solutions to ICPs, wireless operators, ASPs, CLECs and ISPs offering local, long distance, broadband, content, data, IP, ASP usage, VoIP, utility, frame relay, wireless and xDSL services. The company also provides the Lexys Point-of-Sale product to wireless operators throughout the U.S. and around the world. Info Directions is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a member of the MSDN ISV Program. To learn more about Info Directions, please call 1.888.924.4110 or visit
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 31, 2006
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