8 Creating and Managing Customer Segments

This chapter describes the Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management (BRM) customer segment feature and provides information on how to create customer segments.

For more information on how to use customer segments to filter information to assign payments and billing, see the following:

About Customer Segments

A customer segment is a user-defined customer description that can be used to group accounts according to customer billing and payment practices, such as early bill payer, reliable bill payer, and delinquent bill payer. You can use customer segments to charge payment fees, provide payment incentives, and suppress bills.

Table 8-1 lists customer segments you can use to implement the following rules for early bill payers who rarely make late payments:

Table 8-1 Customer Segments and Payment Rules

Feature Payment Rule Action

Payment incentive

If the payment is received 2 weeks early.

Apply $2 discount to the bill.

Payment fee

If the payment fails due to expired credit card.

Override the $2 payment fee.

Bill suppression

If the bill is less than $10.

Suppress the bill until the end of the next billing cycle.

Note: To implement automatic bill suppression, you must first define customer segments and then associate bill suppression settings with them. See "About Bill Suppression" in BRM Configuring and Running Billing.

An account can belong to more than one customer segment. The customer segments are defined in the /account object PIN_FLD_CUSTOMER_SEGMENT_LIST field.

The customer segment rules apply to all accounts that belong to the customer segment.

To assign customer segment information to an account during account creation, see "Implementing Customer Segment Information".

Defining Customer Segments in BRM

The following procedures explain how to define customer segments in your BRM database:

To assign customer segment information to an account during account creation, see "Implementing Customer Segment Information".

Editing the pin_customer_segment.xml File

You configure customer segments in the BRM_Home/sys/data/config/pin_customer_segment.xml file, where BRM_Home is the directory in which you installed the BRM software.

To create a customer segment, add a CustomerSegment child element to the CustomerSegments element. Each CustomerSegment child element is identified by an ID and a character string. For example:

          <CustomerSegment ID="1001">Early bill payer</CustomerSegment>
          <CustomerSegment ID="1002">Reliable bill payer</CustomerSegment>
          <CustomerSegment ID="1003">Late bill payer</CustomerSegment>

The ID and string items are described in Table 8-2:

Table 8-2 XML Items in pin_customer_segment.xml File

XML Items Description Possible Values


A number that identifies the customer segment in the BRM database.

An account belongs to a customer segment when that segment's ID is added to the /account object's PIN_FLD_CUSTOMER_SEGMENT_LIST field.

Specify any integer greater than 1000.

Note: If a customer segment is not defined for an account, the default value of 0 is used. All accounts belong to this customer segment.


A character string that describes the type of accounts in the customer segment (for example, reliable bill payer or delinquent bill payer).

Minimum length is 0 characters.

Maximum length is 1023 characters.

Note: This string is mapped to the PIN_FLD_DESCR field in the /config/customer_segment object.

Loading Customer Segments into BRM

Run the load_pin_customer_segment utility to load the contents of the pin_customer_segment.xml file into the /config/customer_segment object in the BRM database. See "load_pin_customer_segment".


The load_pin_customer_segment utility needs a configuration file (pin.conf) in the directory from which you run the utility. See "Creating Configuration Files for BRM Utilities" in BRM System Administrator's Guide.


The load_pin_customer_segment utility overwrites existing customer segments. If you are updating customer segments, you cannot load new customer segments only. You must load complete sets of customer segments each time you run the load_pin_customer_segment utility.

To load customer segments into BRM:

  1. Open the pin_customer_segment.xml file (BRM_Home/sys/data/config) by using an XML editor or a text editor.

    See "Editing the pin_customer_segment.xml File" for more information.

  2. Edit the file.

  3. Save the file.


    Customer segment IDs in the 0 - 1000 range are reserved by BRM. The default customer segment ID is 0, and all accounts belong to this customer segment by default.
  4. Use the following command to load the customer segments:

    load_pin_customer_segment pin_customer_segment.xml


    The pin_customer_segment.xml file is referenced by the pin_business_configuration.xsd file; therefore, these files must be located in the same directory. By default, the location is BRM_Home/sys/data/config.

    If you do not run the utility from the directory in which the XML and XSD files are located, include the complete path to the files, for example:

    load_pin_customer_segment BRM_Home/sys/data/config/pin_customer_segment.xml 
  5. Stop and restart the Connection Manager (CM). See "Starting and Stopping the BRM System" in BRM System Administrator's Guide.

  6. (Optional) To verify that the customer segments were loaded, display the /config/customer_segment object by using Object Browser or by using the robj command with the testnap utility. See "Reading an Object and Writing its Contents to a File" in BRM Developer's Guide.

Validating the pin_customer_segment.xml File

You run the "load_pin_customer_segment" utility with the -t parameter to validate the XML schema in your file.

This parameter validates the contents against the XML file's schema definition before loading the data into the /config/customer_segment object.


The schema definition for the pin_customer_segment.xml is in the BRM_Home/xsd/pin_customer_segment.xsd file. This file uses the pin_business_configuration.xsd reference file to perform additional processing.

For more information, see "About Validating XML Configuration Files" in BRM System Administrator's Guide.

Implementing Customer Segment Information

Customer Center and Self-Care Manager do not support creating customer segments. You can create your own application or use a third-party client application to assign the customer segments during account maintenance.

After you define customer segments in BRM, any rules you define for a segment apply to all accounts that belong to that customer segment. For example, if you define payment fees or payment incentives based on a customer segment, all accounts that belong to that segment, and conform to any additional criteria, will receive the fee or incentive.

To add customer segments to an account during account maintenance, include them in the PCM_OP_CUST_UPDATE_CUSTOMER input flist. The segments are in the PIN_FLD_CUSTOMER_SEGMENT_LIST field in the PIN_FLD_ACCTINFO array.


Accounts created outside of Customer Center are assigned a customer segment value of 0.