Issue 28 Articles

Axion Solutions logoThey're Called Legacy Systems for a Reason (they’re old). But Not to Worry!

Axino’s automated solutions, cloud computing and powerful analytics are helping carriers to optimize outdated systems and processes to reinvent their interconnect businesses and bilateral relationships

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If you think you can ‘get by’ using your existing systems without a plan in place to meet the demands of digitization, think again. Razor thin margins and inefficient business practices won’t go away by looking the other way or stirring the pot. The scrapheap is full of unsuccessful business plans that have tried to squeeze blood out of a turnip. But carriers are discovering that systems optimization is not as daunting or as costly as first thought and that digitization is allowing them to morph into new business models that allow them to do far more with far less and tap into – and monetize – the data flowing through their networks.

Legacy systems and old-school business practices cost carriers billions every year. The temptation to ‘operate mean and lean’ to preserve margins and drain every last of drop of life out of existing systems and solutions has proven to be shortsighted. In a world racing towards Industry 4.0, one-dimensional computing processes and manual practices, which are time consuming, expensive and error-prone, have pushed productivity costs to unsustainable levels. On top of that, the very same processes and practices have caused revenue to stagnate because legacy systems have not kept up with the technology needed to identify traffic origins, eliminate network fraud or accurately monitor contractual obligations, financial performance and other essential business data. The sheer number of transactions involving intercarrier billing, dispute management and contact negotiation, which are growing exponentially, only compounds the problem and underscores the need for new transactional processes.

“By contrast, carriers that have taken steps to optimize their systems and interconnect business results are seeing dramatic results,” says Ihab Hourani, Chief Technology Officer of Axino Solutions. Systems optimization is very cost efficient and provides a fast return on investment, he adds. Axino’s B2BSimpleX solution is a case in point. The solution can slash the time it takes to conduct, negotiate and implement a bilateral agreement to days instead of weeks or months. The advanced system employs automated work management processes and GBET-approved econtracts to eliminate time-consuming manual processes to facilitate implementation. SimpleX enables carriers to monitor contract performance and commitments in real time and contains easy-to-use software modules and workflows that can be used to modify contracts, inform partners about price and destination changes, verify dial code lists and volumes and exchange side letters.

Systems Optimization One Step at a Time

Hourani also points to the flexibility and agility that automation brings to the interconnect process. The company’s Intercarrier Support System (ips) enables carriers to start the optimization process one step at a time. The ips system is comprised of 14 modules (with a full platform option) that provide carriers with everything they need to power and drive their interconnect business one step at a time. “With modules that cover everything from A-number support and on-demand CDR archive and analysis to advanced financial tools for real time reconciliation and billing,” says Hourani, “the ips system allows carriers to fill operational gaps as they needed and, most importantly, when they most benefit the business.”

The innovative solution improves a carrier’s ability to keep revenue in check by instantly validating whether bills and declarations match up to price lists and rated traffic. As an automated solution, ips eliminates the time and expense of inputting and manually thumbing through paper invoices and enable users to generate outgoing invoices with a simple click and track payment information via visual displays. Additional modules optimize mediation and reconciliation practices and financial analysis by providing real-time views of termination rate agreements.

Hourani also says that breakthrough technology is also providing carriers with powerful data analysis tools that can be used to enhance revenue assurance and identify new areas for revenue growth. One example cited by Hourani is Axino’s FAST solution, which enables carriers to optimize OSS/BSS revenue assurance and billing capabilities by identifying fraudulent and suspicious network traffic before it makes it makes its way downstream.

Unlike other solutions that chase after the traffic and fail, FAST combines cutting-edge SVM (Support Vector Machines) Machine Learning (ML) and robust ‘In-Memory’ technologies to identify fraud and suspicious traffic patterns on the spot. The solution allows carriers to correlate xDR, Aggregated and Subscriber xDRs instantly and slice and dice call records to identify SMS origins and traffic deviation so that preventative measures can be implemented in real time.

FAST contains more than 250 predetermined Rules built-in to the solution to detect every possible fraud scenario and the capability to create Rules based on new case conditions to keep ahead of any new fraud scenario that might materialize. The solution’s smart assurance functions also allow billing departments to become highly efficient front line players. The solution instantly verifies tariffs and ratings, and computes single, daily, weekly and monthly interconnect charges to ensure usage is in line with provisioning. All incoming data, regardless of format or type of switch, is tabulated and corrected, eliminating costly back office manual processes.

In addition, the company’s Smart Data Analysis TrafMiner module allows carriers to penetrate deeper into xDRs than ever before (down to single records) to quantify and chart network usage, identify areas of the network that are underutilized and display queries on dashboards for fast visual review at any time day or night.

“Automation and innovative software solutions are revolutionizing the way carriers operate and manage wholesale operations”, says Hourani. “With the ability to conduct business in real time with more efficient processes, carriers are better positioned than ever to grow margins and profitability and quickly respond to market events and competitive challenges that lie ahead.”

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