What do carriers need in their interconnect voice management system?

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In our discussions with our customers we get an interesting view into what carriers need in terms of their interconnect voice management system. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of them that they pretty much all have the same needs. They need routing, they need rating, they need invoicing, they need timely reporting, they need the flexibility to create pricing, manage termination, the list goes on and on.  

It got us to thinking that the needs really are so universal across the market. We spent some time extrapolating these needs and wants and seeing how they relate and how they should form the basis of the “Hierarchy of Needs for Interconnect Voice Management Platforms”.

Here’s what we came up with. These are the two basic needs:  

Scalability & Reliability. The system has to work and work reliably, all the time.

Speed. The system has to work at the pace that the marketplace demands.

Any interconnect voice management system has to work, work reliably, and work fast.  Most carriers assume that every solution out there works, works reliably, and works fast. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. There are few solutions that have invested the time, effort, and resources in making sure their platforms work, work reliably, and work fast.

GCS has won a lot of business because our ICP platform, works, works reliably, and works fast. It’s why we have customers like Windstream, Vonage, iBasis, Fusion, Mediacom, Orange, PTGi, Frontier, and on, and on.

Scalability & Reliability and Speed represent just the foundation of what carriers need. 

There’s still more…

Basic Functions:  This is where carriers need the system to do all the normal stuff carriers need performed for every call. This includes Routing, Rating, CDR Processing, Invoicing, Rate Admin, Reporting, Alarming, Error Processing, Advanced Routing, etc.  These are, as one of our customers put it, “table stakes” for an interconnect voice management system. There is a kernel of functionality that any system must provide.   

After Basic Functions, you get into the Advanced Features. Advanced Features are those features that allow carriers to go after new markets, or verticals, or potentially differentiate themselves. Interconnect voice is a highly commoditized industry.  By definition, that makes differentiation difficult, at best. But carriers want to find opportunities for differentiation and want their interconnect management platform.  Whether it’s offering a short-duration calling product, a Euro-Zone on-net product, managing quality based on origination class, offer outsourced wholesale, etc. Carriers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves. Can they offer unique products? Can they perform as a “best in class” operator?  

Over the years we have been able to expand our advanced feature set to include 90-95% of the wants that customers  have identified. By the end of 2018, we want that number to be 99%. 

Our product is a one-stop, end-to-end, interconnect voice management solution.  

It’s not just a least cost routing solution, or a carrier billing solution, or a reporting solution, or an alarming solution, or a quality management solution, or a rate management solution. It’s all of those and more.  

Our Advanced Features include:  Personal Route Advance, Real-Time Credit Management, Real-Time QoS management, Short Duration Call Management, A# origination, LCADs, Carrier Portal, CDR Reconciliation, etc.  

That’s advanced features.

But, there is still one area we think carriers want and need. It’s workforce automation. That’s right, workforce automation. In today’s hyper-competitive interconnect voice marketplace, costs have to be relentlessly squeezed out. The only way to do that, as is true in every commoditized industry, is through the reduction of operational expenditures. GCS has developed capabilities that are setting the stage for AI like functionality in the OSS & BSS areas of interconnect voice. That means automation. Actually it means intelligent automation. Intelligent automation, to us, is the ability to tie together the discrete tasks that carriers perform every day into a workflow that is completely automated. For example, our Supplier Assurance Module (SAM) automates almost all the tasks involved in processing supplier invoices, including performing an analysis of a carrier’s traffic report, comparing that with the supplier’s invoice amount, and then pushing on the analysis to the finance person to be processed (either paid or rejected).

That’s why carriers can squeeze costs to their absolute lowest. And that’s what carriers need.

So, to summarize, the needs and wants of carriers are, not surprisingly, similar.

As we see it, they are:

Scale & Reliability
Then…Speed
Then…Basic Features
Then…Advanced Features
Then...workforce automation

That’s what all carriers should focus on in terms of their interconnect voice management platform.