WORKFORCE AUTOMATION — The panacea for all issues of interconnect voice

Ahh, the interconnect voice marketplace. Simultaneously robust and declining...challenging and innovative. It’s a day-to-day struggle, punctuated by massive revenues with tiny margins.   Communication Service Providers (CSPs as they like to be called), struggle with the burden of managing interconnect voice.  Most want the burden to go away. But, it hasn’t, and most likely, never will. Yes, Voice is an application and with VoIP it has become a very cheap application for the consumer. But, the economics of voice (the declining cost to the consumer) have happened at the same time that new complexities have been introduced. It’s somewhat paradoxical that CSPs are limited in what they can charge for voice services, but the actual costs of running a voice network has increased, particularly in the area of interconnect voice. Rates for voice termination continue to decline (albeit asymptotically in major markets), while the ability to interconnect has never been easier, which means a lot more CSPs are able to do business with each other. So, we have declining per call revenues and increasing volume of back-office burden to support CSPs wants/needs to be interconnected to practically every other CSP.  A hard problem to solve, for sure.

Luckily, there is a solution. That solution is automation.  Workforce automation. In 2016, there are solution providers, like GCS, who have built comprehensive platforms that seek to automate 95-99% of the daily tasks, processes and functions that SPs perform relating to interconnect voice. Everything from Managing Rates (buy/sell), to Carrier interconnect, to CDR processing, to Routing Policy, to Quality Management, to Invoicing, to Reporting, Alarming, Revenue Assurance, etc.  All these historically disparate tasks are now, in 2016, housed and managed in a single platform enabling carriers to dramatically improve their automation which increases efficiency and maximizes margins by lowering costs and reducing the time it takes to complete tasks, as all system automation does. But, interconnect voice also has a profound impact on workforce automation, particularly in interconnect voice. This industry has a lot of people involved in it.  Look at just a sampling of the roles that are performed in this world:

  1. Buyer

  2. Salesperson

  3. Rate Admin

  4. Routing Admin

  5. Network Engineer

  6. Contract Admin

  7. Billing

  8. Finance

  9. NOC Person

  10. Product Management

  11. IT Staff

  12. MIS staff (reporting & data management)

This is just a sampling of the roles. In larger Companies, these roles are often performed by individual people. Think about the complexity of coordinating the interactions of 10, 20, 40 or even 100 people on a daily basis if you are using several systems to inform and act upon the business dynamics? It is pretty apparent that there would be uncontrolled inefficiencies in any system whereby the workflow and functions performed by the team used disparate systems. Just trying to make sure that the inputs & outputs of each system were compatible, would be a challenge. This is why companies like GCS exist.

The technology is available today and has been proven to work extremely well. Our customers are able to minimize their TCO costs by leveraging a comprehensive tool set that allows them to automate almost all of their manual processes and systems, eliminate all inter-working from system to system and provide real-time/near real-time business information. This automates most, if not all, of the entire end-to-end processes while improving the efficiency of the workforce. Interconnect voice staff can do more with less and completely eliminate unnecessary tasks, processes and delays from their day-to-day functioning. That’s what is possible. That’s what is happening across many CSPs and the benefits they are realizing are providing incontrovertible evidence that it is workforce automation that is the panacea for the interconnect voice industry.

Andrea Rona