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  • Some musings on Mobile World Congress – Neural Technologies’ experience

    data
    Author: Cameron Kent Marketing Communications Executive
    Date: 13th March 2017
    Categories: Technology, Data, Financial, Telecoms, Revenue Assurance, Fraud protection, Optimus, Neural Technologies, Big Data, Revenue Management, Mobile World Congress, MWC, GSMA, GLOMO, Global Mobile Awards, Digital Transformation, Digital Integration

    One week on from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and Neural Technologies has yet to see the dust settle. Within our industry the GSMA run congress is a must attend event, therefore the ideal centralised location to host productive meetings with our Partners and Customers – this week we have been moving through the gears and further advancing our business relationships with like-minded companies, as well as following up on new leads. With 2017 marking our first full stand exhibition at MWC, we have also taken the opportunity over the past week to digest all that we learnt on how we represent ourselves as a company and how those we have not previously dealt with first perceive us. What, though, did we ascertain from the rest of Barcelona’s Fira Congress halls?




  • Mobile World Congress - a sight for sore feet...

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 8th March 2017
    Categories: Technology, Data, Financial, Telecoms, Revenue Assurance, Fraud protection, Optimus, Neural Technologies, Big Data, Revenue Management, Mobile World Congress, MWC, GSMA, GLOMO, Global Mobile Awards, Digital Transformation, Digital Integration

    So it has been a few days since I arrived back from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, recognised as the largest telecommunications exhibition in the world. After walking an average of 9 kilometres a day around the numerous exhibition halls and standing (or leaning occasionally) at our exhibition stand for well over 10 hours from early morning to late evening… I needed to recover. After some much needed sleep I am glad to say my feet have also now reduced in size to now resemble normal extremities that reside at the end of my appendages. One lesson I need to remember is that is does not matter if your shoes are handmade in the UK or designed in Italy, they need to be comfortable and practical if you are going to attend an exhibition for any length of time.

    So was the pain (mostly in my feet) worth it?  




  • Is it time to redefine ARPU?

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 19th January 2017
    Categories: Technology, Financial, Telecoms, Revenue Assurance, Fraud protection, Optimus, Neural Technologies, Revenue Management, ARPU

    ARPU (Average Revenue per User) has been a term used in the telecommunications industry for many years now. Every financial statement and report published by any CSP today to its shareholders and investors will now include amongst the usual profit and loss numbers and operating figures, the essential term ARPU - Average Revenue per User. But does this term now truly represent the role of the CSP in today’s environment?   

    user def




  • New year, new start, same old issues?

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 10th January 2017
    Categories: Technology, Financial, Telecoms, Fraud protection, Optimus, Neural Technologies, Revenue Management

    As we start yet another year, and slowly recover from the excesses over the festive period, preparing ourselves mentally and physically for the year ahead. Have we learnt anything from the previous year to put us in good stead for 2017?

    Apart from some more grey hairs and a few pounds around the waist, are we any wiser to what is around the corner in regards to the telecoms industry and can we accurately predict what will occur in the next 12 months? Do the events of last year provide a basis for what may or may not happen this year within our industry?




  • IP PBX Fraud - the ghost of fraud's past

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 3rd January 2017
    Categories: Technology, Financial, Banking, Telecoms, Fraud protection, Optimus, Neural Technologies, PBX, PBX Fraud, Internet Protocol

    The telecommunications industry has come a long way since its inception, from manually operated switchboards through to the explosion of mobile networks to today’s Internet-Protocol. But from traditional telephone networks to modern IP networks some frauds never leave us, and PBX (Private Branch Exchange) appears to be still haunting the industry like a particularly persistent poltergeist.

    Fraudulent calls made through newly-installed IP PBXs to premium rate (or international) numbers are causing CSP's the same headache they always have. Fraudsters are hacking IP PBXs, whether in-house or cloud based, in order to send calls to bogus premium rate numbers and benefiting from high-value payments from operators before vanishing like spectres to target another victim.

    The coming few weeks are an ideal time for PBX fraud to increase dramatically, with many businesses shutting down for the festivities and New Year - as offices lie dormant, the PBX could be pinged continuously until the door which has been left ajar is fully opened..




  • What is your favourite Pizza? Neural Technologies User Forum 2017

    Paul Cox
    Author: Paul Cox Business Development Manager
    Date: 1st December 2016
    Categories: Technology, Financial, Telecoms, Revenue Assurance, Optimus, Neural Technologies

    When you go out to a Pizzeria with a group of friends, or family, there is obviously a wide choice of different ingredients (or configurations) and types of pizza to choose from, but at the end of the day, each one of you has had a Pizza. This got me thinking about the software we offer at Neural Technologies – Optimus. It is flexible, adaptable, with many different configurations and is a powerful tool for many businesses.




  • Monetising Big Data in Telecoms

    A Tan
    Author: Andrew Tan CIO
    Date: 22nd November 2016
    Categories: Technology, Data, Financial, Banking, Telecoms, Revenue Assurance, Fraud protection, Risk Protection, Billing Systems, Billing & Charging, Neural Technologies, Big Data, Analytics, CAPEX, OPEX

    These days, when you talk to Communication Service Providers and technology partners in the communications space, the term “Big Data” is always quick at hand. There is no conference that you can attend where Big Data doesn’t play a major role, and everyone seems to be interested in “what are you doing in Big Data?” or “what is your Big Data story?”

    Most system landscapes at CSPs are not designed to gather all the information which is available, and even if they are, they may not be ready to share the data. Add to this the task of setting up a functioning Big Data analytics environment and it becomes clear that the initial and ongoing investment in this type of technology is big by any standard.




  • Revenue Assurance or Restaurant Apathy?

    Paul Cox
    Author: Paul Cox Business Development Manager
    Date: 16th November 2016
    Categories: Technology, Financial, Telecoms, Revenue Assurance, Neural Technologies

    Five years ago I found myself eating alone at a restaurant in Hastings. I was there for business and the restaurant was highly recommended and very popular. As I was alone, being tucked away in an alcove suited me fine, all I needed was a pint and a newspaper. The food was sumptuous, however, it was mired by an astonishing lack of service.

    In my many years of eating out, this is the first ‘bad restaurant review’ I have ever written, which I think says something about just how long I waited throughout the evening. Once I had finally finished my meal, it felt like Summer had turned to Winter and I again found myself waiting to order a coffee. When the manager eventually served me, he apologised profusely about the service and did not charge for the drink. I was happy with this, but by the time it had arrived I had studied the newspaper front to back and I was more than ready to leave.




  • The Inside Job: How internal fraud continues to thrive

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 31st October 2016
    Categories: Technology, Financial, Banking, Telecoms, Fraud protection, Optimus, Neural Technologies, Wells Fargo, ACFE, Safaricom, Internal Fraud

    Admit it. We’ve all ‘borrowed’ a pen from the stationery cupboard, or a roll of Sellotape from the office at Christmastime never to return them. Will we face a lengthy prison sentence and criminal record? Probably not. After all it’s just a pen…right? According to a survey by Banner Business Services in the UK, stolen office supplies cost British companies £2 billion per year. What’s more, over two-thirds of the respondents freely admitted to stealing from their workplace. In America, over 50% of workers admit to “borrowing” - and then never returning - from the office (a.k.a. stealing). But what happens when it’s not ‘just a pen’?

    The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse highlight that a typical organisation will lose about 5% of revenue to fraud citing the longer a fraud lasts before it is detected, the more the victim organisation losses.




  • Why the spirit of Pikachu is good for your business

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 4th July 2016
    Categories: Technology, Financial, Banking, Telecoms, Fraud protection

    You must heard of the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. Launched in July, it has already been downloaded over 100 million times across 30 countries worldwide and increased Nintendo’s market value by over 40% since its launch. The responsiveness to this marketing phenomenon by the MNOs tells us a lot about their systems and suppliers.

    Speaking to a number of MNOs over the last few weeks, it is evident that some of these businesses have over 30,000 separate suppliers, covering everything from window cleaning and paper towel supplies, to HR professionals and telecoms network and support system vendors. Most of these operators now recognise that that the level of supplier complexity is a barrier to efficient operations and agility. Each vendor requires engagement from their procurement and finance departments, as well as the operational part of the business that manages them. It also follows that, if you employ a different window cleaning company for each office, the chance of negotiating a competitive price is low.




  • From iPhones to iLoan

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 4th July 2016
    Categories: Technology, Financial, Banking, Telecoms, Fraud protection

    There is an increasing tendency for financial and telco companies to ‘bang heads’ as communication service providers begin to encroach on what has, until now, been financial territory – financial service provision. The opportunity for CSP’s is that they have much more influence in their customer’s lives as well as collect rich and insightful data about their customers – and thus experience a much stronger and interactive relationship with their customer than financial institutions. The basic function of a retail bank is somewhere for your employer to pay your salary, customers to get a mortgage or a loan. Ultimately there’s not a great deal of interaction on a day to day basis. Your phone on the other hand, especially your smart phone, is now your personal assistant, your buddy; it has your life stored on it, knows where you are, connects to numerous services and recognizes your friends and family - many people report they cannot live without it.  In that unfortunate time, when individuals get into financial difficulties, loans will not be repaid, mortgage payment will be delayed, but the phone bill will always be paid, allowing the consumer to ‘live’ their life.




  • Bill shock and roaming frauds can be tackled

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 2nd June 2016
    Categories: Financial

    It has been a few weeks since I returned from the GSMA World Congress in Barcelona.  My experience of visiting, what is regarded as one of the great cities in Europe, was unfortunately, tarnished when my company phone was stolen.  This is rather ironic, as I am a Director of a company that provides fraud management software to the telecom industry…

    I have been in the fraud and risk business for over 18 years am and am fully aware of the crimes and modus operandi of these criminals and  fraudsters. However, even after all the years of travelling on business to many different countries and cities and ensuring my possessions such as phone, passport and money were always secure on my person, on my recent trip to Barcelona, the phone was extracted from my front trouser pocket without me noticing immediately.

    So what does one do in such a situation?   Call your telecom service provider?  Call home? Alert the police? Kick yourself?  Well you should certainly kick yourself and then attempt all of the others, maybe not in the order I suggested but, what seems a simple set of tasks to undertake, is actually extremely challenging.   When the crime I was involved in was perpetrated, it was late at night.  The only means of communication has just disappeared in the greasy hands of some low-life down a side street…  Once I was over the initial shock, you suddenly realise you have relied on the contacts facility on your phone to simply press a button or speak and get the right contact details for years… now with no phone you now realise you cannot recall any numbers, not even your home.




  • Combining the strengths of systems integration and product development

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 2nd June 2016
    Categories: Financial

    In today’s ever changing environment where technology changes outpace most currency fluctuations (predominantly driven by consumer demand for more innovative services within highly competitive marketplaces), software vendors like ourselves have to ensure that we are constantly keeping ahead of the curve.  In the financial and telecommunication industry, where Neural Technologies predominantly focus, it is imperative that we have software product offerings that can meet and align to the needs of the organizations in these respective industry domains and be able to deploy these in a timely and effective manner.

    Product development – the process of designing, creating and marketing new products or services to benefit customers.

    Deploying large complex data analysis products such as ours inherently goes hand in hand with large data integration activities.  The success of such projects requires agility from both the vendor and customer to be able to evolve and adapt the project based on the constant changes in the industry/business as they occur.  To ensure such success, it is imperative that projects are not out of date and defunct before they have finished deploying.  What would be the ROI and business case if the project did not align to the needs of the business?  It is essential that both vendor and customer have continuous collaboration and communication to ensure measurable outcomes are achieved.  Constraining both customer and vendor to an initial scope or compliance to a tender that was documented many months or even years before is not practical for either party.  Naturally both parties need to be open and practical to ensure that such an initiative is not abused and a common sense and fair approach is always considered.




  • A firm foundation for successful B/OSS is crucial

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 2nd June 2016
    Categories: Financial

    Today’s consumer demands consistency—be it online, on the move or in any physical location.  The services offered to consumers must be robust, consistent and optimal in their inception.  Any slight weakness will contribute to losing competitive advantage or reputation.

    Let me provide an example that may occur in any consumer orientated business: capturing and fulfilling service orders.  If this is not integrated across all  delivery channels and IT systems then associated business processes will be unable to access data that may be critical, for example about each individual customer’s history.  A customer’s order history and payment behaviour is crucial for accepting or declining an order/application as well as minimising simple purchase abandonment midway due to poor consumer interaction or response.  This is just one of the many processes in any business that is important for revenue protection and maximization.

    If you think of the exchanges between the consumer and the business… transactions and interactions have to follow different and diverse routes involving many different systems, with such systems being deployed over a period of many years producing a complex heterogeneous multi-vendor, multi-device, and  multi-technology infrastructure. This is challenging on a number of levels, from quality, performance, reliability and accuracy to name just a few.




  • The path to success with branchless banking

    Luke Taylor
    Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
    Date: 2nd June 2016
    Categories: Financial

    The Path to Success with Branchless Banking

    As they strive to add more customers and grow profitability in ever-more competitive markets around the world, retail banks have increasingly turned to branchless banking as a key new distribution channel. Branchless banking is enabling banks to overcome the constraints of geography and cost as they add tremendous numbers of new accounts, whether through organic growth or as part of initiatives such as the Jan Dhan financial inclusion program in India.

    At the same time that the number of accounts is rising rapidly, however, many banks have experienced lower customer account usage than had been expected. Since success requires far more than simply signing up new customers, banks are then looking for leading-edge technology solutions to ensure that customers use their accounts and generate revenue.





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