Elephant in the room

Luke Taylor
Author: Luke Taylor CCO & Deputy CEO
Date: 9th October 2015
Categories: Technology

I work in an industry where there is always an elephant in the room…

Getting customers and prospective customers to discuss their fraud and risk issues  is always challenging. Getting customers and prospective customers  to provide an indication of the cost and rate of fraud or revenue leakage is nearly impossible.

So when is it practical and beneficial for all parties to collaborate on fraud and risk issues that impact your business and profitability?

No one likes to talk or certainly not admit they have a fraud issue and it seems this mentality is engrained in many corporations from the top down.  Initially you would think it understandable, the risk of damaging consumer confidence, shareholder value and brand reputation are probably high on your immediate reactions to providing such visibility.

But one example that dispels that is one of our customers Safaricom, the CEO, Bob Collymore, has freely admitted publicly that they have made positive steps in prosecuting employees who have committed fraud.  Clearly making a positive message out of a negative facet of their business.

You can never stop fraud but you can make strong inroads to control it…  but only if people are willing to initially admit to it, then share the issues, their experiences and the ideas on how to tackle it.  For companies like us who are product providers, we need to have visibility to these issues in a timely manner to ensure we can align our product functionality to tackle these challenges quickly and effectively.  This needs communication and collaboration;

  1. internally within the corporation,
  2. with your fellow peers,
  3. between similar or even competing service providers and organisations,
  4. and yes us the external product vendors

Neural Technologies hope to contribute to try and change this mentality with the hosting of their annual User Forum this month, where our customers have the opportunity to share experiences with their fellow peers and ourselves to assist us to define our product roadmap.  But this is only a small step, it needs wider participation and involvement,  industry forums are content to have vendors sponsor lunches and evening entertainment, but close the doors when service providers and organisations start to talk about the hard facts….  the fraud and risk issues being faced.  There are some signs of a gradual and  positive change in mindset, organisations like RAG (Revenue Assurance Group), LinkedIn groups sharing thoughts and intelligence on issues.  I am hoping these examples are the start in the wider collaboration for the greater good and we can overcome the previous hesitancy that reflects the competitiveness nature of business and commerce.

I would like to hear the elephant speak out.

Luke Taylor

Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer