By Ibrahim Ahmad
WeDo Technologies, a Portuguese company started operations 16 years ago. With over 170 software customers in more than 90 countries across the world, the company did business worth USD 63 million in FY 2015. They have over 600 employees in 10 offices in the 5 continents. The company at present is looking at strengthening their local presence and plans to serve their South Asia customers from India. Their main line of business is in the area of risk management specifically for revenue assurance and fraud management, primarily for telecom operators, though the company has customers in retail, utilities and healthcare also.
In a tete-a-tete with Ibrahim Ahmad, group editor, Voice&Data, Joao Albergaria Resende, VP, product development at WeDo shared the companies plans and vision for India.
Voice&Data: Can you tell us little about RAID, your risk management solution for revenue assurance and fraud management ?
Joao: RAID is a suite of different modules that can be licensed according with risks that they address, but it is a single product. It is an integrated solution, that was developed on top our base revenue assurance platform. So, it is a common platform on which risk management, and fraud management, and revenue assurance solutions sit and work together. RAID lets you transform data monitoring into valuable insights for revenue assurance and fraud management. It’s an all-in-one software that collects data across business applications and platforms to provide detailed business activity monitoring to help improve corporate performance.
Voice&Data : What are some of your plans to get started in the Indian market ?
Joao: We recognize that India is a world within a world. It is such a huge country. Here we see the overall economy growing very fast, specially the mobile services and smartphone penetration. We have in-depth knowledge, expertise, and IP that we will offer to Indian customers. Also, the learning from India in terms of best practices, innovative solutions will be rich and can be applied to markets in other parts of the world. We want to be here in India, because we believe we can offer win-win solutions to customers across the world. We have started meeting potential customers here, and are starting our operations here to serve our South Asia clients.
Voice&Data: India is a very different kind of a market. A developing economy that is growing very fast, lots of operators but tight budgets, very cost conscious users, etc. Do you have similar clients in other markets because of which you think you will better understand Indian clients and solve their problems better ?
Joao:Out of the total of more than 170 clients that we have, there are big as well as small companies in North America, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. So it’s a mixed blend of clients, some with generic offerings, and some very specialized MVNOs. And today even in very mature markets, the cost sensitivity is very high because revenues are becoming flat. We have many clients with low and falling average revenue per user and we are working with them on increasing ARPU. I therefore believe that we will be able to address the requirements of Indian customers.
Voice&Data: From the revenue assurance perspective, what are some of the big pain points for which telecom operators come to you ?
Joao: It depends a lot on the level of maturity of those markets. For instance, in more mature markets, the processes are more steady and customer acquisition is not a big thing. What players in such markets want are launching newer products and more digital services. They also realize that the scope and types of risks has increased, and therefore they must broaden the probes and data collection to be able to address those risks. Emerging markets are mostly on the acquisition mode, and for them cost is not the biggest concern. They want to grow, grow and grow. I think most operators around the world have now reached a size where they want to be profitable too, and they realize that their processes have leakages, and structural deficiencies. They have a feeling that they have problems, but need help to identify the problems and how to address them.
Voice&Data: And from the fraud management perspective, what are some of the big pain points that operators bring to you ?
Joao: Fraud is a bit different, with the operators going in for new technologies like IP, VoIP which are very open platforms, and VoLTE, the threat potential also goes up, specially in the context of security exploitationand the mutation of traditional switch based fraud to new fraud types such as OTT bypass.. This leads to many more possible ways of compromising the systems and the revenues get affected. We are also seeing increasing cases of internal frauds because the processes are very complex and sometimes miss internal governance. Also many operators are also outsourcing many of their activities and processes and so their control along the end-to-end telecom chain is reducing. As an example of what I’ve just mentioned in many markets, subscriptions frauds is a big concern because their sales force is external or outsourced. Sometimes, the sales agents are in hundreds of thousands and it becomes very difficult to track and control their honesty and integrity. Like this, there are newer and newer challenges that operators are facing.
Voice&Data: Do you think that the Indian operators also have the same revenue assurance and fraud management challenges that you just discussed ?
Joao: Like other similar markets, in India also we see internal frauds and subscription frauds on the rise. Data charging is becoming big in India because data is booming and charges are still high. If you have valuable assets, there will always be people trying to exploit it. That is a big one. And because Indian operators are big with thousands of workers and agents, internal fraud will be a big concern. Besides,various types of bypass has been a concern and will grow with time. The problem with OTT bypass is that it may not be illegal in some jurisdictions, but it certainly hits the traditional operators revenues and profits. The other one is about signalling. In a world where everybody is talking about 4G, and then 5G, there are lots of vulnerabilities with the signalling systems. That is another area that Indian operators must watch out for.
There are so many types of technologies running at the same time and so many products and services in the market today that for the operator it is very difficult to keep a tab on all the possible threats, frauds and revenue leakages.
Machine learning helps you spot those problems. Revenue assurance and fraud management is a constant journey of discovery and action.
(A CyberMedia Resource Center Feature)