Due to the size and complexity of nationwide telecom networks, it is not uncommon for carriers to pay for facilities or legacy equipment they are no longer using. Data integrity is the foundation of the network; therefore, regular validation of data integrity and billing reconciliation is key to solving billing discrepancies as business processes change, or new products and services are added.
Typical Carrier Challenges
Typically, there are four carrier challenges that contribute to Data Integrity/Network Billing Reconciliation issues:
- Unused Circuit Expense – Carriers paying for circuits they are not using, sometimes costing millions in MRC
- Inaccurate Network Inventory – Network management inventory records that do not match billing records, as well as billing records that do not match revenue records, are a major issue; all of the records must coincide in order to match the network. These data integrity issues frequently result from M&A activity, technology migrations, rush disconnect projects or nonstandard engineering practices. Unaccounted for assets may be included in these issues.
- Data Migration Errors – Bad data in equals bad data out. Inaccurately migrated data can lead to data integrity issues, which slow people down and cost money. It may include poorly defined data systems and/or date entry errors.
- Resource Constraints – Carrier may not have enough of the right people to do the work required.
Axcent Networks was asked to assist a carrier on a Data Integrity/Network Billing Reconciliation Project. The original scope of the project was threefold:
- Complete a gap analysis to define the current problem and recommend solutions
- Resolve unmated data on multimillion-dollar MRC
- Confirm existing matches with an alternate approach
Over time the scope of the project evolved to meet the following objective:
- Optimize data integrity project disconnects to save telco as much money as possible in current calendar/fiscal year.
Key Project Accomplishments
- Recognized actual savings over $1Million in Monthly Recurring Charges (MRC)
- Resolved over $6 Million MRC of circuits in unmatched data
- Completed gap analysis
- Vetted disconnect opportunities for data
- Focused on big dollars first
- Disconnected over $1 million MRC
- Reconciled over 65,000 records
- Validated and populated over 1.6 million UDA’s
- Matched over $6 million MRC (previously unmatched)
- Recommended process improvements
- Key deliverables evolved from resolving unmatched data to realizing annualized MRC savings.
Where we Started – The Nature of the Environment
Multiple “nested” merger and acquisitions added to the complexity of this project resulting in the following situation:
- Multiple systems
- Multiple network inventory systems
- Multiple billing systems
- Multiple revenue systems
- Multiple processes
- Significant missing data
- Inconsistent data matching process
Axcent’s Steps to Network Optimization for Billing Reconciliation and Data Integrity
- Map out current process workflow.
- Analyze with BSS/OSS Network optimization tools and experienced team of telecom engineers.
- Develop action plan on identified billing discrepancies.
- Execute the plan with Axcent’s experienced telecom engineers.
- Verify network design completion and establish standards for future wireless network inventory management.
The first step in fine-tuning the network billing system is to review and map out the process workflow in order to recommend improvements for greater efficiency. Secondly, opportunities for cost savings can be identified by revealing discrepancies with detailed analytics and reporting. Examples of these issues include data entry mistakes, unused facilities and underutilized capacity.
Next you will want to develop and execute an action plan to address identified issues. Finally, once these discrepancies have been resolved, it’s critical that new standards and processes are implemented to prevent the reoccurrence of data integrity issues in the future. Upon completion of the complete reconciliation project, operational efficiency will be at its highest.
Where They Are Today
The carrier implemented our recommendation and organized a team to maintain this process going forward. Today, they have an integrated team that maintains the data integrity as well as executes all carrier related and customer disconnects.
Why Axcent Networks
While the results speak for themselves, Axcent Networks demonstrated the following during the project:
- Program/project management provided a single point of contact to affect streamlined communication. The carrier was updated on the project status on a regular basis with respect to daily work activity and progress toward the MRC savings goal.
- One of the reasons that the carrier selected Axcent Networks was because of its telecom experience. The carrier identified that Axcent Networks is a company of telecom engineers that became data integrity experts.
- The carrier found it easy to work with Axcent Networks. Axcent Networks takes pride in being nimble and flexible while providing a quality solution at a great value to its carrier customers.
- The bottom line is the carrier sought results and Axcent Networks delivered all of them.
Axcent Networks is an Agile Team of Data Integrity Experts for Happier, Healthier Networks
Our team of experienced telecom engineers and network optimization tools help our clients lower operating costs and increase efficiency in the network. An independently owned network engineering firm, Axcent Networks’ capabilities provide M&A integration support, network optimization support, technology migration support, network billing reconciliation services and transport circuit design and provisioning.
Balancing network needs for today, with an eye on evolution for the future, requires considerable expertise in both legacy and next-generation technology. Axcent Networks partners with service providers to design, provision, optimize and maintain state-of-the-art networks, tailoring their services according to each customer’s specific business priorities. Our subject matter experts are highly experienced in traditional TDM, Ethernet, 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE technologies.
Rapid mobilization, expert turnkey staffing and superior project management skills enable faster network deployments, an improved subscriber experience and optimal network performance. Axcent Networks’ subject matter experts “speak the language” of IT for asset inventory management, and deliver the telecom expertise needed for complete end-to-end network management.
At Axcent Networks, our emphasis is on connecting people with technology. Reflecting our commitment to quality, we have achieved and continue to maintain our TL 9000 Certification from the International Standards Organization.
To learn more about how to optimize your network for maximum ROI and efficiency, contact Axcent Networks at http://axcentnetworks.com/contact/.