By Matt Lowe
November 13, 2014
We have the absolute best customers in the world, which is exactly why we look forward to hosting the annual Protector Users Group Meeting. This year was certainly no exception. What differed was the number of attendees at this year’s conference. There were 22 attendees representing 15 companies, making it the largest PUGM in company history! To accommodate the crowd, we moved the PUGM to the newly built Music City Center—Nashville’s premier conference space downtown.
For those unfamiliar with our annual PUGM, it is a chance for all the Protector users to gather in Nashville for the purpose of networking with other fraud management specialists, learning about the newest Protector enhancements, and having an overall fun time with colleagues. See the gallery of pictures taken from the event below.
All current Protector users are invited to attend the event free of charge. Equinox covers all event costs, including meeting space, food, and transportation to and from the airport/hotel. The users have to cover only travel expense to/from Nashville, hotel accommodations, and incidentals. There simply isn’t a better value for continuing education when it comes to fraud management!
A new mainstay for the PUGM, we kicked off the conference on Wednesday November 5th with a half-day training session. It was attended by those new to Protector as well as experienced users. Users learned from each other as well as from Christi Vanoye, our Implementation and Training Coordinator.
Thursday November 6th began the traditional portion of the conference with a look at the new Protector items released in the past year. Christi Vanoye and Derek Drake, a Sr. Developer, led the discussion about the new Protector features. David West, EVP at Equinox, demonstrated the Case Manager Portal which is an option for those who want to deploy the system using browser-based access.
One of Thursday’s highlights was the five company-led case studies. These examples provided all attendees insight into other techniques for fraud detection and fraud management policies. Seeing and discussing how these companies handled each case provides an added level of experience for those that are either new to Protector or new to the fraud prevention arena.
Following the case studies, the late-afternoon session was devoted to collaborative feedback that we refer to as the “Wish List”. This session allows each attendee to share ideas for future Protector enhancements with the other system users, Equinox development staff, and Equinox executives. This is where Protector’s roadmap is paved for the upcoming year.
PUGM takes the business of combatting telecom fraud very seriously. However, we do know how to have a bit of fun as well. Equinox takes the attendees each year to one of Nashville’s hot spot restaurants—Table 3. After dinner, we escorted a group downtown to sample Nashville’s iconic nightlife. PUGM offers a great balance of industry knowledge along with fun. Dinner conversations are just as much about family back home as they are about work in the office.
On Friday November 7th, everyone reconvened at the Music City Center. Friday is a bit more relaxed. By then, users have spent a few days together and forged new friendships with others in the industry. There were presentations about the CFCA, how to calculate ROI for a project, and an example of how one company deals with issuing customer credits for fraudulent activity. Amy Oldham, our Corporate Communications author, delivered a presentation about the ways Equinox keeps in touch with customers. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all avenues by which customers can receive the latest news and information about Equinox.
As we reflect on the most recent PUGM, we are already looking forward to hosting our customers next year. Each year, customers express how much they not only enjoy the fun but how informative and useful the conference is in their ever-changing fight to prevent telecom fraud. We expect next year’s PUGM to be bigger and better than even this year. Mark your travel budgets now so that you attend the 2015 conference. Dates for the 2015 conference will be announced soon. We hope to see you next year!
About the Author: Matt Lowe is a Sales Engineer at Equinox Information Systems whose primary task is to evaluate and improve the company’s sales process, materials, and tools. He does so by acquiring and applying market intelligence gathered from the telecommunications industry. His other major responsibility is to coordinate project implementations by working with customers. In his spare time, Matt enjoys traveling with his wife and playing basketball with the guys from the office. To learn more about Equinox, its products, and staff, visit www.equinoxis.com or call (615) 612-1200.