By David West
July 29, 2016
I love talking to current and prospective customers. I love to hear about their business, their networks, what’s changed, what’s working, and what things could be improved. It always amazes me how unique each company is. I think that’s part of the reason our TeleLink solution is so popular.
With nearly 60 carriers using TeleLink, it’s notable that no two have deployed the application in exactly the same way. For that reason, I frequently refer to our TeleLink solution as a mediation and usage analytics platform. That term conveys that TeleLink is not a monolithic application serving one purpose but instead is a dynamic platform from which carriers can address multiple business needs. Here are just a few examples to illustrate this principle.
For some companies, billing mediation is the initial driver for deploying TeleLink. TeleLink allows carriers to accept usage data in multiple disparate formats and to extract, enrich, convert, and deliver the data to billing and other downstream processes. Often these projects involve replacing legacy mediation processes that had been in place for years or even decades. In several recent projects, there was no one left at the company who fully knew let alone understood the original business rules, and little or none of the mediation logic was documented. Current mediation deployments include:
|Armstrong Telephone uses TeleLink to process usage data from multiple switches and numerous off-net feeds prepare to their billing file, leveraging its powerful filtering capabilities to deliver usage data to CABS and End User Billing for both its CLEC and ILEC operations.|
|Both United Wireless and MTPCS (a Cellular One company) use TeleLink for Near Real Time Roaming Data Exchange (NRTRDE), identifying and delivering roaming usage to partners and clearing houses.|
|ACN and North State use business logic based on NPA-NXX combinations, OCNs, call types, structure codes, and other parameters for filtering data and delivering it to multiple billing vendors.|
|Midco deployed TeleLink to replace their entire legacy mediation platform, a project which Equinox completed even faster than Midco thought possible.|
For other companies, the business case for deploying TeleLink is based on usage analytics. TeleLink standardizes usage data of all types, enriches it with LERG, LCADS, other industry-standard reference data, as well as user-defined data sets (e.g., trunk groups, subscribers, cell sites, etc.). From a single interface, carriers can create scheduled or on-demand reports showing either call detail or summarized usage with a number of quality of service and network utilization statistics. Some recent carrier use cases include:
|iWireless imports cell tower information to a reference table, which is joined with usage, allowing them to associate customers’ usage to geographic markets.|
|Midco uses TeleLink for mediation as well as reporting across many areas of their business including carrier relations, subpoena compliance, and customer care.|
|WOW partnered with us to enhance their TeleLink reporting to be based on both CDRs and Operation Measurement (OM) data from their DMS and Metaswitch to closely monitor their trunk utilization and for traffic balancing.|
Several years ago, TeleLink customers asked us to enhance the solution to help them ensure that they were managing their costs and routing as effectively as possible. Now, in addition to usage analytics, a number of customers have TeleLink extract and normalize rate decks from multiple carriers for use in real-time rating and route guide generation. This functionality allows them to report on the variance between actual, optimal, and potential costs to determine the financial impact of suboptimal routing, rate deck changes, as well as create bid sheets and validate vendor invoices.
|Access Point uses TeleLink to import over 20 different types of rate decks from nearly a dozen distinct carriers for detailed analysis of least cost routing as well as potential new carrier evaluation.|
|Armstrong, Transbeam, and C Spire all purchased TeleLink with the routing assurance module to perform similar functions.|
Many of our customers use TeleLink to generate reports to comply with regulatory and legal requirements. For example, we have several customers using TeleLink to respond to subpoena requests. Additionally, multiple providers have deployed an optional module to generate the quarterly FCC Rural Call Completion Report.
|At FairPoint, TeleLink is configured to create a special database with just the required fields for subpoena responses, which makes it possible to store up to 24 months of usage data on very inexpensive hard drives.|
|Consolidated, FairPoint, and Broadview are among the number of carriers who rely on TeleLink to generate the Rural Call Completion Report.|
One of the newest enhancements to TeleLink is the ability to identify call patterns indicative of unwanted network traffic, including robo-calling, access stimulation, toll-free traffic pumping, and auto-dialers. Currently in use to monitor hundreds of millions of calls a day, the risk management tool is proving to be very effective, even as we continue to enhance it based on customer feedback.
If you are not currently using TeleLink, let’s have a conversation. Based on your unique business needs, I can suggest the best configuration of the TeleLink platform that will allow you to make your data actionable, leveraging CDRs to answer important questions about your usage and provide valuable insight into your network. And, if your company has deployed TeleLink, I’d still love to talk with you. It may well be that other departments and functions within your organization would benefit by tapping into the TeleLink platform was well.
David West is Executive Vice President of Equinox Information Systems. David oversees the company’s sales and marketing team, develops the company’s long-term strategic plan, and works directly with the company’s hundreds of customers across the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. When he is not helping Equinox achieve record growth, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, and serving his community through his efforts at Salvation Army of Middle Tennessee and St. Bartholomew's Church. To learn more about Equinox, its products, and the people who power them, visit www.equinoxis.com or call (615) 612-1200.