“Our ACL solution helps us identify and prevent revenue leaks, while monitoring millions of daily transactions for fraud and errors.”
Mr. K. P. Ganesh, CIO, S Tel Private Limited
A new telecom operator in the Indian market, S Tel Private Limited (S Tel), is a joint venture between Siva Group (formerly Sterling Infotech Group) and Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco). S Tel has Unified Access Services Licenses (UASL) and spectrum to operate in six Category C circles, including Orissa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, North East, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir. The company is licensed to provide unified mobile services, wireless broadband and innovative value-added services to over 22.6 million customers. S Tel is headquartered in Delhi’s National Capital Region and has over 800 employees.
S Tel is a new player in the fast growing Indian telecom industry. The Revenue Assurance (RA) department recently implemented ACL to perform automated data analysis and verification.
The RA team needed a powerful audit solution to monitor high risk areas. For example, Call Data Records (CDR) are saved on the service provider’s network switch. The RA team is responsible for verifying all CDRs based on a variety of different checkpoints. Testing complete data populations in such a high-volume environment requires an automated solution; it’s simply not possible to verify millions of CDR transactions with manual audit processes.
The S Tel Revenue Assurance process also includes reconciling data to ensure calls and mobile Communications are accurately saved, recorded and billed. The RA team generates 187 daily reconciliation Reports under 52 KPI’s and needed a solution that could automate this complicated process as a same-day activity – providing a critical control in a fast-paced business environment. The following KPI’s that are currently being managed with the ACL solution:
While data compatibility is a common challenge for telecom providers, the ACL solution easily handles multiple data and report formats. Secure access to the repository enables employees to manage business activities when they’re working off-site or across the globe. Analytics are easy to use with simple filtering values and don’t require complicated spreadsheet functions. Users can quickly upload graphs, presentations and text-based reports to the central repository and share notes, comments and responses – supporting a more efficient audit process.
S Tel worked with an ACL channel partner to implement the automated solution, which ensured a smooth rollout. Consultants and trainers continue to provide issue resolution and technical support whenever the RA team encounters difficulties.
The S Tel implementation established a series of custom analytics in four key areas. The Revenue Assurance system collects accurate subscriber data in near real-time. The system then models usage from both subscriber-side and billing data to compare actual usage and patterns with billing system records. Files are analyzed for discrepancies and the solution can quickly uncover control gaps.
Other reconciliation applications look for exceptions between Call Data Records (CDR) from the main Mobile Switch Center (MSC) and IN files, which store call records for pre-paid customers. Analytics match MSC calls with the IN server to verify that calls are accurately recorded and the correct amount is deducted from a prepaid mobile user’s account balance. Common errors include cases where a subscriber is charged from the MSC but not the IN server, or the subscriber’s phone number appears in MSC, but not IN data.
A central telecom industry provision ensures that if coverage is not available, mobile users can automatically access other available telecom resources. This is called Intra-Circle Roaming (ICR). At the end of each month, competing telecom companies invoice S Tel for their customers’ ICR resource usage. Several ACL analytics validate this monthly billing data and target ICR invoice exceptions.
S Tel has applied the ACL continuous auditing solution to:
The ACL solution has equipped S Tel to identify and mitigate revenue leaks and proactively monitor all transactions for errors and fraud. The technology was implemented ahead of schedule, on-budget, and has already produced significant results for this emerging telecom provider.
The ACL solution has also improved RA team communication with management and business stakeholders. Instead of exchanging cumbersome emails, staff can upload a wide variety of work files to the secure central repository. It’s easy for audit to share work and reports, exchange comments and maintain an efficient workflow.
After a successful ACL rollout and more than a year of strong results, S Tel plans to extend the technology as a single, standard solution for all revenue assurance, data verification and reporting activities. The ACL solution will enhance control monitoring and make it possible to cross-check inter-departmental reports.