By Contributing Editor, Kathy Xu
Arnd Baranowski is the CEO of Oculeus, a market-leading developer of operational international voice management tools, including innovative Operations Support System/Business Support System (OSS/BSS) solutions for telecom service providers and network operators. Arnd has more than 30 years of experience in technical and software development, initially in the military, and then a successful track record of developing database solutions for commercial and telecom applications. He founded Oculeus in 2004 and has since led the Frankfurt-based company to become a global organization with a prominent and expanding customer base around the world.
Data Center POST recently interviewed Arnd about the use of Artificial Intelligence in Oculeus’ OSS and BSS products lines, his company’s approach to fraud prevention, and the importance of attending International Telecoms Week 2018, taking place May 6-9 in Chicago.
Data Center POST, Kathy Xu (DCP-KX) Question: What emerging technologies do you see having a significant impact on the industry and how?
Oculeus, Arnd Baranowski (O-AB) Answer: Going forward, technologies that facilitate automation are going to have a large impact on the telecommunications industry and how service providers operate. In the markets we serve, automation is allowing service providers and network operators to automate much of their operations and to get more done with less resources. At the same time, we see that telcos of all sizes are looking to implement automation-related technologies to free valuable time and allow their staff to focus on more strategic initiatives. Across the telco industry in general, automation will have an impact on all areas of service provider operations from network management through service delivery and even on how customer service is provided.
DCP-KX Q: Are you seeing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning deployed in your business?
O-AB A: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are closely tied to automation and it could be said that facilitating automation is one of the strong drivers behind the demand for AI and Machine Learning technologies. AI and Machine Learning are a big part of our product strategy and roadmap, and these technologies are currently being added to our OSS and BSS product lines, which benefit both our telco customers and their customers as well as the overall industry in general.
DCP-KX Q: What exciting developments and initiatives are on the horizon for your company in 2018?
O-AB A: This year, Oculeus is getting more and more involved in the fraud prevention space. To no surprise, we are using automation to improve the way a telco can protect its network and its enterprise customers against telecommunications fraud. In our approach to fraud protection, we are utilizing anomaly detection to monitor telecommunications traffic and identify unexpected changes. This is a familiar, real-time approach that is common in the enterprise cybersecurity space, although it is rather unique for telecommunications fraud prevention practices. Our anomaly detection combined with additional automated processes for confirming and blocking fraud is extremely fast and is attracting interest from telcos across many verticals and geographies.
DCP-KX Q: What technologies or solutions are inhibiting growth today and how do you see innovation adapting to solve that problem?
O-AB A: Staying on the topic of fraud prevention, today most revenue assurance and fraud management specialists will say that six to 48 hours is an acceptable timeframe for detecting fraud. This always surprises me when I hear this. Six hours alone is enough time to complete an attack, inject fraudulent traffic and cause significant financial damage to the telco. Current fraud management practices clearly need to be upgraded from the existing practices of using multiple systems and relying on manual processes and cross-department interactions. With our approach, fraud detection and blocking can happen in just minutes and even seconds before significant revenue losses occur.
DCP-KX Q: Why is ITW such an important industry event for you and your company?
We regularly participate in many exhibitions and conferences around the world and ITW is clearly one of the premier events in the telecoms industry. Year after year, ITW consistently attracts the biggest names and covers the most important topics in the industry. Each year, ITW is the highlight of our events calendar. We always have strong expectations for the event and this year is no exception.
DCP-KX: Thank you for your time today, Arnd. And best wishes at ITW.