Talk Telecom is a leading independent business communication specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the SME and Enterprise space. They work with a range of vendors including TalkTalk, Abzorb and Telefonica O2, providing resilient and cost-effective communication solutions to companies across the UK. Their business users benefit from a diverse portfolio of mobile and cloud telephony propositions, maximising productivity by keeping employees connected when they are out of the office or working remotely. Important calls aren’t missed, access to email and the internet is instant, and calendars are synchronised.
The digital communications market is changing at a rapid pace in line with technological developments, bringing with it an abundance of new opportunities. However, with these changes come increasing challenges in processing progressively complex mobile and telecom billing data. As an innovative comms provider Talk Telecom are always looking for ways to streamline and grow their market share.
The need for automated CDR processing
Talk Telecom first approached PRD Technologies 7 years ago with a requirement to automate the processing of CDR (call detail record) files containing mobile and data traffic from one of their carriers, Telefonica O2. Their existing billing vendor was unable to provide this service, which meant the carrier had to physically transfer the CDRs to Talk Telecom, who then had the cumbersome task of manually processing the data files.
A ‘wish-list’ of additional functionality was identified during the project’s discovery stages and the brief expanded from the initial requirement for a mobile billing platform to handle just Telefonica O2’s CDRs. Once Talk Telecom understood the capabilities of PRD’s Intelligent Billing software, they realised they could consolidate all their supplier and bureau billing to one billing provider, PRD – simplifying their CSP, mobile and telephony billing. They needed a future-proof scalable system that could grow with their business and our converged platform ticked all the boxes.
Additional feature requests from Talk Telecom included:
- The mobile billing software within the platform should support ‘bundle packages’, calculating included minutes or monthly data
- Customised invoice styling containing marketing messages
- Parent/child invoices displaying breakdowns of services and calls per site
- Cost centre reports summarising calls and services by company cost centres
- CDR and SDR file generation for specified customers for onwards billing
- Invoices emailed to customers with an end user portal login option to view call traffic
- Generation of a file containing all invoice values to upload into an accountancy package
As the project advanced Talk Telecom asked PRD to automate the collection and processing of CDR files directly from an additional 10 carriers:
- Assembly Net
- Daisy Communications
- Telefonica O2
- Windsor Telecom
- Wireless Logic
An automated billing platform that ‘talks’ directly to vendors
After assessing all of Talk Telecoms data processing and billing requirements PRD implemented the latest version of our Intelligent Billing platform which uses fourth generation coding, providing flexibility and scalability.
The system was then tailored with bespoke functionality and API integrations, so Talk Telecom could process all their CDRs and data from multiple vendors and suppliers in a single converged bureau billing system. Our ‘in-house’ developed processing configuration tool (TAPS/NODE) enabled us to easily add support for all the carriers’ CDR files that were required.
An often-overlooked complexity of setting up a new billing system is the process of migrating data from one, or multiple, existing billing systems, to the new platform. Rigorous checks need to be undertaken to confirm that all data has been migrated correctly and the system is rating all data and creating invoices as expected. This can be an extremely laborious, time-consuming, and resource intensive exercise. As part of the onboarding and setup process PRD carried out all the data migration on behalf of Talk Telecom, executing parallel bill runs to ensure results were as expected.
To keep Talk Telecom ‘on-brand’ PRD also customised one of our many standard invoice styles to match the look and feel they desired. Our Intelligent Billing platform supports parent/site relationships, so this information is displayed as a standard feature to any customer that has multiple sites.
In addition to our standard range of reports, which include data insights and management reports, we used our custom report builder tool to generate a cost centre report specifically for Talk Telecom, along with a range of other bespoke reports to meet their needs.
Scalable bureau billing supports Talk Telecom’s exponential growth
Talk Telecom now have a sophisticated streamlined billing solution that can automatically collect, process and rate all their CDR traffic from multiple carriers, generating invoices quickly and efficiently, saving significant time and resources, whilst eliminating the risk of human error.
Via our user-friendly web application front-end portal Talk Telecom can easily maintain all their own data, view reports and export information to analyse billing performance.
Since the original installation, additional CDR files have been added into their system, at no additional cost, from the carriers TalkTalk, Jola, Comms Collective and Cell Hire. Talk Telecom has also now moved their bureau billing to PRD, along with M2M’s data SIMs, which they were previously processing manually on a monthly basis. To support their regional expansion plans they recently requested invoicing in different currencies, which our Intelligent Billing platform supports ‘out of the box’.
When Talk Telecom originally engaged PRD as their billing supplier 7 years ago, they were billing approximately £30k per month. They have since seen significant year-on-year growth and are now billing over £341k per month.