These SBCs are Made for Billing Analytics
Soft-ex's Ian Lindsay explains to "UC Today" how SBC data makes for smarter billing
Most of us know SBCs (Session Border Controllers) for their original use: providing companies using VoIP networks with greater control over the media streams across their network. However, the elaborate data provided by the SBC has another important use: improved reporting and richer billing analytics.
“What we are seeing from our partners – British Telecom, KPN and others – is that customers consider the ability to monitor their call flow essential: How does a call come into the organization? How is it handled? Where does it end up?” shares Ian Lindsay, SVP Sales at Soft-ex.
“And they also expect to be able to do some cost analysis. Even though in UC internal call costs are generally zero – when it comes to breakout calls, people need to understand how they are being tariffed, and be able to tariff them correctly, so they can track any changes in those costs. Not to mention hybrid networks, combining UC Platforms with traditional voice platforms, where you can’t rely solely on UC analytics.“
This is where the SBC comes in.
Added Value from SBC Data: Know Thy Network
“We’ve been engaging with the SBC manufacturers – companies like AudioCodes and Ribbon – and are amazed by the amount of data they provide on the call records going through those SBCs“
“By taking those analytics and combining them with our UC platform analytics, we are able to provide a much richer picture of a company’s network. You go from just looking at your UC platform in terms of overall performance, infrastructure and costs, to looking at much more granular detail on breakout calls and PSTN traffic as well,” says Lindsay.
This means that you can determine the quality of both internal and outgoing calls, monitor SIP channels, and get a better understanding of how your remote workers are doing: are they coming through via the PSTN or via the internal network? Are they using their mobiles or making calls through the UC network?
All of those are critical to monitoring costs and eventually saving money.
How Does Soft-ex Optimize the Use of SBC Data?
Soft-ex simply looks at the SBC as another adapter – taking the information it provides and using it within the same reports the interactive billing and analytics provider has always been providing to its customers. Effectively, presenting analytics regarding infrastructure, call flow and costs in a self-serve portal.
“Soft-ex have the ability to report across hybrid platforms and mixed networks. Some of our competitors are not able to do this,“ says Lindsay.
For Soft-ex, their interactive billing and analytics offerings are constantly being innovated to address the dynamic market demands.
One of Soft-ex’s main USP’s is they do all their development internally.
“We’re not relying on third-party software – we do everything in–house, and I believe this is one of our main strengths. It gives us agility and flexibility, which is what today’s enterprises require,” Lindsay shares.
“We are in a position to react much faster and much more cost-effectively than most of our competitors. And as the way we now all work and communicate has changed forever – our mission is to continue to constantly innovate and deliver solutions that address these evolving market needs.”