What technologies do you see changing / shaping the industry and how?
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 in order 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. 

Are you seeing Artificial Intelligence and/or Machine Learning deployed (or planning to deploy) in your business - and how?
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 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. Artificial Intelligence 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.

What are the new developments and initiatives that are exciting for your company in 2018?
This year we are 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. 

What technologies or solutions are inhibiting growth today and how do you see innovation adapting to solve that problem?
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.

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 and we always have strong expectations the event – and this year is no exception.

Arnd Baranowski is the CEO of Oculeus, a leading provider of innovative OSS/BSS solutions for telecommunications service providers and network operators. Arnd has led the growth of Oculeus from when he founded the company in 2004 to a global company with prominent and expanding customer base around the world.