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Answering the call

Union Street Technologies is helping Cyber Threat Security Limited diversify into communication services with a provider agnostic billing platform and hosting and bureau services

Cyber Threat Security Limited (CTS), based in Leeds, is a specialist supplier of software and professional services that enable businesses to maintain cyber safety, securely manage data and comply with industry regulations, such as GDPR.

Boasting expert staff, including ex-military and ex-NATO defence personnel, and accreditation with some of the industry’s most rigorous cyber security certifications, CTS helps protect large enterprises in the corporate and retail sectors from cyber-attack.

The company was founded by CTO Andrew Mayo and CEO Chris Smith, both of whom had previously spent several years working in the communications channel – experience they drew on recently when expanding the company’s offering to include billings services.

As Chris explains, it all started when they identified an opportunity for one of their customers, a large high street jewellery chain, to slash the cost of its communications.

“The customer had contracted directly with a large carrier that wasn’t providing much support or visibility of lines and services. The result was spiralling costs, well above what was expected. They really needed to take back control of their communications estate, rationalise their services and gain access to in-depth management reports for the business’s various sites,” he said.

CTS put together a proposal to overhaul the customer’s communications network and deliver communications services in combination with security solutions.

“Any Log Emitting Device (LED) can be monitored and protected by our multi-layered defence solutions, so overlaying our cyber security protocols on top of the customer’s communications estate meant we could easily extend our security services, providing protective monitoring, multi-layered endpoint protection and defence of their entire network from cyberattack,” explained Andrew.

Agnostic billing
In order to maximise potential cost-savings, CTS decided to source communications services from different telecoms carriers, which meant they needed an agnostic billing system that could take call data records (CDRs) from multiple suppliers, rate them according to set tariffs and generate one consolidated bill for all services.

After researching the billing software market, Chris and Andrew arranged to see a demonstration of the Union Street Technologies aBILLity billing platform.

“We were already aware of aBILLity because it’s so widely used by communication providers,” explained Chris. “The fact that it was a tried and tested solution was obviously reassuring and during the demonstration it was clear that it had all the features we needed.

“A key one from our point of view was the option of a white-labelled, end-user facing billing portal, which the customer could use to access their billing data and conduct their own reporting. It’s very powerful and provides the granular level of analysis they need.

“The platform can also be configured to search CDRs for signs of toll fraud and will alert us by email if it finds anything suspicious. This was a great value-add because it complements our existing cyber security services really well and enables us to offer customers an added layer of protection,” he said.

Outsourced services

To complement the aBILLity system, Union Street supplied hosting and bureau services, which meant CTS didn’t need to purchase, manage or maintain any additional server hardware and was able to outsource much of the work involved in the preparation and despatch of bills to Union Street.

“These services made it easy and cost-effective to just get started without diverting a lot of resources into managing it,” said Chris.

He added: “In addition to billing for communications services, the platform can process service charges for our security products. This means we can consolidate everything into one bill, which the customer loves. Union Street’s Bureau Team also creates a monthly report with some really useful analytics and metrics.”

Union Street Technologies Business Development Manager Jonny Rae highlights another benefit of the billing platform – its scalability. He said: “Because aBILLity is highly scalable, CTS have the option to offer communications services to all other companies in their customer base, as well as new business opportunities. This adds a potentially very lucrative revenue stream and can help to maximise customer retention.”

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