XINTEC ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF PAULA CAIN TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tuesday 17th November, 2020: XINTEC has today announced the appointment of Paula Cain to its board of directors.  Paula is an accomplished commercial and portfolio leader with over 20 years’ experience in the ICT industry across the UK and Ireland. She is currently working as an independent advisor helping clients with business growth strategy and execution.

Commenting on her appointment, Rob Durran, CEO, XINTEC said, “We’re delighted to welcome Paula to the XINTEC board of directors. Paula’s expertise and guidance will be central to the development of our business strategy in 2021 and beyond, including the launch of our exciting new suite of customer focused services”.

Paula started her career with BT in the UK managing the rollout of broadband and dial IP before quickly progressing to lead on networking, ICT and mobility propositions. Paula has held several senior management positions in marketing, contract management, and customer experience. She was Head of Strategy in BT in Ireland before undertaking a general management role in the UK to drive incremental growth in high value markets.

Paula’s specialism includes taking a customer-centric approach and using insights to create highly effective go-to-market plans. She has a proven track record in developing market leading propositions and commercial strategies supporting a range of markets, customers, and technologies.

Paula holds an MSc in Business Telecoms from University College London and a BSc (Hons) in Systems Modelling from Sheffield Hallam University. She lives in Dublin with her husband and two children.

XINTEC LAUNCHES NEW FRAUD AND REVENUE ASSURANCE SERVICE

XINTEC today revealed its new suite of customer service offerings, aimed at providing customers with best in class technical solutions backed by its team of skilled fraud & revenue assurance experts.

Rob Durran, CEO, XINTEC, said, “The complex nature of fraud and its ever evolving threat to the telecoms industry means operators are having to look outside their internal resources to tackle this issue. We understand that our customers want best value results from a team they can trust. XINTEC customers benefit from not only our intelligent network of fraud and revenue assurance solutions, but also a skilled professional team of experts who they have direct access to on a daily basis for reporting and development.  

Durran continues, “Our success lies in our collaborative approach to managing customer networks. We understand that when it comes to fraud and revenue assurance, there is no “one size fits all’ approach. So we work in partnership with our clients to identify and understand their needs before deploying the most suitable service, and this relationship continues through to in-life management of the service to reporting and further development.

In addition to the new managed service offering, XINTEC also recently achieved the ISO9001 accreditation for quality management. The certification endorses XINTEC’s commitment to quality across its entire business, from its customer focused approach, to the motivation and implication of top management. It also ensures optimum quality control procedures around its software development and services.

“Fighting the Enemy Within” – Webinar on Internal Fraud

Presented by Morgan Ramsey, Group Fraud Manager, Vodafone.

With the onset of COVID-19, telecom operators are likely to experience a spike in unlawful activity within their very own organisation.

Often linked to organised crime and the funding of terrorist activities, internal fraud, also known as “the enemy within”, can deprive operators of cash, data, revenue or property.

In this presentation, Morgan Ramsey, Group Fraud Manager at Vodafone, will share some gripping insights into how the current global pandemic has impacted on the risk of internal fraud, and what organisations can do to protect themselves.

•            How has COVID-19 influenced the internal fraud risks facing mobile operators?
•            What further challenges may lie ahead as we move from health crisis to financial crisis?
•            How can fraud teams enhance internal fraud controls and safeguard their business?

This free webinar series will share practical insights and best practice to help you address the fraud management uncertainties you may be facing today.

Defeating SIM Box Fraud in Somalia. A unique operator perspective.

Presented by Adnan Dahir, Senior Manager, Telesom.

Somalia will be the focus of this 30-minute webinar.

A fascinating country in the Horn of Africa, with a population of 15 million, Somalia is a politically fragile nation. Years of conflict have given rise to economic, political, and social unrest that have delayed development efforts.

To help us understand how multi-faceted and threatening the bypass problem in Somalia is our guest speaker Mr Adnan Dahir (pictured), a Senior International Relations Manager at Telesom, the leading telecommunications operator in Somalia.

Adnan will enlighten us on:
• The characteristics of SIM box activity in Somalia, and how it differs from other African nations
• The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the interconnect bypass market
• How Telesom successfully brought the bypass problem under control

Webinar – Telecom Fraud Management – 22nd April

Webinar Time – Wednesday 22nd April 2020 – 11.00 – 11.30 CET (30mins)

On Wednesday 22nd April we’re kicking off our Fraud Management Insights webinar series. Over the following 12 weeks, we’ll be sharing our views and perspectives of the latest fraud trends and challenges impacting our industry. We’ll also be discussing best practices to help you combat the emerging fraud threats as a result of COVID-19.

Our first webinar is about the changing International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) landscape.

Managing IRSF Risk
Still the Number 1 Fraud Challenge in 2020

  • The changing landscape for IRSF – the industry’s most deadly fraud
  • Example of a recent €500,000 IRSF hit on a single operator
  • COVID-19: social distancing and the impact on IRSF

IRSF has been the top industry fraud challenge for over 15 years and continues to inflict crippling financial losses on operators when off their guard. Don’t miss this opportunity to top-up your knowledge on IRSF!

Your Speaker - Colin Yates

Colin is a telecommunications professional with almost thirty years of experience in Fraud, Investigations, Revenue Assurance and Threat Management.
Colin specialises in the areas of Telecoms Fraud (Internal and External) and Investigations. He also has considerable experience with Personnel and Physical Security, Law Enforcement Agency Liaison, Intelligence Management, Regulatory Compliance, Revenue Assurance and Policy development.

View Colin’s profile
http://www.yatesfraudconsulting.com/about-us/

Register for webinar

Coronavirus – the blueprint for a better world?

To our knowledge, at no time has the
history of mankind been put to the test on such a global scale. Never have we
faced an uncontrollable pandemic of such planetary proportions, reaching into
all spheres of human activity, creating a sense of deep-seated anxiety among
nations, overwhelming hospitals, shutting down and bankrupting businesses,
sending stock markets plummeting, and compelling some politicians to further
indulge in reckless lies.

The prospect of “death by virus” supersedes
all the man-made wars and conflicts that have punctuated our past since time
immemorial. Today’s enemy is invisible, and it can kill randomly. Covid-19 is
potentially the most powerful weapon of mass destruction the world has ever
known, perhaps mightier than the Spanish Flu. And all we need do is carry out
our most natural body function, breathing, in the hope that these tiny viral
droplets don’t make their way to our vulnerable lungs.

Granted, the symptoms are not always
perceptible, as the virus affects us differently. Many of us may not even
notice we’re infected. But until we develop a natural immune response or
conceive of an anti-viral treatment to reverse its worsening effects, the
pandemic could rage on. In developing countries with weak or non-existent
healthcare systems, we could expect the contagion to be rife, potentially
sending mortality rates spiralling.

But on the positive side, with over a third
of the world’s population now in lockdown, our planet has suddenly become a
quieter place. Passenger aircraft no longer streak the skies (of Europe
anyway), cars no longer clog our roads, and pedestrians and cyclists have been
making their presence scarce. We are becoming more accustomed to life indoors,
following public directives.

While we spend this time in our homes with
our loved ones, should we be so fortunate, we start to (re-)discover a quality
dimension to our lives. This “time out” we are experiencing is having the
effect of changing the nature of our relationships to one another and to
society at large. This opportunity was always there, but our frantic lifestyles
crowded out our ability to appreciate life’s more simple pleasures.

Without falling into the temptation of
reductionism, perhaps we could view this virus as a messenger in disguise,
urging us to pause for a moment, and reflect on all the ails of our social and
economic systems today? In response to the outbreak, the mass mobilisation of
peoples around the world to protect our health and collectively save lives is
evidence that we can make sweeping and positive changes to our world within
just weeks.

With every respect for the cost in human
lives, perhaps this pandemic offers a blueprint for a new social order, casting
a lifeline to our distressed value system, and impelling us to open our hearts
and minds to the opportunity of better, greater, more beautiful, more just
world?

The challenges of software development in early stage companies.

By Yann Le Roux Falvey

Startups and smaller companies often run into the same software development trap of developing solutions too quickly in order to sell and generate revenue. However, this approach often means trouble as it can pose significant difficulties in the long run.

The issue

Among developers, when something needs to be rushed into production like a fix for an urgent defect, we use the term “quick and dirty”. And it means exactly that. When code is rushed and is not properly checked, reviewed and tested, it can “rot” over time and become unmaintainable very quickly. When a “quick and dirty” fix is deployed, the developers will typically promise to have another look at it later, but because of other priorities, it usually never happens.

In the case of startups, new products are rushed into a production state because they need to generate revenue quickly. The problem is that whatever code makes it to production first will remain for the years to come, even if the quality is substandard.  

Startup companies are often characterized by a higher proportion of staff turnover than more mature companies. The higher the turnover of developers, the more likely the code base ends up becoming an inconsistent set of coding styles and approaches. Different technologies can also be introduced without proper agreement, just because one or another developer likes it better. The same issue can arise when the development is outsourced, without any rules being specified or guidance being given as to quality or design.

If the startup is successful enough, after a few years, the development and delivery processes usually become more structured, but by then the code will have  become difficult to maintain. And enhancing the code at that stage will require a considerable time and resource investment (that the company may not be able to afford) just to bring it up to scratch. In some cases, products may need a complete rewrite so they can somewhat “be future proofed”.

So how do we address these issues and how can we try to avoid them or at least minimize them?

Possible solutions

In order to avoid the issues and traps described above, a few simple steps can be taken very quickly by someone with experience in development and project management (Agile style). A checklist of these steps should be drawn up before any code is deployed.

1)     Define a simple development process from day one

Make sure your developers do not have complete freedom when developing your applications. You need a set of rules defining the development process. Those rules should include key points such as coding style and naming conventions, and some level of unit testing and integration testing. The quality of your code is key from day one as it will ensure the code will be future proof. The tests will serve as quality control and they will define a certain level of documentation to explain what your code is supposed to do.

2)     Adhere to some level of normalization/standardization in code writing

As mentioned in the point above, you need to set in stone a list of rules regarding coding style and naming conventions. This will allow you to make sure that your code is consistent regardless of who was involved in writing it. It should be  easily understood by anybody new coming on board. This point also targets the technologies you are using. Try to avoid multiplying the frameworks, and keep your code simple. A new technology which looks “cool” might be discontinued in a few years and make your code fragile and unmaintainable if not carefully considered before being used.

3)     Protect your code and your business logic

When you design and implement an application, you must define requirements and an architecture. The business logic is where the most important part of the system is defined. You must protect it, as this is the heart of the business. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) is always very volatile and changes a lot. The data layer (Database or other source) can also change often. What is in between is the most important part of the system, this is your business logic. Its quality should be proven and tested and the source should be protected and backed up. Source control systems are available to avoid mistakes where a developer’s laptop might crash, and the code disappears. Code should never get lost!

4)     Use some tools for quality checks and automated testing

Today, we have a lot of choice of tools to use to check the quality of the code and to automate its building, testing and deployment. Many of those tools are free and offer a lot of functionalities and possibilities. Decide on your SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) and choose a list of tools fitting your needs for each level of the SDLC. When defined, make sure that all developers comply with the agreed use of the tools. This will make your development process faster, smoother and most effective and again it will give all your developers a consistent approach to software development.

5)     Encourage code reviews and peer programming

Code reviews and peer programming are very useful. They allow developers to be familiar with what other developers are doing in their team and elsewhere. It also allows them to be more critical about the code of others so that obvious issues can be detected early. This will also force all developers to be aware of the coding standards,  highlighting when others are not complying. Peer programming is very interesting and useful when a developer is stuck on some task and the solution seems to be trivial. I have often experienced the case where I was staring at a piece of code for hours, trying to find a solution to a problem. Then suddenly, someone would look over my shoulder and suggest something new in a few seconds. A second pair of eyes gives a fresh perspective which is usually very useful. When new developers come onboard, code reviews and peer programming should  be a key part of their training.

6)     When possible, training on clean code is very useful

Clean code is a philosophy which takes time to fully understand and master as a developer. Training on clean code is very useful and it will make your developer’s life easier and their coding styles more consistent and compliant with your standards. As a lot of it includes unit tests and refactoring, it is also important for the quality of the code which is delivered. Test-driven development is also a route you may investigate.

7)     Define a simple and clear technology stack

As mentioned above, you need to define and agree on a simple technology stack. Developers can “go wild” on this front as new technologies are always very attractive, but introducing a new technology always has a long-term cost. Pick simple technologies and investigate how difficult they are to upgrade and/or replace in the case you want to be able to change later on. If you create simple small/micro services, do not use big heavy frameworks as they may have a very negative impact on performance. I would recommend looking at technologies which are already around for a while and have proven themselves. This way you will  get a lot of support in case you face obstacles when implementing them. Of course, if you are working on POCs (Proof of Concept), the use of new technologies may be advised to prove their use to you.

Always be aware of your “technical debt”, and set up a simple approvals process when introducing new technologies or upgrading/replacing existing ones.

To Summarise

In this article, I tried to explain that when we start developing new products in a rush, we may forget some important steps which will have a negative impact in the long-term. Applications are expensive to develop but they can be even more expensive to maintain and enhance if not implemented in a sensitive and efficient way. By going through a simple and quick definition of principles and rules and enforcing them amongst your developers, you can avoid a lot of problems and mistakes in the future.

Of course, this will not avoid everything, and lessons will still be learned along the way. But you should have the right tools and processes to deal with issues and improve on them when the time comes.

The quality and safety of your code should be your top priority. And given that today there are so many tools out there, available for free, there is no excuse for poor code anymore.

Fraud And Security Group #17

This Summer XINTEC will attend the Fraud And Security Group #17 which takes place in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The event will bring together major industry players, aggregators, mobile operators and tech providers from all over the world..

Start: Tuesday 2 June 2020
End: Thursday 4 June 2020
Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Book A Meeting

Enter your details below and we will get back to you.

WAS #11

This spring XINTEC will attend the GSMA’s Wholesale Agreements and Solutions Group event (WAS #11) which takes place in Cape Town, South Africa. The event will bring together major industry players, aggregators, mobile operators and tech providers from all over the world..

When: 20-23 April 2020
Where: International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa.

Book A Meeting

Enter your details below and we will get back to you.

Xintec appoints Nikki McElligott as support and operations lead

XINTEC has announced the appointment of Nikki McElligott as Support and Operations Lead for the business. Nikki joins XINTEC from Aspen Grove where she spent almost five years growing her career across a number of roles before being promoted to Technical Lead in Customer Care in 2017.

A graduate of the Institute of Technology, Tralee, Nikki has a BSc in Computing and extensive experience in technical support and IT applications. With 10 years’ experience in working with Tier 1 clients in the communications sector, Nikki’s appointment will increase XINTEC’s ability to provide the best proactive support to its valued customers around the globe. Nikki’s role will also extend into XINTEC’s managed services division where her skills will also add value.

Commenting on her appointment Rob Durran, CEO, XINTEC, said, “We’re delighted to welcome Nikki to the team. The support and operations lead is a demanding and exciting role and requires a particular skillset that is often hard to find. To have recruited someone with the exact set of skills locally is a testament to the wealth of talent that exists in Kerry and we’re proud to support the growth of businesses in Ireland’s regions.”

Nikki’s appointment is one of a number of recent additions to the XINTEC team as the company continues to expand into new markets and broaden its suite of services.

ENDS/

For further information please contact:

Melanie O’Donnell: melanie.odonnell@xintec.com +353 (0)1 2930260

About XINTEC

XINTEC provides comprehensive Fraud Management and Revenue Assurance software solutions to fixed-line and cellular/mobile telecommunications operators worldwide. These solutions help operators maximize their revenues by eliminating revenue leakage and fraud-related losses. XINTEC’s minimally invasive ‘light-touch’ technology is designed for rapid deployment, scalability and cost leadership. XINTEC target the small and emerging, and mid-size operator segment worldwide, and has customers in EMEA, Middle East, APAC and the Americas.

Follow XINTEC on Twitter @XINTECGlobal and Linked In