Let Deep Learning tame all wild invoices you receive!

In this Digital Transformation era, every business strives to get the best out of its services by leveraging all capabilities available. This cannot become a reality without innovations within telecommunication products and services.

To meet the increasing, dynamic, digital, and innovative needs of customers, Telcos need to expand their portfolio beyond their traditional capabilities. Digitalization is forcing Telcos to forge partnerships with the digital natives to innovate their offering. This also means Telcos need a much quicker GTM strategy for their services than ever before. Partnership is the key to success here as Telcos can leverage on their partner’s strength. The partnerships are not new to Telcos; in fact, a partnership is like a conjoined strategy for most telco products and services.

Managing a Profitable Partnership

Telcos should have Partnering Strategy to bundle services, go to market quicker, realize the benefits and continue to innovate. While everyone is focusing on making the partnership work and be successful, fuel to this model is nothing but revenue and cost management. While it is not in the true intention of any partner to charge/pay for more/less than what it has to be, it’s necessary to validate, communicate and resolve any errors with the settlement. Timely identification of discrepancies and resolving them without delays is crucial for a healthy and profitable partnership. Discrepancy resolution is naturally a slow process and if not addressed at the right time and right pace, may end up in backlogs of unsettled invoices leading to unhealthy partnership.

Usually, Analysts read the invoices, verify values and confirm correctness. However, when dealing with 100s or 1000s of invoices, there are high possibilities of errors. Telcos should leverage technology to address this problem of Carrier Invoice Imports & Reconciliation. You will be surprised to see that there are still jobs posted in the market for analysts to check rates, cost elements, verify invoices, and do reconciliations manually. Such tasks are error-prone and hectic, which will eventually reflect in the quality of the outcome.

Challenges with Partner Invoices

Partners send invoices in different formats, types, and frequencies to Telcos. Such invoices can be in PDF, JPG, scanned images, or spreadsheet format.

Telcos should invest in a robust solution capable of handling all variants of invoices, parse, process them and hand it over for reconciliation. Investing in a solution that is based on prebuilt can help to some extent. This will work if the invoices you want to process fits in one of their prebuilt. If not, then the new invoice layout needs to be designed, developed, or trained.

Even within pre-builts, it’s not very easy to find the model which fits the need. Partners can keep changing their invoice formats as part of their continual improvements. Field positions can shift or change from what it is trained from. One can build rules to wrangle them. But the real solution to this problem should be from the Deep Learning techniques of AI/ML.

Deep Learning: The need of the hour

Solutions built based on deep learning-based convolutional object detection methods can extract data from scanned images (OCR), interpret any types of invoice formats, layouts, and support different language invoices translation. Deep BERT-based question-answering model will enable parsing attribute values from the invoices with a higher success rate. This, combined with NLP, improves the accuracy of invoice data classification. Also, look for solutions that can scale out as per need; hence parallelism can be achieved to improve performance.

Subex AI Labs comes in handy to address OCR challenges with invoices. Four key features of the Subex Invoice processing module are:

  • Deep learning-based OCR model for data extraction from scanned pdfs.
  • Advanced BERT-based NLP model for accurately classifying invoice data, summarising invoice data to get better representation.
  • Distributed deployment to support processing multiple invoices simultaneously within a few minutes.
  • Automatic convolutional method for invoice layout identification and verification for known customers.

Our invoice extraction module can automatically identify invoice layouts and extract all relevant information using the above-mentioned experts-built techniques. We drive efficiencies into your businesses via process automation to gain operational insight to support critical decision-making activities and enable you to achieve a competitive advantage. Subex Partner Settlement solution also allows you to introduce innovative services, bundled offerings, and products and handle billing for traditional and digital services, thereby opening new business streams for complex variable pricing models.

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