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    Tiger Communications launches ‘charge back’ technology to reclaim cost of personal calls on company mobiles


    Tiger Communications, a provider of Call Management Solutions, has announced a new feature for its View My Calls module to help organisations separate business from personal calls, calculate the correct levels of recoverable VAT and offer the ability to charge back excessive personal calls to staff.

    The Personal Call Manager feature accepts electronic billing data for landlines and mobiles with support for O2, T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone, 3 and Virgin as well as most major international mobile operators. "We developed the new functionality based on a request from a large customer who was primarily concerned with VAT issues around personal calls," explains Stephen McCallum, Director for Business Development at Tiger Communications, "In theory, you can only claim VAT back on business calls but on a large bill it is difficult to separate each call and organisations often fail to claim back the full amount."

    Instead of users having to manually go through bills each month, the system automatically imports any fixed and mobile bills, scans and compares calls against company contact books and then analyses calling patterns to determine which calls are the most likely to be personal. The system then presents these in a browser as a "suggested" list for a user to quickly sign off or manually update. "The automatic identifier system is around 98% accurate and takes users normally less than 5 minutes a month to classify personal calls," explains McCallum.

    The system can then generate a variety of reports breaking down personal calls by several categories including individual staff, department and destination for accounting departments to process.

    The systems most controversial feature is the ability to charge back personal calls either against expenses or, with additional integration, directly from salary. "This is an option but none of the existing customers using the software has decided to implement it yet but the feature has been successfully tested," comments McCallum, "However, we do have a pilot project with a very large UK organisation that is trialling charge back which is likely to lead to a full scale deployment later in the year."

    The Personal Call Manager is a feature within the View My Calls module for Tiger Communications' Tiger 2020 Call Management Solutions. Tiger 2020 is the first solution of its type to offer integrated charge back across all the leading mobile phone operators. "With expenses under a lot of scrutiny, these types of automated systems are likely to grow in popularity," comments McCallum, "Although the visibility the system brings is often enough to curb excessive personal calling which is estimated at around 20% of the typical telephony bill."