Synergy’s Employee Spotlight series profiles some of the best and brightest of Syniverse who make mobile work for our customers around the world.
What’s your title and role at Syniverse?
Product Management Director, responsible for our full suite of fraud and revenue assurance products, and based at our London office.
How long have you been at Syniverse?
I’ve been at Syniverse for over eight years and during that time worked in a variety of product management roles. When I first joined the company, I was focused on roaming with responsibility for NRTRDE (near-real-time roaming data exchange) and roaming fraud protection. I was on the GSMA committee that created NRTRDE, and I continue to this day as the editor for FF.18, which is the GSMA document that defines the business requirements for NRTRDE. Later, I became involved with the integration of MACH systems into Syniverse, following Syniverse’s acquisition of MACH in 2013. Today, fraud and revenue assurance solutions are no longer restricted to roaming, and we have customers with both cloud-based and on-site systems, including Deutsche Telekom, whose Syniverse Fraud Management system even protects its fixed-line business.
What are you working on this month?
This week, I had an all-day workshop with a large customer to explore some long-term evolution requirements. At the same time, I was involved with ongoing work on Syniverse’s strategic plans for the year, to help us make the best use of our assets for the long-term benefit of our business. The week before, I addressed the GSMA Fraud and Security Group to update it on what we have been doing in the Roaming and Interconnect Fraud and Security (RIFS) Subgroup that I chair. Week to week, there is always a constant flow of proposal requests and customer engagements that involve me, and it’s a part of my role that I particularly enjoy. It’s rewarding to have an opportunity to meet prospects and customers to help address their challenges. As a whole, they want us to succeed, and when we identify a specific business need and how Syniverse can help them, our conversations are engaging and enlightening.
What’s one of the most valuable insights you’ve gained during your career in mobile?
Never underestimate the value of a relationship with colleagues, no matter how distant they may seem to be or how unrelated their area of focus may seem to have to your role. The person you meet today may well be an essential ally tomorrow, so it’s vital to always seek to maintain strong relationships in which we can trust and help one another.
What’s been your best moment at Syniverse?
I’m always proud to be a part of this team. We are just completing a large Tier 1 fraud and revenue assurance project in the Middle East, and we have a steady flow of smaller implementations, with two new customers in Africa and Asia Pacific that we announced recently. I also enjoy representing Syniverse in forums such as the GSMA Fraud and Security Group, where I am part of a team composed mostly of operators that takes pride in guiding the industry toward more robust security and fraud prevention.
What’s the best thing about working at Syniverse?
The people. When I need to get something done and hit a roadblock, I can usually find someone who can help provide a solution or who is willing to help try to find a solution.
Tell us about your mobile lifestyle. What kind of phone do you use?
I use an iPhone 5.
What’s your favorite app or tool on your phone?
The off switch. Please don’t misunderstand, our mobile phones are enormously powerful in so many ways, but there are times when we should focus on the person in front of us, and our phones can be a distraction. This is why I ban the phone from the table at family meal times!
What’s the longest you’ve gone without using your phone recently?
A few days, when I lost my phone. Unfortunately, it happened at a time when we were moving to a new house and there was a delay in the installation of our fixed-line and broadband connection. It was weird being without communication. I heard my daughter tell a friend, “Dad is taking cybersecurity to the next level – no internet this Christmas!”
What do you like to do outside of work?
I regularly go to the gym. I also love to travel to the mountains, and skiing is my favorite sport. I enjoy hill walking and sailing, too.
James Stewart joined Syniverse in 2008 and brings more than 25 years of experience in the mobile industry, with a particular specialization in fraud prevention. In addition to being Director for Fraud Product Management at Syniverse, he serves as the Chairman of the GSMA’s Roaming and Interconnect Fraud and Security Subgroup. Before joining Syniverse, James was a Client Partner at Fair Isaac, in its telecoms division. It was during his tenure with Fair Isaac that he became directly involved in the creation of the near-real-time roaming data exchange (NRTRDE). Prior to his position at Fair Isaac, James worked at Neural Technologies and Cerebrus Solutions, and specialized in fraud and risk management. Previously, he was with Nortel Networks, where he spent 10 years working in Nortel’s e-business group to help operators overcome revenue assurance challenges. He holds a Bachelor of Science in electronics and electrical engineering from Brunel University in the U.K.