GA Telesis Launches a Fraud Detection SaaS Solution with Support from AWS SaaS Factory
By Oded Rosenmann, SaaS Business Lead – AWS
By Ranjith Raman, Sr. Partner Solutions Architect – AWS
Many organizations share business-to-business (B2B) transaction information via phone, fax, and email with little to no standard process for tracking or validating this information.
One form of this information is wire transfer details, which are subject to Business Email Compromise/Email Account Compromise (BEC/EAC).
BEC/EAC is a sophisticated scam that targets both businesses and individuals who perform legitimate transfer-of-funds requests and, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), has accounted for over $26 billion in reported dollar losses. This number is only expected to grow.
The Digital Innovation Group (DIG), a holding company under GA Telesis, a leader in commercial aviation and one of the world’s largest commercial aerospace firms, innovates emerging technology solutions for business. Their latest software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform solution, Blockrails, helps organizations perform safe and fraud-free transactions by identifying and flagging fake identities, accounts, and potential fraud to solve identity validation risks for financial transactions.
With the support of AWS SaaS Factory, GA Telesis has now launched the FraudBlock SaaS solution, a new fraud protect API service for companies to protect their organizations from BEC/EAC scams and help securely perform B2B transactions.
The SaaS Factory team spoke with Darryl Maraj, Head of Technology at DIG and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Blockrails, to learn more about Blockrails, the value its new FraudBlock solution brings to customers, and the key lessons learned building a SaaS solution on AWS.
“The AWS SaaS Factory team was instrumental in guiding the cultural and organizational change necessary to transition into a SaaS-based business model,” said Darryl. “The AWS team obviously helped with the architecture best practices, defining a flexible and scalable multitenant environment. However, the true value is when the AWS SaaS Factory team worked with us to understand the ‘as-a-service’ mindset, create low-friction customer journey maps, establish key customer engagement indicators, and plan go-to-market (GTM) strategies.”
In this interview, we asked Darryl to share advice for other organizations, especially those who may be facing similar challenges with launching SaaS solutions for a new market segment that is not addressed by their existing offerings.
Q&A with GA Telesis
AWS SaaS Factory: Could you share a bit about your background and role at GA Telesis?
Darryl Maraj: I joined GA Telesis in 2013 and started my journey in the core technology group, leading the global organization though its digital transformation journey. As our team evolved, it was clear some of our internally developed tools could be used to solve industry-wide problems. Our team needed a way to quickly develop, deploy, and scale these solutions so they would be easily available to businesses facing similar challenges.
SaaS Factory: What products and solutions has GA Telesis built on AWS?
Darryl: GA Telesis currently has multiple products on AWS, such as BlockIt, our initial SaaS for securely exchanging wire transfer details; Blockrails, our deal management and secure payment platform; and most recently, the FraudBlock API used to analyze, detect, and prevent fraud.
SaaS Factory: What are some of the key customer benefits of the Blockrails FraudBlock solution?
Darryl: The key customer benefit of all our solutions, no matter how you choose to implement them, is payment fraud prevention. Our current solutions are purpose-built to protect business transactions. Today, most scams usually occur when a third-party intervenes in the middle of a communication and compromises one of the parties in a transaction.
One such example is BEC or phishing scams. Our solutions eliminate the need for email to exchange sensitive data, and our advance machine learning models are trained to detect and prevent attacks so companies can reduce or eliminate end user training needed to identify fraud attempts.
SaaS Factory: Can you walk us through how AWS services enabled these capabilities?
Darryl: AWS was an obvious choice for our development team simply because AWS has a great set of ‘building block’ services. These AWS services are easy to set up, scale, and fully managed by AWS which helped us control cost. Overall, AWS has a low barrier to entry, and we did not need dedicated employees for managing servers, databases, and security patches.
Here are some integrated AWS services that make up our SaaS offering:
- Amazon CloudFront: Content delivery network (CDN) for lower latency content delivery.
- AWS CloudTrail: User auditing and risk monitoring for AWS services.
- Amazon CloudWatch: Collect, monitor, analyze data about your application
- AWS Config: Continuously monitor, record, and roll back configurations
- Amazon DynamoDB: Fast and flexible NoSQL database
- Amazon API Gateway: Create, publish, maintain, and monitor API endpoints at scale.
- AWS Fargate: Run containers without the overhead of managing servers or clusters
- Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose: Stream data real-time into data lakes, warehouses, and analytics services
- AWS Lambda: High-availability compute infrastructure for serverless applications
- Amazon QuickSight: Quick and interactive reporting across any data source
- Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS): Fully managed relational database service
SaaS Factory: What were your primary business motivations for building Blockrails FraudBlock as a SaaS deployment model?
Darryl: A SaaS deployment model made sense for our business model for several reasons:
- Easy scalability and integration: We architected a platform that is highly scalable, globally available, and can easily integrate with customer platforms with a few simple steps.
- Continuous improvements and delivery: We can quickly deploy software updates, additional features and security patches without any significant downtime or changes to our customers.
- Reduced time to benefits: Our customers can quickly enjoy the benefits of machine learning algorithms, ease of payment integrations, and immutability of blockchain without any complex configurations.
- Lower costs: The total cost of ownership is much lower for our customers as the cost is spread across is shared ecosystem of resources.
- Ease of use: No complicated or extensive client setup.
SaaS Factory: Blockrails FraudBlock targets a set of features and experience that is not part of GA Telesis’s current offerings. Can you share how you defined the path to SaaS alongside your aviation solutions?
Darryl: GA Telesis has always had an innovative core; after all, our moto is ‘Intelligently Defining Aviation.’ When we identify opportunities at GA Telesis, we work quickly and diligently to come up with solutions that add to our overall core capabilities. Our technology roadmap is built around composability, and we architect for resilience while at the same time creating modular, reusable pieces of technology.
Fraudblock was internally developed to help our accounting department detect and prevent fraud. However, many businesses face the same payment fraud problem daily. We felt we had a moral obligation to make the Fraudblock service available for others to use, but it needed to be easy to use or easy to integrate into their current systems/workflows.
We used the AWS SaaS Factory model to deliver our first SaaS product. This program allowed us to quickly create, manage, test, deploy and scale our application in a continuous and seamless manner. The SaaS model also made the most sense because it was the path of least resistance, customers could quickly integrate machine learning and best practices without any heavy lifting or technical knowledge.
SaaS Factory: What advice would you share to other software providers as they navigate to SaaS?
Darryl: Take the time to understand your customer, the problem you are trying to address, and what delivery strategy provides the least amount of friction for your end users.
About Digital Innovation Group
The Digital Innovation Group (DIG) is a creative think tank and execution team charged with innovating business solutions using emerging technologies. DIG was formed in 2020 under GA Telesis, LLC, a leading global provider of integrated services in the commercial aerospace industry. DIG’s vision is a secure and connected world powered through ingenuity and democratized technology, making transformational technology accessible for every business.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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