Sentel Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Ulster University – Further Developing the Sentel AI Engine

International and leading unified communications analytics company Sentel, has announced today that it is collaborating with Ulster University on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) supported by Innovate UK and Invest Northern Ireland.  This two year KTP will share knowledge and push further innovation for both Sentel and Ulster University.


The partnership will focus on further developing the Sentel AI Engine.  The software team at Sentel will be working closely with the University’s experts in AI and machine learning, creating pioneering solutions to suit business and client’s needs.  The mathematics behind AI and machine learning along with probability algorithms are exceptionally complex.  KTP provides Sentel with access to industry and leading academic experts who are the most knowledgeable in this field and can provide the expertise we require to progress our AI systems.


The Sentel AI Engine will work to prevent Toll Fraud.  Cyber Crime is a major issue and concern for businesses with customers liable for any costs associated with toll fraud. This project aims to incorporate machine learning intelligent techniques within Sentel’s call analysis platform enabling customers to identify and prevent call fraud in real-time. In the UK annually £1.2 billion is lost from business’s revenues each year to Toll Fraud.


Toll Fraud is when hackers access a telephone system, compromising both the business and its revenues. The hackers generally use your business lines to route international and premium rate calls that generate fraudulent income for them.

Most businesses are unaware they have been defrauded until a large bill arrives for thousands of pounds.  Most toll fraud occurs in the evening or across the weekend when the business is unoccupied or less busy and cannot monitor the calls as easily.


Leading the team from Ulster University is Professor Kevin Curran, School of Computing and Intelligent Systems, and Dr Daniel Kelly, Lecture in Computer Science. Together, they will work with researchers from The University and the senior software team at Sentel.


Professor Kevin Curran, Ulster University said “We are very much looking forward to applying our knowledge in machine learning, security and anomaly detection techniques in an industrial led project such as this. Working with Sentel will open up access to real-world data which otherwise would be difficult to obtain and should lead to more impactful research outputs from our group”.

Andrew Lynch, Chief Technology Officer at Sentel, said “We are very excited to begin work on this project. We will be creating pioneering technology within the unified communications industry. We are grateful to have to University on board with this project, providing expert knowledge and skills to further develop the Sentel AI Engine. Ulster University is the alma mater to many of the team here at Sentel, and we are looking forward to working with them”.


Ger Connery, CEO at Sentel, said “We had assessed the market and realised there was no AI engine which could meet our complex needs, so we built our own. The AI is the brain, constantly monitoring and profiling usage. If the usage exceeds the norm the platform acts to immediately shut down the breach and alert the administrator. We take the pro-active approach of action first then alert the users! We are very excited to have Ulster University working with us to develop this new technology. With their expertise and our extensive knowledge of the market we are sure the Sentel AI Engine will be a huge success”.


The KTP is a 24 month project, and will commence Q1 this year. The research will take place in Sentel’s Belfast office.