Archive for ‘Consider This’ Category

Why I Love Volcanoes and CEOs Love GRAPA

datePosted on 12:29, May 14th, 2010 by admin

I survived the great volcanic ash cloud of 2010. Like many travelers around the world, I too was stranded in a place I did not want to be when Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull Volcano decided to do its thing.  We had an event scheduled in Rotterdam, and we had to cancel it while people scrambled to get transportation from once place to another.

When Lightening Strikes – Revenue Assurance in Botswana

datePosted on 03:34, April 15th, 2010 by admin


I recently spent an amazing week with a class of revenue assurance, internal auditor, fraud and telco operations professionals in Botswana. During the training two issues kept coming up: “How exactly do I set up a governance model for revenue assurance,” and “What model should be used for measuring how effective the revenue assurance team really is?”  These are interesting questions and certainly frequently asked at trainings.

In a previous article, I discussed the issue of revenue assurance and our involvement in the assurance of sales channels. As we considered in that article, it was clear that even though sales channels might be considered off the beaten path for the typical revenue assurance team, more and more telcos are realizing that:

a)     Breakdowns in sales channels can have an enormous negative effect on revenues.

b)    Revenue assurance teams are exceptionally good at addressing those risks.

One of the most exciting and challenging things about the revenue assurance world as we evolve as professionals, is how the scope of our responsibilities continues to expand. Few revenue assurance professionals do not understand the process of tracking and assuring the integrity of a CDR. But many of us are finding that following CDRs is a small part of the job.

Case in point is assuring sales channels. Not long ago people would tell you revenue assurance had no business poking around in the sales channel area. Indeed, Sales Managers did not want anyone else looking “under the covers” of their operations, and for many organizations accounting and internal audit was assumed to be “in control” of those areas.

Visiting Germany – Riding the Revenue Assurance Autobahn

datePosted on 05:38, February 18th, 2010 by admin

This week we had a break in our training schedule, so Brigitte and I spent a week in Germany visiting family. I love Germany. That should be obvious, since I married a German. Brigitte was born and raised in Augsburg in the Southern part of Germany known as Bavaria.

With its beautiful countryside, rolling landscape, forests and farms Germany is a pretty place and always a treat for me to visit. We called on my in-laws, helped my niece Anna with her English lessons and trigonometry homework, and visited the famous Augsburg Christmas market.

Luxembourg Reprise and a Visit With Some Revenue Assurance Royalty

datePosted on 01:43, February 8th, 2010 by admin

I once again found myself conducting GRAPA training in the pretty little country of Luxembourg. In my world, ending up in the same city twice in the same year is a real bonus. I did not even have to buy a new SIM, I still had top-up on my “Tango” SIM from the last trip. I think Luxembourg with its castles, cobblestone roads and grand homes in the French royalty tradition, more than many European countries, brings to mind the “olden days”. Yes, Luxembourg clearly speaks to the grandeur of old. It would be easy to imagine fine women in billowing gowns, and aristocratic men in powdered wigs walking the streets.

Revenue Assurance and the Regulator

datePosted on 15:06, January 25th, 2010 by admin

There are those who feel there is no place for these two words in the same sentence. After all, why would regulators care about revenue assurance, and why would revenue assurance people care about regulations and regulators?

There is an old saying; if you talk before you think, you will probably end up with your foot in your mouth. This is certainly the case when it comes to our experiences talking with Regulators around the world about revenue assurance.

Winning at the Revenue Assurance Game: Who Are You Competing With?

datePosted on 05:03, January 7th, 2010 by admin

No matter where I travel in the world, what airport I happen to be in, or what hotel I am staying at, one thing is guaranteed to be on every television or radio in a public place; sporting events. Football, cricket, golf, Formula One Car Racing–the world is obsessed with sports and competition. And why not? Competition is a good thing…right? What can be more exciting than competition? What else can get your blood pumping and your spirit soaring?

Revenue Assurance – Sufi Style

datePosted on 07:59, December 24th, 2009 by Rob Mattison

One of the rewards of traveling is seeing the different ways people around the world live, work and play. During our recent  Dubai GRAPA training event, Brigitte and I took an evening off to go on a Dune Bashing – Desert Retreat. Brigitte, Friday our good friend from Nigeria, and me along with three Japanese tourists were whisked across the dunes of the Sahara dessert in SUV’s and Humvee’s at incredibly high speeds. After a 45-minute drive to the middle of the dessert, the adventure began. At the end of the ride, we were to be left at a dessert “oasis” and offered local cuisine, camel rides, and the opportunity to bargain for stuffed camel dolls and watch local entertainment.

A lot of thoughtful and insightful discussion took place during the Madrid training. Thinking about it now, one discussion has stuck in my mind, and it is about revenue assurance management and positioning. One of the attendees asked why traditional, long existing (usually incumbent) carriers were so far behind the rest of the world in revenue assurance. This really surprised me. I had never really considered this before, because the common perception has always been that these older, more traditional telecommunications companies were actually long time leaders in revenue assurance and technology.

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