Why Consultants Love GRAPA

datePosted on 08:10, June 15th, 2010 by admin

What do Ernst and Young, Protiviti, Infosys, PWC, Deloitte and IBM all have in common? Is it that:

a)      They are some of the largest, most successful consulting organizations in the world today?

b)      Each has a large, viable commitment to providing professional consulting services to telcos in the Internal Audit, Fraud and Revenue Assurance domains?

c)      Each has sent several of their consultants to GRAPA Certification and Training Events?

The answer is, all of the above.

Elephant Envy and Other Disorders

datePosted on 08:56, May 27th, 2010 by admin

Having goals is wonderful. That is how set up measures for ourselves and assess our progress. However, goal setting can create problems, especially when it comes to choosing role models. What happened to those who regarded Toyota as the example of how to run a car company? What about those who chose Tiger Woods as a role model for the professional and ethical behaviors of “winners”?  Yes, the business of setting goals and selecting a role model to follow can have some serious backlash.

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.

Getting Serious About Fraud

datePosted on 02:23, March 4th, 2010 by admin

I like to watch television. I know a lot of people may think that is not a good thing. In fact, many people may even think it lowbrow. However, I was born at a time (the 1950s) when we believed television and drugs would make the world a better place to live. And eventually they did.

Television programs about the police and crime have always been popular whether it is the old Dragnet series with Detective Joe Friday, or the new CSI shows. Crime dramas are fun and exciting to watch. In fact, I was so influenced by these programs I earned a college degree in Law Enforcement and got a job working for a Police Department. I know, scary thought–Rob with a gun and a nightstick.

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.

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