Revenue Assurance : Where Do We Go From Here?

datePosted on 05:35, July 22nd, 2010 by admin

The more things change, the more they remain the same. That is an old saying that keeps proving itself to be true, and nowhere do we see more change than in the telecoms and revenue assurance area. Since GRAPA’s founding in 2007 there have been several major revolutions in the practice of revenue assurance. We have seen revenue assurance move up in status and importance in many organizations around the world. We have seen revenue assurance teams grow quite rapidly in most telcos. We have seen the role of revenue assurance expand to include dozens of new domains and areas as CFO’s and CEO’s have come to appreciate the real value that revenue assurance can deliver to the bottom and top line of the company’s financial statements.

We have even seen the revenue assurance professional move up to an almost C-level type standing in some of the more progressive and innovative telecoms. So, as the president of GRAPA, I have to ask myself a very serious question. Where do we go from here? How can we, at GRAPA continue to support the growth and increase in status of the revenue assurance professional, and how can we get even more creative in figuring out ways to help expand the reach of revenue assurance, as well as the effect?

I cannot tell you the complete answer to this question, because I just do not know. But I do know that we are redoubling our efforts in several areas. There seems to be a pattern emerging that we are going to try to develop, and that is in the area of specializations.

Clearly revenue assurance has greatly increased in scope over the past few years. Revenue assurance professionals are working less on “leakage” and more on “top line revenue delivery” as we get better at the fundamentals of our craft. Unmistakably, the skills and knowledge developed while securing revenue streams is not the end of the value delivered, but only the beginning. By leveraging, good core understanding of telco technologies, operations and revenue management activities, revenue assurance professionals are expanding and applying their knowledge in a myriad of other arenas.

What is beginning to emerge, I suspect, is a number of different specialized revenue assurance clusters which fall under the general heading of Revenue Assurance. Some of the specializations include the following:

Margin Assurance: (Revenue Optimization)

Of interest most often to CFO’s, controllers and heads of operational units or lines of business. Margin assurance focuses on ways to take an existing line of business, product line or revenue producing assets like Switches and BTS’s and increase their profitability by changing the way they are managed or offered to customers. We have seen a large surge of interest in these areas in recent months, and an entire “sub category” of specialized terminology, tools and approaches are being developed to make it easier, faster and more dependable as an approach.

Market Assurance (Revenue Driven Marketing)

While everyone will tell you that marketing is all about increasing revenues, the reality is, that in the end, the revenues they focus on tend to be only those measured in the short term, and under the most strained of interpretation. The dream of almost every CFO/CEO team is to come up with a way to impose clear financial controls on the marketing process without stifling their creativity and effectiveness. The Market Assurance methodology that is emerging offers a lot of promise to financial managers in this regard. By combining the revenue assurance principles of rationalization and integrity to the marketing process, and by supporting it with an innovative new “revenue based control and alarm” structure, many CFO’s and marketing teams, are exploring these new wrinkles in the practice of revenue assurance.

Revenue Management (Integrated Revenue Stream Management)

While managers around the world have appreciated the results that revenue assurance professionals have been able to deliver to their organizations, many realize that what is really needed is to clean up and fix the revenue streams themselves, eliminating the need for a revenue assurance function in many areas. While the wholesale application of revenue management disciplines often meets with unanticipated problems and flaws, the strategic implementation of a revenue management approach can greatly decrease the cost of managing revenues, while containing risks at the same time. What we see is an emerging group of revenue management specialists who work with the results of revenue assurance analysis and turn those results into effective and well run revenue streams.

Traditional Revenue Assurance (The Identification, Quantification, Reporting and Addressing of Risk to Revenue)

While the new and exciting “spin offs” of the core revenue assurance function will undoubtedly continue to expand, the same tried and true core revenue assurance functions will continue to play a key role in telecoms. The ability to deploy teams of experts with the ability to analyze, diagnose, recommend and operationalize corrections and controls across the full range of telco revenue operations is a core skill that will not be leaving us for some time to come.

Revenue Engineering (Using RA to Develop and Integrate New Products, New Services and New Technologies)

the most advanced, and most powerful of the new emerging revenue assurance disciplines is revenue engineering. Revenue engineering is the science of applying the principles of revenue assurance (margin optimization, market assurance, revenue management, and revenue assurance) and losing their focus on the challenges of new product development, new service line development and the assurance of new technologies brought into the telco. What innovative companies are learning is that the application of core revenue assurance principles can do a lot more than simply “protect revenue streams”. What revenue engineering shows is that the proactive application of these principles can actually help to drive the entire value creation process, the real heart of the telco innovation engine.

Revenue Governance – (Unified Framework for the Management of all Revenue Related Functions)

What is also badly needed, and quickly emerging, is a framework for the governance of all of these different functions within the tactical, operational environment of the telco. Revenue governance prescribes techniques and guidelines for the allocation of responsibility for the different risk and issues facing telecoms revenue management, including the coordination of efforts, and setting of operational boundaries between internal audit, revenue assurance, fraud management , security, revenue engineering, revenue optimization and revenue management. The upcoming revenue governance framework promises to simplify and organize the telcos management of this entire operational space.

Over the next few months, I hope to see the GRAPA organization further develop and enrich these areas, and provide members with options for training and certification in one, or all of them.

As always, the only way that GRAPA will be successful, is if you, the membership , participate in this process. In the near future you will be seeing many blogs, webinars, surveys and other ways get feedback from our members about these approaches. Please feel free to participate, and to tell us what you really think.

Well, that’s about enough for today. Until next week, this is Rob Mattison saying … “be safe”.

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One Response to “Revenue Assurance : Where Do We Go From Here?”

  1. Tarig Rahamtalla on August 18th, 2010 at 7:34 am

    I can very well see your points and the high demands surrounding each Telco revenue process. The success of Revenue Assurance built theses additional demands such as the margin assurance, market assurance, and revenue management etc. There is no department within a telecom own such massive technological and financial data like the RA, and that made the RA a very valuable play maker in the process of overcoming the great challenges facing operators from high competition and the level of awareness among the new generation of subscribers. When each operator raise the sense of dollars and cents among it is resources there is no savior like the Revenue Assurance and the merging new branches you mentioned to deliver.

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