Taking Revenue Assurance TO THE EXTREME

datePosted on 11:02, July 29th, 2009 by Rob Mattison

GRAPA staff writer Katherine B. and I sat down recently to discuss the new Revenue Assurance to the Extreme program that we here at GRAPA have just finished developing. Kathy interviewed me, and let me explain what this exciting new revenue assurance training program is all about.

K. Rob, tell us all about this new program, what do you mean by “Revenue Assurance to the Extreme” and why have you put it together?

R: Well Katherine, we have been very heavily involved for the past six months in conducting training programs, workshops and interviews with revenue assurance professionals, CFO’s, CIO’s, CTO”s and Regulators and we discovered several interesting things.

  • First – it is clear that despite the economic crisis, that revenue assurance and revenue assurance teams are growing, and growing quickly.
  • Second – we found that revenue assurance professionals are being pushed into an increasingly wider range of areas. Revenue assurance professionals are being asked to get involved in more and more areas of the telco, always focusing on the protection of revenues and the reduction of risk to those revenues.
  • Third – while revenue assurance teams are growing, CFO’s are leaning hard on those teams to spread themselves thin in order to cover as many areas as possible.

The net result is that we found revenue assurance professionals have a need for information and training to help address these areas. The end result is the newly crafted “Revenue Assurance to the Extreme” Curriculum (RAX).

K: That’s an interesting concept Rob, but doesn’t this challenge a lot of the industry established norms regarding what revenue assurance is and how it should be practiced? After all, revenue assurance has always tended to be a relatively conservative activity, hasn’t it?

R: Yes Katherine, that is exactly the point. I really believe that the practice of revenue assurance must change to keep up with the state of telecoms today if it is going to survive. Too many revenue assurance teams have been marginalized and left feeling like they have no value to deliver, simply because that are not approaching the job from the right perspective.

K: So, does this mean that everyone that has been doing revenue assurance up until now has been doing it wrong?

R: Absolutely not. What the Global Revenue Assurance Professionals Association is doing is helping to work with revenue assurance professionals to leverage what has been done up until now and to build upon the solid foundation that has made revenue assurance as popular and critical as it already is.

K: So let’s get specific, what are the key points behind this new program?

R: It is about helping revenue assurance managers to reorganize their priorities. Because of the current economic crisis, telco executives are aggressively looking for ways to cut costs and increase revenues without incurring major headcount or CAPEX investment. Revenue assurance managers that are in tune with the top managers are therefore looking for new ways that they can offer real short term value to their management teams based upon those conditions. What the RAX program does, is provide revenue assurance professionals with some fresh perspectives on the way that other revenue assurance teams have been able to show that short term value without the CAPEX or Headcount investment.

K: So it sounds like the training is based on a lot of case studies and real world experience?

R: Absolutely Katherine, no matter what kind of challenges a student comes to the classroom with, it is guaranteed that some GRAPA member, somewhere has had to face similar circumstances. Our training simply provides an easy, efficient method for the sharing of that knowledge.

K: So are there any other “Key Points” behind this program?

R: Yes, the program is also focused on bringing to the forefront all of the latest expansions in the scope of revenue assurance. In the “good old days’, revenue assurance was about counting CDR’s , but in today’s telecommunications world the revenue assurance team is expanding its scope on a daily basis. More than ever before keeping up with the trends, approaches and methodologies is a big job, and our training brings these “leading edge” areas to the forefront.

K: So what about the old Core Curriculum, is that just being abandoned?

R: No actually, a good amount of that material has been retained, it has simply been modernized, streamlined and organized in a different way.

K: What about GRAPA Certification, will that still apply?

R: Absolutely Katherine, in fact, with the new Revenue Assurance to the Extreme program  we will be piloting two new levels of certification. An Associates IN Revenue Assurance Certification, awarded for three days of training and testing, with no work experience required, and the Bachelors in Revenue Assurance that includes all five days of training, testing and requires a verification of work experience.

K: So you get the training and an industry recognized certification all in one? What topics are covered in the class. How is it organized?

R: The newly expanded materials focus on a number of different areas, and it is organized into five focused days.

K: Just to summarize then, the new GRAPA “Revenue Assurance to the Extreme” program will be offered in the 2nd half of 2009. Courses are currently scheduled for London , in September, Capetown, in October, Dubai in November and December in Sunny Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information, you can visit the website at www.ra-academy.org or www.grapatel.com

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