The Annual GRAPA Kuala Lumpur Launch Pad

datePosted on 05:40, October 14th, 2010 by grapa

We recently saw the conclusion of our annual GRAPA Southeast Asia training and certification event. No matter how many times I come here to visit my friends in Manila, Hanoi, KL, Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta/Bandung, I always come away humbled at the way these guys practice telecoms. K6Y4T9TB4RWA

It is really no accident that GRAPA claims Kuala Lumpur as its birthplace. If you want to experience telecommunications in the fast lane, first hand, you don’t have to look any further than here. Because of its reputation for being the leaders in so many areas, we usually choose the South East Asian market as a key launching point for new programs, initiatives and standards activities. KL was a landmark event for GRAPA in many ways, including:

  • The Certification of a large number SEA Fraud Analysts from most of the major SEA carriers
  • Launching of the new GRAPA parallel training tracks program.
  • Announcement and initiation of new GRAPA Revenue Assurance Governance Standards.
  • Formal launch of GRAPA Standard Controls Program.
  • Introduction of new SEA Membership Manager – Nicole from Manila.

Fraud Certification Benchmark

This year saw the launch of the new GRAPA Telco Fraud Officer Certification program in Asia. The Fraud program has met with a large response in Africa, South America, North America and the Middle East already, and we had an overwhelming representation from the biggest and best carriers in South East Asia as well.

I am also proud to say that most of the major telecoms in South East Asia can now claim to have at least one certified Telco Fraud Analyst on their staff. (See the next newsletter for pictures and more details). It was truly a privilege to sit in the same room with revenue assurance  and fraud professionals from SMART, GLOBE, CELLCOM, STARHUB, DTAC, Digi (as well as Mobily-Saudi Arabia, Zain-Sudan , Batelco, Bahrain and GRAMEENPHONE-Bangladesh – all from points west) to find out first hand, how each of these powerhouse carriers is growing and enhancing their revenue assurance and fraud management activities.

It is really amazing to see how quickly the depth and breadth of revenue assurance is expanding, and it is indeed gratifying to share that experience with our members, and in some ways help them along the way.

Parallel Training Tracks – Two Teachers – No waiting

The training event in Kuala Lumpur marks another milestone for GRAPA. This event is the first time that we are offering two parallel training tracks at the same time. In order to meet the incredible demand for training, and to provide as much training for as many people as possible we were able to provide a complete Two Week Telco Fraud Officer Training program (allowing several people) to gain their one week – Telco Fraud Analyst certifications, and at the same time, making it possible for people to accomplish the entire two week telco Fraud Officer Masters level certification at one time.

At the same time, the Fraud training was going on, we also had another group of people taking the one week Certified Practitioner of Revenue Assurance program.  Not only are we offering two parallel programs (fraud and revenue assurance,  we have also arranged the program so that people who cannot get away from the office for the whole week can attend two day focused events.

This week saw the launch of our two day Interconnect Assurance program, as well as the separate two day Roaming Assurance program. The success of these “mini-certification programs” has encouraged us to offer more of the same in the future. Now, members can choose from a total of over 200 hours of potential training and certification activity, organized into one convenient time frame and location.

I must say that we were all extremely pleased with the way that it turned out. This new two-teacher, parallel training program makes it possible for people to see more teachers, gain from the different experiences and insights of the different teachers, and get a chance to move around among a larger group of people. With the addition of two more teachers to the Revenue Assurance Academy training staff, I hope to see this new parallel training track become the standard way we do things from now on, in both venues and during on-site training.

Revenue Assurance Governance- Better KPI’s, Better controls, Better Revenue Assurance Budgets

Along with the launch of the Fraud program, we also took the opportunity to provide the South East Asian operators with the first look at the new GRAPA – Revenue Assurance Governance Standards (also known as the RAG).

The RAG is being developed to provide revenue assurance professionals with a clear, easy to understand set of guidelines for the management of scope, the setting of KPI’s and the establishment of a comprehensive Governance model and framework for the practice of revenue assurance in all types of carriers,  at all different levels of operational dexterity.

The RAG consists of two major components:

  • THE GRAPA STANDARD CONTROLS REFERENCE LIST – Which provides members with an easy to navigate, easy to follow checklist for the assurance of any domain with a minimum of training required.
  • THE GRAPA – REVENUE ASSURANCE GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK – A standards body focused on the creation of committees, review criteria, the standardization of reports and KPI’s and the overall professionalization of the management of revenue assurance in telcos of all sizes and types.

Select members of the SEA event were invited to participate in GRAPA town hall meetings and in depth discussions about the RAG, and draft copies of the Governance standard framework was distributed for initial comment. Copies of the standard controls checklists for Network, Mediation, Postpaid, Interconnect, SMS, Postpaid Roaming and Prepaid CAMEL Roaming were distributed to all participants as well.

As always, we at GRAPA do nothing without the establishment of a wide based review of comments from numerous sources, and the new RAG standards will be no exception. Kuala Lumpur marked the beginning of what promises to be an exhaustive and exciting 2011 standards review and ratification cycle. Over the next few months, you can look forward to seeing the extensive release of the materials that we have been collecting in anticipation of the 2011 standards and procedures ratification process.

Introducing Nicole – Your South East Asia Membership Manager

Last but not least, Kuala Lumpur saw the formal introduction of a real live South East Asia dedicated membership manager Nicole Caluza – who has been with us several months now, getting to know her way around. It is so great to have a warm, friendly person on the GRAPA team in SEA, and giving her a chance to meet everyone face to face, I am sure will make it that much easier for her to be of service.

Well, that’s about enough for this week. Next time Cape Town.

So until then, this is Rob Mattison saying… be safe….

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