Viva Las Vegas! Revenue Assurance Vegas Style

datePosted on 06:05, December 21st, 2009 by admin

As we come to the end of yet another great year, it seems appropriate to sit back and reflect on what GRAPA have accomplished and what is in store for the next twelve months. Our last event of the year was I believe, at the most appropriate place I could imagine for a revenue assurance class–beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada.

What, you may ask, Las Vegas? Sin city? How does that rank as an appropriate location for a meeting of revenue assurance professionals? Take a moment, and think again, about exactly what revenue assurance and telecommunications is all about. If you believe that revenue assurance is a staid, conservative financial and janitorial function or revenue assurance is about is being conservative, tedious, boring and uninteresting and most critically eliminating risk, then you are right, Las Vegas should be the last stop on the revenue assurance training tour.

However, if you believe, as I do, that revenue assurance is not about eliminating risk, but learning how to mitigate that risk, then Las Vegas suddenly looks different, doesn’t it? Where better to have a serious discussion about risk taking then the city of Las Vegas?

Interestingly enough, our time in Las Vegas coincided with several other events. (No, GRAPA training was not the biggest event of the season.) Actually, while the training went on, we also saw glimpses of the Las Vegas marathon and the National Finals Rodeo competition. It was quite an interesting bunch. But, venue and environment not withstanding, the real action was neither out on the “strip” nor in the casinos. No, the real rousing good time was right inside of our classrooms.

We had quite a great assortment of students in this class. We hosted regulators from Haiti and the US, consultants from Ericsson, Ernst and Young, and several other firms, a couple of CFO’s, and revenue assurance professionals from cable, VOIP and wireless telcos in Africa, Latin America and the US. As you might imagine, with such a diverse group of people, we had many things to talk about, and many new insights to share.

If you would ask me to describe this last event of 2009 with one word, I would have to say exciting! Maybe it was the hotel (the Monte Carlo hotel was very nice, possibly the best venue we ever had for our events). Maybe if was the environment, being in the midst of all of that positive energy; marathon runners, rodeo cowboys and the crowds of people out to have a good time. Certainly, a big part of it was the people themselves. This group of people just seemed to click–identify, and communicate with each other in a way that was truly gratifying to witness and participate in.

While we reviewed the usual subjects and topics, the greatest emphasis and interest focused on the “leading edge” role that the revenue assurance teams are playing in more and more telcos. What we found, across the board, was that every telco represented was:

a) Investing heavily in new technology and new product and service offerings.

b) Is experimenting heavily with newer, riskier and more creative service offerings

In other words, the real telco operations model that we talk about and teach about in the class is alive, well and thriving everywhere you turn. It was amazing to see that the excitement that people had carried over from the classroom discussions to the breaks, lunch and the after class over dinners.

By Friday I was sure of one thing, that the new insights, positive energy and empowerment that the students felt would be creating big changes in the way their companies will perform in 2010, and that revenue assurance people will be a big part, and often a driving force in that process. I cannot think of a better or more appropriate way to put a cap on our 2009 year.

Consider how the year started with the doom and gloom that typified that “great crash” of 2008/2009. Now look at exactly how empowered the majority of the telcos are, and how critical the role of revenue assurance is going to be to the success of these companies in 2010. It is actually quite awe inspiring and humbling to see.

With this, our last blog and podcast of 2009, I will end on that note–a note of enthusiasm and gratitude to all of the GRAPA members that have helped us succeed in 2009, and awe and excitement about just how incredible 2010 is going to be for all of us. We will end this particular podcast, as we started it, with a short sound clip of the entire Las Vegas Revenue Assurance Choir, singing their rendition of VIVA Las Vegas.

Until next year, this is Rob Mattison saying … have a great holiday season and …. be safe.

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