Archive for the Podcasts Category

Some people are comfortable to ask questions, rather than face them.

Not so Eric Priezkalns of talkRA who stepped out of his interviewer status this week and allowed me, Mike Willett, to pose the questions to him – even though he couldn’t resist turning the questions back on me from time to time. When I proposed to Eric that he be the subject of a podcast, he willingly jumped at the opportunity and granted me full access to ask any question I wanted. What I was most interested in, though, was understanding Eric’s career path from accountant to today, to understand the things that influenced and drove him, the areas that have made him who he is today. Love or loathe Eric, I am sure you will find his insights and comments typical of what we have all come to expect of him – forthright, insightful and reflective. Enjoy this opportunity to get to know Eric a little bit better.

You can listen to this interview through your web browser, or download the mp3 file from here. If you want to be sure that you will never miss a talkRA podcast, you can also subscribe to the talkRA podcast via iTunes.

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I was very impressed by the quality of the presentations given at the Subex User Conference. There was a lot of straight talk from Subex’s customers, identifying and explaining how their assurance teams were analysing data in ways that move beyond the traditional aims of revenue assurance and fraud management. In that vein, a top-notch panel discussed the potential of what is variously called asset management, or asset assurance. Put simply, the idea is to enhance and exploit data about network assets, in order to reduce costs and improve returns on investment. It was my privilege to moderate the panel, which included:

  • James Lester, Finance Director of Telstra Global;
  • Steve Cotton, Director of Business Assurance Programs for the TM Forum; and
  • John Brooks, Leader of the TM Forum’s Asset Management Team, and Vice President responsible for Product Management at Subex.

As James pointed out, the value added by improved asset management is very significant, making it a must-do activity for any telco wanting to boost profitability. Even if your company has not previously considered the benefits of assuring the use network assets, I recommend you listen to our discussion, which the participants kindly agreed to share with talkRA. You can play the recording via your browser, or download the mp3 file from here.

Also, it is worth taking a look at the work being done by the TM Forum’s Asset Management community. They are in the process of writing guidelines for asset policies, and the tracking of assets.

And if you want to be sure that you will never miss a talkRA podcast, you can always subscribe to the talkRA podcast via iTunes.

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WeDo are very proud of how their Worldwide User Group (WWUG) draws customers to Portugal from around the world, but they also have a tradition of running an independent panel of speakers. WWUG 2013 built on that tradition with a panel discussion on “The Future of Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management”. I was flattered when WeDo asked me to be its moderator, especially when the other panellists were confirmed. They were a high-powered bunch:

  • Pierre Blanchard is Vice President of Capgemini with responsibility for leading business development of their Global Telecoms and Media sector.
  • Romal Shetty is a KPMG partner and their Global Head of Revenue Assurance Services.
  • Mike Willett is Director of Enterprise Intelligence at Ernst & Young Australia. In addition, I am lucky to count Mike as a fellow talkRA blogger, and good friend.

Many thanks to WeDo and my fellow panellists for permitting me to share the recording of the debate with you. You can listen to this podcast via your browser, or you can download the mp3 file from here. And to spare yourself the worry that you might miss future talkRA podcasts, you can subscribe to it for free, via the iTunes store.

WWUG13 Panel Debate

From left: Mike Willett, Romal Shetty, Pierre Blanchard and Eric Priezkalns

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Last week I posted the first podcast of this two-part series. Here is the concluding part, where the panel from WeDo’s 7th Worldwide User Group continue their conversation, bringing their anecdotal history of revenue assurance, fraud management and business assurance up to the present day. Joining me on the panel were Tony Poulos, Andrew Doyle, and Simon Collins. Thanks to them, and to WeDo, for permission to share the recording.

You can download the mp3 file for this podcast from here, or you can listen to it through your browser player. You can also subscribe to it for free, via the iTunes store.

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This May I was asked back to WeDo’s Worldwide User Group (WWUG) event, held at a beautiful resort near Óbidos, Portugal. WWUG is now legendary in the industry, thanks to impeccable organization and top-notch hospitality. Honestly, the quality of WWUG makes me wonder why anyone still bothers going to a mainstream RA conference. But not being a WeDo customer, there was a catch – to be allowed to come, I would have to share some of my opinions with the WWUG audience. Some catch! There are other firms who would fly me to a luxury beach hotel just to stop me talking to their customers.

My fellow panelists were a distinguished bunch…

  • The one and only Tony Poulos was chairman of the panel. B/OSS World recognized Tony as one of the 25 most influential people in telecoms software.
  • Inviting Andrew Doyle surely proves that WeDo hold no grudges. Andrew spent a decade competing against WeDo, holding senior roles at some of their biggest rivals: Connexn, Lavastorm and Connectiva. Since 2010, Andrew has been VP Sales at Telepo.
  • Last but not least, Simon Collins is the General Manager of Praesidium, a business that WeDo acquired in 2007 and have turned into their consulting division. Over a period of 15 years, Simon has helped Praesidium to establish an enviable reputation as deeply knowledgeable specialists in business assurance.

When we got up on stage, somebody in the crowd commented on the combined age of the panel. How rude! But seriously, the panel had a lot of experience from a lot of different perspectives – consultant, vendor and telco management. So Tony decided the perfect topic of conversation would be a review of the history of revenue assurance, fraud management, and what we now call business assurance. And there was plenty to say on the subject! I am happy to say that my fellow guests all gave their permission to share the recording of their conversation. In fact, there was so much to say on the history of RA, that I have had to split the discussion into two parts. Part 1 is available now; you can download the mp3 file for this podcast from here or listen to it through the browser player. Part 2 will be available from talkRA next week. And if you never want to worry about missing the talkRA podcast, you can also subscribe to it for free, via the iTunes store.

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