Collecting cash and reconciling balances is often an area that revenue assurance departments opt to leave outside their scope. When considered with a postpaid mentality, cash collection is not particularly a specialist area; all businesses need people who chase debtors and keep a track of balances. Prepaid changes the dynamic somewhat. The cash is paid first, and the balance updated using a highly automated process where there is limited opportunity to correct mistakes later on. So it is no surprise that this is one area ripe for inclusion within the remit of revenue assurance. Read here for the press release from Cape for their new prepaid assurance product. They may be deploying the solution with just one European telco at the moment, but the demand for this kind of product should be strong.
Archive for July, 2007
The debate about who should issue revenue assurance standards is rumbling onwards, but has no end in sight. GRAPA are the new kids on the block, apparently keen to take on the role of standard-setters. Meanwhile, the much bigger TMF appears to be slow to appreciate they have competition in the area of revenue assurance. A few days back I posted my blog about the risk that GRAPA will split the revenue assurance world. Over at the TMF’s community forum, I raised my concerns that the TMF has failed to get a high enough profile as standard-setters for revenue assurance. I believe many CSPs are joining GRAPA in the hope of obtaining guidance whilst unaware of the work already done by the TMF. You can see from the TMF community thread that some agree, others disagree. Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. There would be no need for revenue assurance if people never made mistakes ;) Now would be a good time to determine the true extent of industry awareness of the TMF’s revenue assurance standards. You can help the revenue assurance profession by responding to these questions:
To steer the TMF and GRAPA on the right course, let them know what you think by doing the following:
My worry is simple. Two standard-setting bodies is one too many. GRAPA is exclusive to communications providers, with no involvement from vendors or consultants apart from XiT, the tiny consulting company that founded it. TMF activity is mostly driven by vendors and consultants. If GRAPA and the TMF both issue standards without any mutual cooperation, they will split the revenue assurance profession down the middle. If you think that would be a bad thing, now is the time to let people know.
Every so often someone comes up with a fantastic new sales pitch for the same old product. Hats off to mobile network optimization business Actix who tell us that their product will, literally, help us save the planet. According to their press release they have done research which calculates that mobile network operators are creating a global annual excess carbon footprint equivalent to running nearly 3 million 3-bedroom family homes. So, not unreasonably, they argue that if you could cut the energy costs that would be good for the environment. It follows that they can help reduce energy costs through better planning the deployment of the network. All of which is true, though you have to decide for yourself whether mobile network optimization really is the most important battleground in the war on global warming. Here are a few alternative conclusions that Actix decided not to share with us:
In case you could not tell, I am not entirely serious ;) All I want to say here is that jumping on an environmental bandwagon might give Actix a new sales angle, but is hardly the main reason for using their services. Cutting costs is a much more straightforward reason to optimize networks. And the energy spent on providing mobile phone networks is ultimately good for the environment, if it helps encourage people to communicate remotely and cut down on the energy expense involved in travel. That is where the real energy saving lies.