Archive for December, 2008

Congratulations to Chris Messenger, Sujoy Sur, and Manabendra Das, who all work in the RA Department at Nawras, in Oman. Earlier this year it was announced at the World BSS Awards ceremony, held in Amsterdam, they had won the award entitled ‘Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty’, in recognition of their efforts at achieving high levels of accuracy and efficiency in operational systems, beating tough competition from Kajeet/Telcordia, SFR/Capgemini, and Virgin Media/TMNG Global.

The award will be presented at the IIR conference, Revenue Assurance for High Growth Markets in Dubai on Sunday 18th January. Well done guys, keep up the excellent work!

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It turns out that cVidya’s CEO, Alon Aginsky, is listed as a ‘partner’ of business angels group AfterDox. The group’s intriguing name reflects the fact that the investors are all former Amdocs executives. You can see Alon’s AfterDox listing here.

It is no surprise that Amdocs executives can afford to put their feet up and start a new hobby by providing seed capital for new businesses. Amdocs always makes plenty from good old telcos. But can Alon have made so much money from cVidya, and can he have enough spare time, to afford to copy his friends from Amdocs? cVidya, unlike many of its revenue assurance competitors, still relies on VC funding. Now is not a good time for any backers of a small software company like cVidya to look for an exit. Sticking with the investment can be tough too – rumours are that cVidya have recently had some staff cutbacks. So in difficult times like this, you have to wonder what advice Alon gives to those businesses he works with. Perhaps, if he really is an angel, he should share it with all of us. From the looks of several companies in the RA sector, there will be plenty of people willing to listen…

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Nominations are now open for the Billing & OSS World Excellence Awards 2009. ‘Revenue Management’ is one of the award categories. There is just one obstacle to any would-be nominees: you have to participate in the Billing & OSS World 2009 Conference & Expo. Presumably the organizers think that if you do not attend, you cannot be excellent!? Last year’s winner was Oracle, for reasons that remain a mystery…

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Last month I told you about a great article which explains some of the elements of the Telenor Revenue Assurance Program (TRAP). Telenor is an international telecoms group, with a controlling or minority stake in various affiliated national operations across both Europe and Asia. Recently I asked Einar Nymoen, Project Director at Telenor Global and the man who overseas TRAP, to tell me more about how Telenor Group tackles revenue assurance. Einar very kindly shared his insights and experience with me.

Eric: To begin with Einar, can you tell us a little bit about the history of the TRAP program, and its purpose?

Einar: We need to go back five years. We started in 2003 with what we call the Telenor Revenue Assurance Program, or TRAP. The idea in the beginning was to implement a common method for control development. We travelled around and ran what we called ‘implementation projects’ in the affiliates of Telenor. We had two aims with these projects. One was to set up RA organizations in the affiliates if they did not have one beforehand, and also to set up the first set of controls covering a specific focus area. After a while we gradually changed the focus from setting up new RA organizations to establishing the TRAP network, doing performance monitoring and such activities.

Eric: You wrote this article that was included in the TM Forum’s Revenue Management newsletter. It mentioned the fact you used some of the thinking that came from the TM Forum. Could you please explain a little about why you used the TM Forum’s work as part of your TRAP program?

Einar: We need to relate what we are doing to what is happening in the industry. I find the TM Forum very good as a frame of reference. More concretely, with the maturity model we wanted to benchmark ourselves against the industry. So in addition to is using the benchmark internally, we are going to join the TMF study.

Eric: Did you look at alternative sources for benchmarking and guidance?

Einar: We have been discussing benchmarking for quite some time. We followed the benchmarking activities in the TMF with the operational benchmarks. We decided we will not use those on the group level, but instead focus more on strategic KPIs. As I wrote in my article we combine the maturity matrix with what we call the Coverage KPI, which is the first one we implemented. The idea with the Coverage KPI is to measure what degree we have control over the value chain. This fits very well with the concept of the maturity model.

Eric: Do you apply the Coverage KPI and the maturity measurement across all the Telenor affiliates, or is it a voluntary activity where some may be in, and some may be out?

(more…)

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From time to time I get asked what the purpose of talkRA is. It can be hard to explain. All of the authors want to improve the discipline of revenue assurance, revenue management, business intelligence and fraud management, but that takes more than what we are trying to do on this site. We are not trying to compete with the many organizations already working to improve those fields. In a democracy, one way to promote change and improvement is to form an association of like-minded people with a common agenda. We are not trying to be a group of like-minded people; we embrace and encourage the communication of different points of view, even if we personally disagree with them. Another important element of an effective democracy is the freedom to express a point of view, and have it heard by others. That is how we are trying to help. If everybody shouts at once, then nobody gets heard, so we are offering a limited group of people the opportunity to get their views heard by everyone working in the field, all around the world. To help explain the purpose of talkRA, I have put together a mission statement, which you can read here. If you want to make an observation about the mission statement, I suggest you comment on this post. However, I will warn you of one thing: talkRA’s mission is to encourage debate, and that part of its mission is not open to debate… ;)

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