Archive for April, 2010

Only last week, Subex launched their new ROCcloud offering. Starting with Fraud Management SaaS, and hinting at more SaaS services to come, ROCcloud is a bold statement about where the future of revenue assurance is heading. But today, the problem is that the future of RA appears to be lost – quite literally. Trying to visit Subex’s dedicated site, roccloud.com, is returning a ’404 not found’ error. I have not seen that happen to a major revenue assurance site since cVidya hastily buried the evidence of their World RA Forum scam. Google says they last cached the site on 26th April at 06:53 GMT. Has it been down since?

Three thoughts jump to mind. First, perhaps Subex underestimated the demand for their service and have found their new site was flooded by the demand it generated. In a way, that would be a good sign that Subex is making the right strategic decisions, even if execution is letting them down. Second, it is a big mean world full of people with the technical know-how to cause trouble; might this outage be the product of a Denial of Service attack? Finally, as the current B/OSS poll indicates, at least some potential customers will be nervous about downtime of services supplied over the internet. Whatever the cause, Subex need to rapidly restore their ROCcloud site to limit the reputation damage done to them and their exciting new proposition.

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There is a fascinating new poll from the people who write Billing & OSS World Magazine. It asks “should you trust cloud-based revenue assurance?” So far, the results say more than half would trust cloud-based RA in general. Even more interestingly, a quarter say they would not trust cloud-based RA normally, but would trust it if offered by Indian vendor Subex. This is a reference to Subex’s new ROCcloud offering. Only 16% have been negative no matter who is the supplier.

What do you think? You can find the poll here.

Perhaps, as might be expected with an internet-based poll, there is one possible answer that is missing: “RA in the cloud would be fine, but my internet connection is not good enough…!” But I guess not many telcos would want to admit that.

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For the uninitiated, ERM is not the noise you make when you cannot think of what to say. (Well, it is, but not when you spell it with capital letters.) ERM stands for Enterprise Risk Management, and it is the daddy of revenue assurance. Oh yes. If you do not believe me, just check out the TM Forum’s eTOM, the best business process map known to telecoms.

Per the TM Forum, ERM has lots of kids: business continuity management, fraud management, security, audit, and insurance, as well as the aforementioned RA. Problem is, the kids are always off doing their own thing, and they never spend enough time with their dear old dad or their siblings. They need to learn to work together. Working together is in their own interest, and is in the best interests of Granddaddy Telco. And that is why, as if I did not blog enough, I am now blogging for the TMF community’s new ERM group. In my last post, I discussed how ash clouds over Europe were a relevant reminder of both upsides and downsides for telco risk management.

The new TMF group for Enterprise Risk Management will be working out how to integrate the risk silos into a comprehensive risk management universe with a single consolidated line of reporting to the company’s board. Wowzers. Could be interesting. Come join us, if you are that way inclined – you can find us here. And if you just want to keep an eye on what we are up to, I made that easy too. Look in the sidebar, below the snippets from the ever-brilliant Poulos Ponderings, and you will find a feed of excerpts from my new ERM blog. It is my way of keeping it in the family…

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This article from Light Reading reads like a comprehensive summary of all the recent events at Indian vendor Subex. Not much is new, but one snippet of information did catch my eye. Subash Menon, Subex boss and founder, is quoted as saying:

“In the long term, yes, we might look at acquisitions, but not in the next couple of years.”

Swallowing Syndesis gave Subex chronic indigestion and caused the investors quite a bit of heartburn. It comes as no surprise that Subex’s appetite for M&A is diminished. What is interesting is that Menon is sending a signal to everyone else. Subex got to where it is through a string of takeovers, but they are off the menu now. That leaves the market open for another firm to take the lead with consolidation. Which business will next stir up the mix?

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People do not like to talk about internal fraud. That makes them vulnerable to suffering it. Check out this great blog post from the TMF’s Insider – Tony Poulos.

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