Email a colleague    

April 2012

Revenue Assurance: The Magical Market Cap Multiplier

Revenue Assurance: The Magical Market Cap Multiplier

“Oh, there’s just one more thing. . . ” —Lieutenant Columbo

From the editor:

Is revenue assurance considered “yesterday’s program” at your company or the purview of one particular department?  When you sit around the conference table, do you hear executives say things like:

  • “Revenue assurance is covered and under control in our company and no longer warrants senior management or boardroom attention.”
  • “Any revenue leakage has already been discovered.” --  or
  • “We have put software monitoring tools in place, so we’re well-protected.”

Well, if that’s the take on revenue assurance at your company, I know a couple of guys who beg to differ.  And they want you to break the mold of in-house approaches by drawing inspiration from Columbo and a few other surprising sources.

Curtis Mills (founder/CEO) and Van Howard (revenue assurance expert) of ProCom Consulting not only believe RA’s best years are still at hand, but they also make a strong case as to why every board and senior management team needs to put RA back on the front burner.

Their analysis is delivered in a three-part series called RA: Sweeter the Second Time Around.  Here’s a quick preview of what’s in store. . .

  • Part 1: The Magical Market Cap Multiplier — This article (see below) discusses why significant revenue and cost leakage can still go undetected, even in companies with dedicated departments; offers an updated, broader definition of revenue assurance; and describes the benefits of a “forensic” approach to revenue assurance — how it will help the bottom line, regardless of the automated tools already in place.
  • Part 2: Colombo vs.  Pie Charts — How a Revenue Assurance “Forensic” Analysis Can Find What Software Won‘t -- This article will offer a more in-depth look at why current revenue assurance techniques are often flawed.  The article will also show why the forensic approach catches issues that software and in-house teams often can’t.
  • Part 3: How It’s Done — A Sneak Peek Into a Revenue Assurance Forensic Analysis — This article will provide an overview of how to conduct an effective forensic revenue assurance analysis and explain how to act on findings in order to achieve the financial benefits.

Curtis and Van’s rousing defense of revenue/cost assurance programs is a must-read for executives eager to earn that elusive second round of RA savings.  Enjoy. . .


RA: Sweeter the Second Time Around -- Part 1

Revenue Assurance:
The Magical Market Cap Multiplier


Revenue assurance programs have been active at most telecoms for a decade or more.  Because attention and sophistication have increased, it’s tempting to believe that the current staff and software monitoring tools have already captured the lion’s share of revenue leaks and cost savings.

Contrary to this conventional wisdom, it’s our observation that there is still a great deal of money to be found.  The real challenge is that revenue assurance programs at many telecom organizations today are designed to fail.

Now “designed to fail” is a pretty harsh assessment, but bear with us for a moment: We’re going to explain the reasons why this claim isn‘t as over the top as it appears and why it isn’t the fault of any one person, department or vendor.

Before we do that, let’s first look at why revenue and cost assurance is so crucial to corporate success and revisit the scope of what it should include.

The Multiplier Effect of King Cash

Many companies are being valued these days on free cash flow and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).  In fact, boards are often highly focused on these metrics.  Yet making money is very tough today, particularly for wireline and cable companies whose profit margins are being squeezed by the recession, commoditization and aggressive competition.

The good news about revenue assurance programs is that every dollar of found revenue added or invalid cost eliminated has a direct impact on EBITDA and free cash flow.  Any CSP -- particularly tier 2 and tier 3 service providers -- can typically identify 1-3% or more in EBITDA and free cash flow lift in as little as six weeks.

Improved EBITDA and free cash flow, in turn, translates into stock price growth.  Consider U.S. cable companies as an example.  They trade at 6-9 times earnings.  Add a dollar to earnings, and you’ve added $6-9 to the stock price.  The leverage is dramatic.  On a net basis, each $1 of revenue or cost leakage addressed equates to at least $3 in sales growth (due to cost of sales and incremental direct costs) through regular channels and multiples of that in terms of market capitalization.

This translation of EBITDA and free cash flow into market cap is what makes RA programs so profoundly powerful: they usually identify issues that are relatively inexpensive or easy to fix, which means the cost savings from RA initiatives drop straight to the bottom line and have an immediate effect on corporate performance measures and stock price.  This is why boards should move RA to the top of the agenda.

Graduating from “First Generation” to “Second Generation” Revenue Assurance

Over the last 10-20 years, the industry has undertaken what we would call “first generation” revenue assurance initiatives, which focused on rating, billing, and collections.  Carriers commissioned audits, fixed their processes, improved controls, and then implemented software monitoring tools with dashboards, that continue to watch for anomalies and send alerts on an ongoing basis.

Many carriers also established dedicated revenue assurance or internal audit departments; others spread that function throughout the organization.  These efforts were very successful in finding egregious forms of leakage that had previously gone undetected.  Common examples include rejected call detail records never recycled and rated, lack of correlation between usage revenue and costs, and long-distance and cellular usage rate calculation errors.  When industry competition heated up in the ‘90s and companies needed to improve margins, there was big interest in RA at the board level.  However, once the high-volume, easy money was found, executives and boards shifted their attention.

ProCom Assurance Pyramid

With margins now razor thin and competition even tougher, we believe boards should turn their attention back to revenue assurance, with a new scope of definition and a more holistic approach, as opposed to a siloed focus.  This “second generation” of revenue assurance should include the entire range of processes from quote to cash, as illustrated in the figure on the right.  As you can see, this is a range that spans numerous organizations, processes, procedures and systems.

The challenge lies in how to monitor that flow of information from order entry through to network transactions and billing systems, and tie that together with related costs.  This is a very complex thing to do.  The goal, of course, is to ensure the accuracy of service delivery, billing, collections, and complete financial recognition of retail and wholesale revenue.

And this brings us to why many revenue assurance programs are designed to fail.

What’s Not Working and Why

Unfortunately, it’s ProCom’s observation that, because of how most small- to mid-sized telecom/cable operators in the U.S. approach RA, they fail to catch some pretty glaring areas of revenue and cost leakage.  There are three systemic reasons for this, none of which are about the competence of any particular organization, person or vendor.

  1. The low-hanging fruit has been picked.  Most of the easy money has been found already.  Everything else is hidden in the nooks and crannies where most people don‘t know to look.  Those who know typically do not have the time to investigate.  And to look there means you must have cross-company, cross-functional expertise and access, which is often not available.
  2. Software monitoring is not enough and must evolve.  Software-based monitoring and reporting strategies don‘t age very well, even if they started at an A+ level.  They tend to only interrogate what you decided to monitor when you set it up.  They also often only monitor post-processing data as opposed to raw data, where much unseen leakage may originate.  Most significantly, however, they often have a siloed view of the operations and can’t always adapt quickly enough to operational changes.  To be effective, revenue assurance programs must take a holistic view of the company, dynamically adapt to constant changes, and be pervasive throughout all affected systems, processes and organizations.  Software does exactly what you tell it to do, but can only do so much.
  3. Financial eyeballs are not enough.  Many revenue assurance initiatives rely on people with MBAs or CPAs who take a financial view rather than a raw data, operating view.  This is clearly important for understanding triangulation of revenue and related costs across the business.  However, the money is now often buried in pre-process operating data that require deeper probing that financial types may not understand, such as AMA switch records in binary code.  In addition to finance-oriented people, operations people with deep technical knowledge are the key.  Only they will know where to look, what to look for, and the meaning of the symptoms.

The irony is that the very people you need are already overburdened.  Operations staffs are thin from years of cost cutting, and it takes everything they have to simply keep operations going.  Even if they had the time, they probably wouldn‘t have the inclination to identify leakage in their own areas of the business.  There is an understandable aversion to material problem discovery that could make them vulnerable to blame or create a perception of suboptimal performance.  And even if they had the time and inclination, they lack a third critical requirement — cross-industry perspective.  The most effective revenue assurance experts have worked at numerous CSPs and have an awareness of the common pitfalls and areas where lost money hides.

The Key to EBITDA Growth: “Forensic” Analysis

For a board and senior management team that wants to preserve and grow its EBITDA, commissioning periodic forensic analyses is essential.  We use the term “forensic,” not in the criminal evidence sense, but to describe an intensive hands-on, detail-oriented investigation using a heuristic method that analyzes a variety of technical --- and often esoteric -- data.  Usually one finding leads to a subsequently deeper layer of exploration -  a “peeling the onion” exercise.  It’s like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation meets Columbo — part science and part art, derived from years of experience and a nose for detecting leakage.

There are four key success factors to a good forensic program:

  1. Use outside proxies for internal cable/telco operations and systems experts as needed.  You need experts with long-term, legacy operations backgrounds who know where and what to look for.  Ideally at least some of these people are actively working across CSPs, so they can bring fresh perspective on potential leakage areas.
  2. Give the experts (whether internal or from outside) direct, unfiltered access to raw data. They need switch-level and other raw data right from the mechanical or digital source through billing, prior to processing by any internal or external systems.  Obviously, this access can and should be adequately controlled.
  3. Give the project senior management ownership and direct involvement. It’s essential that these initiatives be viewed as positive undertakings that won‘t result in blame or retaliation for any systemic weaknesses the review uncovers.  This policy and culture has to start at the top.  The project should report to senior management.  Likewise, senior management must incentivize internal people to support the project and hold them accountable.  In this way, they won’t “gate keep” or drag their feet in giving the forensic team access to all of the raw data.
  4. Follow through.  Significant recovery opportunities are often not seized or, due to lack of follow-through, they are often never implemented.  For the reasons stated above, organization managers may be reluctant to realize recoveries in their areas, and they often have good reason to avoid the extra work to implement, due to overloaded staff and other priorities.

After recovery opportunities are identified, it is important to develop work plans with specific objectives, responsibilities and incentives.  Executive management should then ensure that recovery opportunities are realized by requiring regular status reporting until completion.

Forensics are key, but investments in revenue assurance monitoring and analytic tools are also part of a winning program.  Software tools enable day-to-day vigilance.  You just need to understand the limitations of software and learn how to compensate for those.

Part 2 of this series will discuss what these tools can and can‘t do for you in the ongoing battle to protect your margins.  In Part 2, we’ll also describe why the most elusive forms of leakage require a forensic approach.

Copyright 2012 Black Swan Telecom Journal

 

About the Experts

Curtis Mills

Curtis Mills

A widely respected communications industry expert, Curtis Mills is president and CEO of ProCom Consulting LLC.

Curtis began his career with Accenture, where he became one of the first executives in the firm to focus on BSS/OSS for the communications industry.  For over 25 years, Curtis has helped communications service providers (CSPs) improve their mission-critical customer, billing and operations support processes and systems.

Working with CSPs of all sizes and service types, his clients have included SBC/ATT, Frontier Communications, CenturyLink, Windstream, Verizon, and Amdocs, among others.   Contact Curtis via

Van Howard

Van Howard

Van Howard is a Senior Manager at ProCom Consulting, LLC and has 20 years of in-house technical operations and management experience at CSPs throughout North America.

He has led numerous revenue assurance and compliance initiatives at CSPs on behalf of senior executives and regulatory commissions.

Prior to his revenue assurance focus, he led various OSS and billing system development and testing efforts, with a heavy emphasis on order processing, message processing, data interfaces, and regulatory compliance.

Related Stories

  • WeDo Hosts Revenue Assurance & Fraud Management Conference in Washington DC by Dan Baker — Black Swan is pleased to announce what looks to be a first class revenue assurance and fraud management conference being put on by WeDo Technologies, on October 1st and 2nd in beautiful Washington DC.
  • Migrating systems or launching LTE next year?  Don‘t forget transformation assurance & optimisation by Efrat Nissimov — System transformations and network migrations are major  revenue impacting events and they should raise a big red flag.  Why?  Because data integrity issues are bound to crop up as CSPs move vital data from a legacy system to something new.  It’s time for transformation assurance.
  • Make Business Assurance Progress Every Day: How to Set Goals, Automate, and Energize Your Team interview with Kathleen Romano — Business assurance (BA) skills have wide applicability outside the revenue assurance and fraud mangement domains.  In this article, a telecom executive explains how she’s applying her BA skills in the Payments area.  In addition to discussing the key operational challenges in Payments, the interview also provides keen insights on setting goals in business assurance, leading a team, and making critical decisions.
  • Webinar: Rolling Out LTE?  How to Prevent Revenue Leakage and Fraud webinar featuring Amir Gefen & Gadi Solotorevsky — LTE brings splendid new capabilities to mobile users.  But like 2G and 3G deployments before, operators can only make money if they successfully plan, coordinate, deploy fast, and pay attention to pricing plans and the customer experience.  This 43-minute on-demand webinar lays out a strategy for how revenue analytics professionals can add value in LTE service risk assessment, controls, and marketing offer analytics.
  • LTE Rollout: Make it a Smashing Success with Risk Assessment, Controls, and Marketing Offer Analytics by Gadi Solotorevsky — LTE brings splendid new capabilities to mobile users.  But like 2G and 3G deployments before, operators can only make money if they successfuly plan, coordinate, deploy fast, and pay attention to pricing plans and the customer experience.  This article lays out a 3-phase tactical guide on  how revenue analytics professionals can add value in LTE service risk assessment, controls, and marketing offer analytics.
  • Precision Clockworks: How Revenue Assurance Synchronizes with the Business at Swisscom interview with Marco Pollinger — An expert revenue assurance department is one whose work dovetails well with the lines of businesses it supports.  In this interview you’ll learn how Swisscom manages its revenue assurance function for maximum effect.  The article discusses: the operator’s innovative RA organization, the screening and RA approval of new services, its pre-production bill audits, and its coordination with corporate risk management.
  • Bringing Strategic Planning & Value Engineering to Revenue Assurance interview with Maged Fawzy — Engineering and architectural techniques have a role in revenue assurance.  This interview with a top Egyptian RA consultant explains how continuous risk assessment and long range — yet flexible — RA planning can sharpen a carrier’s RA program and lead to better use of revenue assurance software and integration services.
  • Forensic Fossils: Is Your Revenue Assurance Shop Fit for Display at a Natural History Museum? interview with Jim Marsh — Without the continuous guiding light of seasoned revenue assurance leaders, even the best teams of RA professionals, technology, and business processes can fossilize and lose their vitality.
  • Revenue Assurance: The Magical Market Cap Multiplier by Van Howard & Curtis Mills — Many operators today consider revenue assurance yesterday’s opportunity.  But this article shows why significant revenue and cost leakage can still go undetected, even in companies with dedicated RA departments.  Also discussed are the benefits of a broader or more “forensic” approach to revenue assurance, an approach that boosts the bottom line regardless of the automated tools already in place.
  • Revenue Assurance: Where Do We Go from Here? by Rob Mattison — By leveraging a good core understanding of telco technologies, operations and revenue management activities, RA professionals are applying their knowledge in areas such as Margin Assurance, Market Assurance, Revenue Engineering, and Revenue Governance.  This article lays out some useful definitions of the many facets of business and revenue assurance.

Related Articles

  • Premiere Experts Set to Speak at Summer RAG Conference in London, July 7th and 8th by Dan Baker — The Risk and Assurance Group (RAG) has announced that its 2016 summer conference will expand into a two-day event and feature many premiere experts. 
  • WeDo Hosts Revenue Assurance & Fraud Management Conference in Washington DC by Dan Baker — Black Swan is pleased to announce what looks to be a first class revenue assurance and fraud management conference being put on by WeDo Technologies, on October 1st and 2nd in beautiful Washington DC.
  • Test Call Generators: An Essential Test & Debugging Tool in Mobile Billing Assurance interview with Steffen Öftring — An “active” test call generator (TCG) can see problems that a “passive” revenue assurance system is blind to.  Here’s a discussion on the test call RA  process, over-the-air calls versus core call injection, and test call networks in global roaming RA.
  • The Revenue Assurance Game: How the Rules Change in the Era of IoT & Mobile Broadband interview with Rene Felber & Gadi Solotorevsky — Revenue assurance is perhaps the hardest of telecom functions to define because the term is used in so many different senses.  This discussion on the evolving role of revenue assurance was catalyzed by a survey of experts in the profession.
  • Day in the Life of a Revenue Assurance Analyst interview with Michael Lazarou — Revenue assurance is much more than a software category.  It’s individual analysts struggling to help their larger organizations get a handle on system errors and coordination problems.  In this interview, an analyst reveals the many challenges of getting the revenue assurance job done at a small GSM operator in Europe.
  • Revenue Assurance: History and New Beginnings in RA Maturity interview with Daniela Giacomantonio & Gadi Solotorevsky — The Roman Forum was the center of commercial life in ancient Rome.  Now, two millennia later, the Forum lives on in the exchange of ideas across countless professions and  media.  In this interview, two Revenue Assurance experts discuss both the new RA Maturity initiative of the TM Forum and the value of telco/solution vendor collaboration.
  • Migrating systems or launching LTE next year?  Don‘t forget transformation assurance & optimisation by Efrat Nissimov — System transformations and network migrations are major  revenue impacting events and they should raise a big red flag.  Why?  Because data integrity issues are bound to crop up as CSPs move vital data from a legacy system to something new.  It’s time for transformation assurance.
  • How can Cable/DSL Internet Providers Meet the Usage-Based Billing Mandate? interview with Ryan Guthrie — The popularity of YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu other video outlets has turned the tables on service profitability for cable/DSL service providers.  Many are moving to usage-based billing, but that largely unprepared for the revenue assurance aspects of this move.  This interview explains the technical challenge and points to solutions in billing, speed caps, and traffic revenue monitoring.
  • CABS Revenue Assurance: How Rural LECs can Recover $284 Million in Revenue Shortfalls interview with Kelly Cannon & Darrell Merschak — Independent rural LECs in the U.S. still rely on the AMA/EMI billing formats for CABS billing, even as that format has proven to be highly inaccurate as a source of inter-carrier records.  This interview includes an analysis and discussion of revenue recovery techniques ILECs can use by leveraging SS7 probes.  Also discussed are billing strategies, traffic dumping threats, and the possible fallout from the FCC’s bill-and-keep mandate.
  • Make Business Assurance Progress Every Day: How to Set Goals, Automate, and Energize Your Team interview with Kathleen Romano — Business assurance (BA) skills have wide applicability outside the revenue assurance and fraud mangement domains.  In this article, a telecom executive explains how she’s applying her BA skills in the Payments area.  In addition to discussing the key operational challenges in Payments, the interview also provides keen insights on setting goals in business assurance, leading a team, and making critical decisions.
  • Webinar: Rolling Out LTE?  How to Prevent Revenue Leakage and Fraud webinar featuring Amir Gefen & Gadi Solotorevsky — LTE brings splendid new capabilities to mobile users.  But like 2G and 3G deployments before, operators can only make money if they successfully plan, coordinate, deploy fast, and pay attention to pricing plans and the customer experience.  This 43-minute on-demand webinar lays out a strategy for how revenue analytics professionals can add value in LTE service risk assessment, controls, and marketing offer analytics.
  • Webinar: Quest for the Next Revenue Assurance City of Gold — A Consultant’s Guide to Hidden RA Treasure webinar featuring Jim Marsh & Curtis Mills — In this 32-minute, fully indexed webinar, two North American consultants explain why revenue assurance remains one of smartest business investments a service provider can make.  Topics include: 1) marrying great software with expert knowledge/experience; 2) strategies for bringing an RA program up to date especially as new products are rolled out; 3) likely leakage areas to investigate; 4) applying RA-honed skills to benefit marketing and customer analytics; and 5) the biggest RA mistakes operators make.
  • LTE Rollout: Make it a Smashing Success with Risk Assessment, Controls, and Marketing Offer Analytics by Gadi Solotorevsky — LTE brings splendid new capabilities to mobile users.  But like 2G and 3G deployments before, operators can only make money if they successfuly plan, coordinate, deploy fast, and pay attention to pricing plans and the customer experience.  This article lays out a 3-phase tactical guide on  how revenue analytics professionals can add value in LTE service risk assessment, controls, and marketing offer analytics.
  • RA Prevention: How to Manage Revenue Risks and Communicate RA’s Value to Senior Execs by Shaul Moav — The era of revenue assurance prevention and risk assessment is here.  Several of the mature operators of the world have developed their own methodologies and tools.  Using firefighting and fire prevention as a metaphor, the article details a new commercial software approach explaining the goals, method of risk evaluation, and senior executive dashboards developed for the process.
  • Precision Clockworks: How Revenue Assurance Synchronizes with the Business at Swisscom interview with Marco Pollinger — An expert revenue assurance department is one whose work dovetails well with the lines of businesses it supports.  In this interview you’ll learn how Swisscom manages its revenue assurance function for maximum effect.  The article discusses: the operator’s innovative RA organization, the screening and RA approval of new services, its pre-production bill audits, and its coordination with corporate risk management.
  • Versatile, Portable & Corrections-Savvy: Quest for the Swiss Army Knife of Revenue Assurance Software by Mark Yelland — Revenue assurance maturity models are not cast in stone.  Since  best practices will change over time, it’s healthy to explore moving maturity models forward.  For example, great gains have been made in leakage detection, but RA corrections has been harder to master.  The author dreams about seven functions that should ideally come together in a single all-purpose revenue assurance software tool.
  • Bringing Strategic Planning & Value Engineering to Revenue Assurance interview with Maged Fawzy — Engineering and architectural techniques have a role in revenue assurance.  This interview with a top Egyptian RA consultant explains how continuous risk assessment and long range — yet flexible — RA planning can sharpen a carrier’s RA program and lead to better use of revenue assurance software and integration services.
  • Forensic Fossils: Is Your Revenue Assurance Shop Fit for Display at a Natural History Museum? interview with Jim Marsh — Without the continuous guiding light of seasoned revenue assurance leaders, even the best teams of RA professionals, technology, and business processes can fossilize and lose their vitality.
  • Revenue Assurance: The Magical Market Cap Multiplier by Van Howard & Curtis Mills — Many operators today consider revenue assurance yesterday’s opportunity.  But this article shows why significant revenue and cost leakage can still go undetected, even in companies with dedicated RA departments.  Also discussed are the benefits of a broader or more “forensic” approach to revenue assurance, an approach that boosts the bottom line regardless of the automated tools already in place.
  • From Risk to Robust: Turning the Big Picture Into a Real Agenda for Change in Telecoms by Eric Priezkalns — Inspired by a Financial Times article written by Nassim Taleb, author of “The Black Swan”, here is an insightful and entertaining primer on telecom risk management.  The article takes ten risk management lessons from Taleb and applies them specifically to the communications industry.  You’ll learn about the value of small scale trials, organization accountability, cures for a blame culture, incentives that work, the power of simplicity, and more.
  • Synthesizing the Telecom Business Assurance Practice With the Analytics World by Dan Baker — Business assurance is a wrapper term that allows you to draw a circle around various telecom assurance, control, and optimization activities.  This article maps business assurance as a subset of telecom analytics, constrasting it with marketing analytics while a diagram shows where biz assurance fits in the larger B/OSS world.
  • CABS Revenue Assurance Disputes: May the Carrier With the Best Data Win by Cheryl Smith Rardin & David West — Revenue assurance innovation is far easier when partners cooperate to make it happen.  This articles shows how a U.S. operator, software vendor, and consultant teamed to develop a breakthrough in Carrier Access Billing (CABS) assurance.  Learn about: the dispute resolution data gap that needed to be filled, the partnering strategy, the implementation challenges, and payback results.
  • Revenue Assurance vs.  Business Assurance: Who’s the Rightful King of Controls Software? interview with SÚrgio Luis Silvestre — Business controls software, originally developed for RA, is finding application in other areas of the business such as internal audit, collections, security and risk management.  This article argues that “business assurance” is the best term to describe this broader set of  controls software that can find a home in numerous departments or functions of a CSP’s business.
  • PwC on the Business of Revenue Assurance Consulting & Mentoring interview with Tim Banks & Dan Stevens — Revenue assurance consulting firms offer a broad range of services to clients these days.  The article explains the practice of mentoring RA mangers and providing a CFO with visibility on the status of an operator’s business controls.  Perspective is also offered on the value of RA software and the opportunity to broaden the RA practice scope.
  • Robots for Hire: Verifying Accuracy In the Age of Complex Mobile Billing/Charging interview with Xavier Lesage — As real-time charging and complex lifestyle calling plans gain credence across the globe in wireless, billing quality issues will rise in importance.  This article discusses a unique managed services approach to invoice testing and roaming fraud protection that checks results against advertised or published source data for the utmost accuracy.
  • Ericsson: Revenue Assurance Consulting With an NGN Flavor interview with Thomas Steagall — Helping operators detect billing and provisioning problem is merely table stakes in the RA services business these days.  The article discuss why operators need to ramp up their RA function with service experience and group-wide financial health monitoring.  Advise is also offered on: key RA maturity questions, risk-and-reward contracts, and how to extract greater value from software investments.
  • Do-It-Yourself RA for Small Operators and MVNOs interview with Mark Yelland — Budget-minded small operators and MVNOs are no longer hamstrung in RA capability anymore.  This article offers high-leverage strategies for operators who cannot afford expensive RA software tools.  With  data access, brains, and a DIY philosophy, any small operator can map a  path to greater RA savings, maturity, and program growth.
  • Revenue Assurance Maturity: Report From the Arena interview with Eric Nelson — Revenue assurance maturity can‘t be easily computed.  How do you  compare the KPIs of Comcast billing with that of mobile money RA in Western Africa?  Even still, this article offers some universal RA wisdom from a straight-shooting veteran of carriers large and small.  Topics discussed include: dashboard or process, COTS vs. inhouse solutions, and tips on gaining internal support for the RA practice.
  • Revenue Assurance: Where Do We Go from Here? by Rob Mattison — By leveraging a good core understanding of telco technologies, operations and revenue management activities, RA professionals are applying their knowledge in areas such as Margin Assurance, Market Assurance, Revenue Engineering, and Revenue Governance.  This article lays out some useful definitions of the many facets of business and revenue assurance.