Archive for the ‘Revenue Assurance’ Category

  • Fraud from within – an elephant in the room

    on Apr 9, 14 • in Billing, News, Revenue Assurance • with No Comments

    Fraud from within – an elephant in the room

     While our focus and forces are being concentrated on the enemy without, we must always be ready for the enemy within. Hackers in distant countries can steal 100 million identities in an afternoon, but your employees already know your secrets. In one simple, clever scam, Telstra was put in the spotlight of a classic Call Centre operation. They are definitely not alone. Like many telcos, Telstra had moved some of their Call Centre operations offshore – in this case to the Philippines. Some of the Call Centre staff, with full access to the billing systems,

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  • Real-time or not, sometimes it can take six years for the Regulator to catch up

    on Mar 31, 14 • in Billing, Revenue Assurance • with No Comments

    Real-time or not, sometimes it can take six years for the Regulator to catch up

    BillingViews takes no pleasure in reporting on billing mistakes or customers suffering at the hands of rapacious…. But if there are lessons to be learnt then lessons we will try and point out. Recent fines imposed on Optus are just such a point. The Regulator has finally imposed fines on the telecoms company for billing mistakes going back to new services launched in 2008. Almost six years after a – you guessed – IT programmer was upgrading a system and inadvertently overcharged customers hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Regulator still felt able to go

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  • Analytics – a kind of magic?

    on Dec 19, 13 • in Analytics, Beyond Billing, Big Data, News, Revenue Assurance • with No Comments

    Analytics – a kind of magic?

    To celebrate the addition of talkRA content to BillingViews, we found this from a year ago. Still completely relevant.   We are pretty sure that Analytics is the answer. We are less sure what the question is and we should acknowledge that, actually, Analytics is not the answer all the time. As the technology improves and improves our ability to automate processes, we tend to believe that technology will solve all our problems and tend to engage technology before we engage our brains. This example from Jeff Jonas’ blog makes the point very well. A conversation between

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  • Is it time to cut revenue assurance budgets?

    on Dec 17, 13 • in Beyond Billing, News, Opinion, Revenue Assurance • with 3 Comments

    Is it time to cut revenue assurance budgets?

    Revenue assurance is an upstart. For about a decade, this tyrannical tyro has busted its way into every telco, challenging both managers and systems to eliminate the errors that cause revenues to leak. It has spread globally, like a virus. Along the way, it has extorted increasing headcount and budgets from reluctant execs. However, most products and services follow a pattern of growth and decline. Circumstances change, requirements alter, rivals may conquer. Seasonal advertising will remind us that Coca-Cola is popular around the globe, 123 years after it was first made. But for each evergreen

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  • TEOCO-AIRCOM deal shows how assurance can move back to front

    on Dec 9, 13 • in Analytics, Beyond Billing, Opinion, Revenue Assurance • with 2 Comments

    TEOCO-AIRCOM deal shows how assurance can move back to front

    As somebody who likes to analyse the performance of business assurance firms, TEOCO causes me unusual headaches. Their CEO, Atul Jain, routinely insists that TEOCO is not a revenue assurance vendor. And yet, they sell margin assurance products, and cost management products, and revenue management products. They even have a switch-to-bill reconciliation product. But I can understand Atul’s point of view. Partly he is reflecting the fact that TEOCO, with its Virginia headquarters and roots in the North American market, has followed American priorities for business assurance. When European telcos were worrying about the retail

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  • Surge in Npower complaints reveals need for revamped assurance

    on Nov 27, 13 • in Beyond Billing, News, Opinion, Revenue Assurance • with 2 Comments

    Surge in Npower complaints reveals need for revamped assurance

    Things go wrong. Mistakes happen. That is why businesses have departments to handle customer complaints, and watchdogs keep a close eye on them. We all know this. And two big drivers of complaints are bills, and change. Everyone knows that too. So why are big businesses blighted by a recurring story, with a simple and predictable plot: they change their billing systems, and complaints go through the roof? UK energy supplier Npower recently proved the rule by generating exceptional levels of complaints following what they describe as “challenges with a new computer system”. Consumer Futures,

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  • Subex user conference leverages assets

    on Oct 30, 13 • in Beyond Billing, News, Revenue Assurance • with No Comments

    Subex user conference leverages assets

    Dublin played host to this year’s Subex User Conference and it should be proud. The industry seems to have embraced the User Group as an alternative to the ‘independent’ conference and rightly so. The commercial conference will always have a in-built conflict. One set of attendees pay good money to sit in a dark room and listen to their peers tell them that, for them too, life is not easy but here are some ideas. Another set of attendees will sit and watch the coffee urns get cold waiting for the people who are sitting

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  • Wholesale Fraud Can No Longer be Ignored as ‘Cost of Doing Business’

    on Sep 12, 13 • in Analytics, News, Revenue Assurance • with No Comments

    Wholesale Fraud Can No Longer be Ignored as ‘Cost of Doing Business’

    The wholesale communications business is worth $170 billion a year. Wholesale fraud, which used to be seen as a cost of business is now running at over three percent. This equates to losses of $6.12 billion a year, according to a recent survey by Revenue and Asset Assurance specialist Subex. The problem has been made worse by the growth of the industry itself. The survey is an in-depth look at the problem and the opinions of 195 operators across the world were gathered, including a balanced cross section of Tier 1, 2, 3 and

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  • A Short History of Revenue Assurance

    on Aug 22, 13 • in Beyond Billing, Revenue Assurance • with 1 Comment

    A Short History of Revenue Assurance

    Inaccurate billing and criminal activity – no they are not the same thing – lost the mobile industry $58.4 billion last year, according to Juniper Research. Juniper says that if nothing is done to shore up the revenue assurance and fraud management barriers this figure could hit $300 billion by 2016. Telcos risk undermining the revenue they earn from next generation services by “continuing to not invest in appropriate business support systems,” said Juniper’s Head of Research, Dr Windsor Holden. Mind you, he added that with “sustained investment in RA and FM systems, revenue leakage could

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  • The Extreme Billing Challenge Part 1: Is your Revenue Assurance Process better than Seven Sigma?

    on Jul 17, 13 • in Billing, In Depth, News, Opinion, Policy Management, Revenue Assurance • with No Comments

    The Extreme Billing Challenge Part 1: Is your Revenue Assurance Process better than Seven Sigma?

    This is the first in a series of articles where we are looking at “extreme” billing. What, you might ask, is extreme billing?  It is, essentially, a case study where the billing process performs at the extreme end of the capabilities of the people, software and technology who run the billing process. We start with a case recently found in Europe which is performed on behalf of a fixed-line voice provider. The measure is one of Revenue Assurance.  Local laws from the UK regulator, Ofcom, requires that calls are accurate to within +0.004% (or 1/25,

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