1st Edition

Revenue Assurance Expert Opinions for Communications Providers

By Eric Priezkalns Copyright 2011
    374 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Auerbach Publications

    This cutting-edge reference represents a new phase in the talkRA project—an initiative dedicated to improving the discipline of revenue assurance (RA) for communication providers. From blog to podcasts and now a book, the project offers a platform for a select group of RA experts to share ideas and best practices in revenue assurance, revenue management, business intelligence, and fraud prevention in telecommunications and other industries.

    Drawing on the expertise and insights of some of the leading minds in RA, Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers supplies high-powered ideas and techniques for the effective management, planning, strategy formulation, and measurement of RA performance. Presented as a series of articles on current and emerging topics of interest, it provides extensive and multi-faceted guidance to help readers move up the scale from basic checks to optimizing performance.

    • Covers the fundamentals of revenue assurance
    • Explains the relationship between revenue assurance and fraud management and how revenue assurance sits within the wider context of enterprise risk management and the control environment
    • Provokes readers to think of creative ways to adapt RA to the needs of their business, whether they are initiating the RA process or seeking to take an established RA function to the next level
    • Shows how to measure the financial benefits delivered by the RA team and how to appraise the RA maturity of the whole business
    • Illustrates how to perform root cause analysis through Q&A discussion of how top experts deal with a variety of leakages
    • Identifies trends in how RA techniques are changing, and links these to developments in tools and technology
    • Entertains through sympathetic and sometimes irreverently humorous observations about the working life of an RA practitioner

    The book provides an analysis of the drivers for RA products and services, enabling RA suppliers and consultants to compare their competitive offerings with what customers really want and need. Complete with real-world tips and case examples, it supplies the well-rounded understanding that will enable you to best fit the needs of your business and best support its objectives. This book will give you the confidence to determine the most effective and efficient methods to achieve and maintain healthy revenue streams in the ever-changing landscape of electronic communications.

    Praise for:

    ... draws upon the actual experience of a number of RA professionals—those who have actually lived through the journey, learned from setbacks, and adapted their approaches to determine best practices in the field.
    —Julian Hebden, Director of Enterprise Information Management, Telstra

    Beginning at the Beginning
    Ten Tips for Starting Revenue Assurance; Eric Priezkalns
    Three Basics; Lee Scargall
    Revenue Optimization for Greenfields; Ashwin Menon

    Revisiting the Foundations of Revenue Assurance
    Revenue Assurance at the Crossroads; Hugh Roberts
    What Makes for a Successful Revenue Assurance Team? Mike Willett
    Dollars and Cents, Pounds and Pence; Eric Priezkalns
    Never Say "No New Leakage"; Mike Willett
    How Democracy Stops Leakage; Eric Priezkalns
    Recognizing the Value of Revenue; Eric Priezkalns
    How Big Should a Revenue Assurance Department Be? Eric Priezkalns

    Linking Revenue Assurance to Fraud Management
    Synergy of Billing Verifi cation and Fraud Management; David Leshem
    When Fraud Belongs with Revenue Assurance; Eric Priezkalns
    Greatest Internal Fraud Risk? Eric Priezkalns

    Strategy, Scope, and Synergy
    Five Dimensions of Revenue Assurance; Mark Yelland
    Exploring the Concept of Maturity in the Performance of Revenue Assurance; Eric Priezkalns
    Revenue Assurance Is a Silo! Ashwin Menon
    Using Variances to Set the Scope for Assurance; Eric Priezkalns
    Import and Export of Responsibilities as a Tactic to Support the Revenue Assurance Strategy; Eric Priezkalns
    Revenue Assurance versus Revenue Maximization; Eric Priezkalns
    Billing Assurance and the Ends; Eric Priezkalns
    Conflicts between Revenue Reporting and Revenue Assurance; Eric Priezkalns
    Sarbanes–Oxley + Making Money = Confusion; Eric Priezkalns
    Macrodiagnosis versus Atomic Checks; Ashwin Menon
    The Zoom; Eric Priezkalns
    Being Proactive; Eric Priezkalns

    Epistemology and Metrics
    Epistemology, Icebergs, and Titanics; Eric Priezkalns
    Two Dimensions of Leakage Knowledge; Eric Priezkalns
    How Cable & Wireless Built a Reporting Framework around a Checklist of Leakage Points; Eric Priezkalns and Lee Scargall
    Metrics for Leakages and Benefits: Making the Key FIT; David Stuart
    A Strategy for Measuring Charging Integrity Based on the Three "C’s"; Eric Priezkalns
    Measuring the Fourth "C": Cash Collection; Eric Priezkalns
    Transition from the Indicator to the Director; Ashwin Menon
    Performance Management; Güera Romo
    Benchmarking; Güera Romo
    What Happened to the Subex–Analysys Survey?; Eric Priezkalns
    When $25 billion Is not Worth $25 billion; Eric Priezkalns
    Global Revenue Leakage to Fall; Eric Priezkalns
    Cost of Nada; David Leshem
    Myth of Average Intercarrier Leakage; Eric Priezkalns
    Raw Data, Workfl ows, and Mr. RA Analyst; Ashwin Menon
    On Analytics, Dashboards, and Revenue Assurance; Mike Willett
    Progress Key Performance Indicators; Ashwin Menon
    Using Analytics to Enhance Sales and Marketing; Eric Priezkalns
    Double-Edged Saw; Eric Priezkalns
    Hammer and Tongs: The Tools of Revenue Assurance Tools Overview; Eric Priezkalns
    What Revenue Assurance Tools Get Wrong; David Stuart
    Anyone Want a Revenue Assurance Tool? Mike Willett
    Automating Resolution; Eric Priezkalns
    Proof Before You Buy; Eric Priezkalns
    Duplicate Data, Duplicate Costs; Eric Priezkalns

    Managing Risk
    Fundamentals of Risk for Revenue Assurance Managers; Eric Priezkalns
    Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management within the Context of Enterprise Risk Management; Eric Priezkalns
    Linking Revenue Assurance, Risk, and Maturity; Eric Priezkalns
    Understanding Controls Control Frameworks and Their Purpose; Eric Priezkalns
    Control Objectives and Priorities; Eric Priezkalns
    Understanding the Parameters and Choices for Business Assurance Controls; Eric Priezkalns

    Serving the Retail Customer
    Billing Accuracy Complaints and the Value-Visibility Curve; Eric Priezkalns
    Using the Three "C’s" to Tell When Customers Can and Cannot Protect Themselves; Eric Priezkalns

    Advanced Themes in Revenue Assurance
    Strength of an Argument; Güera Romo
    Testing the Accuracy of Recorded Durations; Eric Priezkalns
    Use of "Forensic" in the Context of Revenue Assurance; Güera Romo
    IPDR-Based Usage Meter Accuracy; Eric Priezkalns
    GSM Gateways: The Quiet Crime; Eric Priezkalns
    Suffering a Crisis in Confidence? Mark Yelland
    A Worked Example for Using Statistics in Precision Assurance Testing; Eric Priezkalns
    Is Revenue Assurance CAT or CAVT? Eric Priezkalns
    North American Revenue Assurance: Got Your Number? David Leshem
    Theory of Symmetrical Error; Eric Priezkalns
    Research Found Revenue Assurance to Be Responsible for Insanity; Güera Romo
    An Entity-Relationship Model for Revenue Assurance Controls; Eric Priezkalns
    Transdisciplinary Approach to Problem Solving; Güera Romo
    Minimize the Risks with Voice over WiMAX; Eric Priezkalns

    The Business of Revenue Assurance
    Revenue Assurance Caterpillar; Eric Priezkalns
    Horizontal and Vertical Expansion of Revenue Assurance; Eric Priezkalns
    Spicing up the Market; Eric Priezkalns
    Listening to a Market Leader; Eric Priezkalns

    Power to the People of Revenue Assurance
    Common Theme to Good Training; Eric Priezkalns
    Training for Revenue Assurance; Mike Willett
    Price of Professionalism; Eric Priezkalns
    Standardization Based on Generalization; Güera Romo
    Which One Are You? Eric Priezkalns
    Jobs in Revenue Assurance; Eric Priezkalns

    Tangents on the Theme of Revenue Assurance
    What Communication Providers Can Learn From Banking; Güera Romo
    If Health Means Wealth, Th en Plugs Mean Drugs; Eric Priezkalns
    A Memory for Revenue Assurance; Eric Priezkalns
    Can the ROC Be Lean? Eric Priezkalns

    The Future(s) of Revenue Assurance
    Future of Revenue Assurance? Mike Willett
    Current and New Paradigms of Revenue Assurance; Eric Priezkalns
    Does Revenue Assurance Have Confidence Issues? Mike Willett
    Pedaling Profits; David Leshem
    Content: Frontier for Revenue Assurance; Eric Priezkalns
    Revenue Assurance Doublespeak; David Leshem
    Evolution or Revolution; Eric Priezkalns

    Anecdotes from the Edge of Revenue Assurance
    How to Make Bills Confusing; Eric Priezkalns
    No Carry, No Cash; Eric Priezkalns
    When Revenue Assurance Stops: A Bedtime Story; David Leshem
    Battlegrounds and Graveyards; Lee Scargall
    Abstraction Reactions; Eric Priezkalns
    Metering Not Billing; Eric Priezkalns
    Saving Pennies, Saving Face; Eric Priezkalns

    It Makes You Think...
    Hidden Switch; David Stuart
    Fraudulent Engineer; David Stuart
    VAT Man; David Stuart
    Faulty Transmission; David Stuart
    NOC versus RA; David Stuart
    Fraudulent Prepaid Top-Ups; David Stuart
    Impossible Mission; David Stuart
    No, No, NO!! David Stuart
    Low-Hanging Fruit; David Stuart



    Eric Priezkalns is the founder of talkRA.com, the Web site that gave rise to this book. He is currently an assistant director at Qtel International responsible for enterprise risk management. Eric has over ten years of experience in the communications industry in the fields of risk management and revenue assurance. Eric was the original (and much imitated) revenue assurance blogger. Having built a loyal readership worldwide, Eric decided to join forces with other thought leaders by forming talkRA, which went on to establish itself as the Web site for practitioners to get insightful views and the latest news about revenue assurance.Eric has previously worked as head of controls for Cable & Wireless Group; best practice manager in the revenue assurance, billing, and carrier services function of T-Mobile, UK; and the billing integrity manager for Worldcom, UK. He first worked as a consultant in the Enterprise Risk Services division of Deloittes, where he also qualified as a chartered accountant. Eric has a master's degree in information systems and a bachelor's degree in mathematics and philosophy.Eric is very well known in international revenue assurance circles as a founding participant of the TM Forum's Revenue Assurance team, and he is now the leader of the TM Forum's Enterprise Risk Management team. He was the driving force behind the revenue assurance maturity model. He was one of the editors and contributors of the TM Forum's Revenue Assurance Overview and its Revenue Assurance Guidebook. It was in the first version of the TM Forum's Overview that Eric introduced the de facto standard definition of revenue assurance.Eric was responsible for the program that saw T-Mobile UK, become the first CSP to satisfy the UK regulator's stringent metering and billing accuracy expectations across all communication services without except

    This book draws upon the actual experience of a number of RA professionals—those who have actually lived through the journey, learned from setbacks, and adapted their approaches to determine best practices in the field. This work isn’t an academic exercise that will prove impossible to implement within your organization but one that is built upon the bedrock of actual implementation experience.
    —Julian Hebden, Director of Enterprise Information Management, Telstra