Revenue Assurance: Enough with manual work!

Getting tired of trawling through Excel tables, spreadsheets, etc.?

What inevitably spikes the interest of a Revenue Assurance (RA) analyst is uncovering evidence of revenue leakage somewhere in the organisation. This is what will drive him or her to expand the scope of an investigation and get to the vera causa, or true cause, of a problem.

The lesser exciting part of RA, if you ask the same analyst, is having to manually reconcile volumes of data located in different systems and in different formats. This is assuming the analyst knows what he or she is looking for in the first place!

And whereas the Switching and IT teams might occasionally be happy to offer help on a one-off basis with pulling data from their respective systems, they won’t have the resources to do this on an on-going basis.

In a maturing organisation, RA operatives will inevitably reach a limit to their ability to continually wade through reams of such data. Searching for discrepancies and mismatches to pinpoint revenue leakages within the business can be an ungrateful and oftentimes frustrating endeavour. And there is nothing more dispiriting for an RA operative than to find that, after all their hard work in finally identifying a source of leakage, that management decides it’s unworthy of collection. As perhaps too complex, too old, or too time consuming.

So probably not a very sustainable approach to RA.

But when there are clear wins, especially at the earliest stages of an investigation, the RA function has the potential to grow to new the levels of maturity by striving for continual improvement. This usually means moving towards timelier and more frequent reconciliations, which points to several options:

  • The CSP can choose to stop the RA activities and schedule another one-off RA review, perhaps next year, when the resources from the other teams are more likely to be available;
  • The CSP can ask the RA team to keep working with the hand-built system, relying on the goodwill of the other teams to support them, recognising that this can cause the deterioration of inter-departmental relationships;
  • The CSP can talk to an RA solution vendor about getting help.

The vendor will be able to build the extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) tools to take data from different sources automatically and at a frequency that suits the business, therefore not overloading other departments.

Together with the RA team, the vendor can build the reconciliation, reporting and analysis tools that are needed to identify the issues quickly, giving the RA team more time to investigate the root causes and implement corrective actions.

The vendor may even be able to run and operate the system as a managed service, leaving the RA team with the time to investigate and recover the money.

Choose a vendor with care, though. CSPs should be looking for one that can support a business of the CSPs size. Too big a vendor and the CSP will not get the dedicated focus from the vendor’s team. Too small and they may not be able to support the CSP if other clients are experiencing problems.

Telecoms is a fast-moving environment, where new products and functionality are being launched on a regular basis. Being a market leader means getting new products out there first. But the CSP will want assurances that these new products aren’t creating leakages or losing money. The CSP needs RA tools that can be implemented at the right pace for the business, keeping key systems in check, and supporting an ecosystem where RA operatives can thrive in their job.

Why not talk to us, and see what we can do to help?