10 Issues for Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management

What are the biggest issues for people working in revenue assurance and fraud management? I have some theories, and a way to test if I am right… but first I must talk about the agenda for the RAG Summer Conference, which I helped to pull together.

The feedback from RAG attendees has been tremendous. The comments we received were peppered with words like: ‘great’, ‘interesting’, ‘unique’ and ‘exceptional’. People really seemed to enjoy the topics we covered, and that is also an endorsement of the Commsrisk audience, because I analyzed your reading habits to identify which subjects risk and assurance practitioners find most intriguing. I used the same approach to pull together a recent presentation to the Fraud Forum of the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association entitled ‘The 10 Hottest Topics in Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management’. That presentation has generated quite a response, through many different channels, so I wanted to revisit the techniques I used to see if I can more systematically rank RAFM subjects by the level of interest they generate.

With your help, I want to do a similar but more deliberate study, and you can contribute without needing to press a voting button or leave a comment. All you need to do is to read, and to share, just like you usually do. I will draw inferences based on the data I obtain, such as the number of hits, the average time spent reading an article and the extent to which each article is promoted on different social networks.

Over the next 10 Wednesdays I intend to publish a series of 10 articles, each describing a current issue for the disciplines of revenue assurance and fraud management. They may or may not be the top 10 issues, and I make no pretense that this will be a complete list of issues faced by practitioners. However, they will be 10 subjects that I take seriously and which seem to concern many practitioners. Based on the website data and other feedback I will then try to rank the issues from top to bottom. The ranking process will more of an art than a science, but should hopefully give some useful indication of which risks and challenges practitioners care most about.

So what are the 10 RAFM issues to be covered? In no particular order, they are:

  1. What OTT means for telco revenues, and how we assure them
  2. Education for RAFM practitioners
  3. The professionalization of RAFM
  4. How many RAFM vendors do we want and need?
  5. Data Science vs. Information Technology: the technical skills RAFM practitioners need
  6. Caring for customers: responsibilities relating to overcharging, refunds, and reputation
  7. Attitudes to regulation: should we welcome or avoid compliance obligations?
  8. The impact of biometrics
  9. Will artificial intelligence raise wages or cut costs?
  10. The slow death of the switch-to-bill reconciliation

The first of the articles, about the impact of OTT on revenues and revenue assurance, will be published on Wednesday 31st August. Will you be drawn to come back and read it? That is what I intend to find out…

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others.

Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a founding member of Qatar's National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum's Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group, and is an editorial advisor to Black Swan. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.

Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric's history as editor.
  • Zaid alothman

    Eagerly awaiting the articles!

  • Lionel Griache

    And, coming with question #4…Is the RAFM market big enough to offer a rewarding career path for motivated professionals.
    Looking forward to your articles.

    • Hi Lionel, you leave a thoughtful comment as always. Let’s see if I can satisfy your expectations!

      I have a rewarding career path but I recognize that my approach won’t work for everyone. Sadly, I some people have tried to boost their own careers by doing things that are to the detriment of professionalism overall. We’ll get more investment if we show we add a lot of value that nobody else can, but too often we take a low-cost approach which involves making big promises whilst delivering results that are relatively simple to achieve. RAFM is borne of the complexity of telcos, so we should be looking to enhance career paths by attaining and maintaining a level of sophistication commensurate with the complex issues we are supposedly needed to tackle.

      • Lionel Griache

        Hi Eric,
        Seems like an intense day for commenting :-)
        Let me add my side of the coin.
        Hey, to begin with, you’ve been retired for some years, now, so your career path is really
        more a hobby, isn’t it? ;-)
        The fact that it worked fantastically for you, and some, is sadly no proof that the industry
        can offer rewarding careers to the many. If we conclude that the list of
        software vendors is meant to shrink in the future, it will be even more the
        case. When I see posts about the background of employees hired by a notorious organization
        (or about what they do after leaving the company), it doesn’t necessarily
        strike me as a token of the organization’s capacity or lack thereof. It strikes
        me more as the proof that the industry doesn’t seem to have or want to absorb
        many professionals and the list of them making a long career in RA seems restricted
        to a few. Maybe it’s a completely distorted impression, I don’t know. Some
        people managed to create safe spots for themselves with effort and talent or
        just pure opportunity. But the number of options offered to the newcomers seems
        quite limited. And without incentive for new blood to come in, we can’t remain a
        healthy industry very long.

        • That’s why the Commsrisk mantra is: upskill, professionalize, embrace data science, be broad and agile, create a career ladder to ERM, and aspire to become Chief Risk Officers!