Avatra – Coming soon to theatres near you

In the world of Revenue Assurance, we see the rise and fall of champions and arch-enemies galore. I would dare say that Avatar would have been equally entertaining if we replace the characters as:

a) Na’vi – Home Grown RA system champions
b) Humans – External RA system champions
c) Toruk Maktur – The silver bullet solution enthusiast

Essentially, on the home planet (Telecomora), there is an ongoing war between the humans and the Na’vi. The Na’vi want to feed off the land (indigenous software) and the humans want to mine the land for all its worth (external software). On one side, we have those who will not take more than they need, and on the other side we have those who will not need more than they take. At some point, the disagreement reaches a fever pitch and war breaks out (Business & IT – sounds familiar?).

During this challenging time, a hero rises – The Toruk Maktur. Initially, the hero is cloned to resemble the Na’vi (speak their language and convince everyone about TCO reduction and Operational benefits). He is inducted into their environment through an age old, mystic ritual, the origins of which are lost in the shroud of eons gone by – a.k.a. response to RFP. The hero learns the challenges of the Na’vi, while inadvertently learning to think like a Na’vi. All the while, he reports back to the humans regarding the potential chinks in the Na’vi armor (eg. Scope of coverage is extremely limited, assurance is not guaranteed, sampling won’t help them get a good night’s rest etc.).

While these discussions are in play, the hero realizes that sometimes, the silver bullet might need to be tinged in gray. He realizes there is no single solution which will cure all ailments and support both perspectives. Humans and Na’vi are fundamentally different – their beliefs, their cultures, their aspirations and even their KRA. How can he bring both worlds together?

This is where the movie ends. Agreed, it feels like I’ve conned the world into paying $20 for the ultimate buzz-kill – but then again, I do want to take revenge on James Cameron for Titanic (I find that movie inexcusable. I find that he made a Gabazillion dollars off that movie even more so).

There are a couple of plausible endings, which will be released in Disc 2, and the broad outlines are listed below. It would be interesting to see which one is the most popular:

Ending 1 – Fall in love with a Na’vi princess, and convince the Humans that we don’t need the whole solution, but let’s work together with a preliminary assessment which helps us gauge where the Na’vi solution might be inadequate and where the Human solution is required

Ending 2 – Fall in love with a Na’vi princess, but convince the Na’vi that the current Ehwa mechanism isn’t built to scale and would consume far more resources and Na’vi days than initially estimated. It would also help to tell the Na’vi not to blame the Na’vi project manager, because Microsoft Project Plan isn’t the primary skill expected on a world where internet connectivity is provided via a funky disco tree, and the USB interface is strange tentacles hidden in his ponytail.

Ending 3 – Fall in love with a Na’vi princess, but go to the CFO and highlight potential risk buckets which need to be addressed as of yesterday.

Na’vi princess aside (big William Shatner fan, in case you haven’t noticed already), each ending has its pros and cons. In Ending 1, we are attempting to forgo the big bang approach for a structured growth path into a comprehensive assurance umbrella. In Ending 2, we are highlighting the scenario where over-dependence on a functionally non-scalable system might skew all metrics which are reported from that point on. In Ending 3, we appeal to a higher power to unite the two factions to work together in a spirit of love and co-operation towards a higher goal which benefits the entire planet (hopefully, unless the Toruk Maktur in this case is a weasel).

Now, dear audience, I would like to know which ending has the most production value. Which is the path you have seen most taken? And of course, the grand mystery remains – who is the Na’vi princess?

Ashwin Menon
Ashwin Menon began his foray into revenue assurance as an implementation on-site engineer with Subex Ltd. During the course of his career, he has been involved with various clients across the Asia-Pacific region, including tier 1 telcos. He is currently employed at Subex as a Senior Consultant.