Raw Power Can Upset Preconceptions

Some pretty amazing numbers get mentioned when people describe the performance of Netezza data warehouses. The most recent announcement relating to the use of Netezza for revenue assurance in Virgin Media suggests it runs queries 250 times faster than the system that it replaced. And when the cynical scribes at The Register give a good write-up, like this review of Netezza’s 2006 user conference, you can be confident that Netezza must be on to something. But what does this mean for revenue assurance? It challenges the preconceptions as to what is the most cost-effective way to do revenue assurance. I have never been a big believer in the “bucket” approach to revenue assurance: throw a lot of data into a big bucket (the warehouse) stir it around and see what you serve up at random. But I have to admit, if you made the bucket big enough, and could stir it fast enough with a big enough spoon, it would make it possible to perform a lot of the tasks currently performed by specialist revenue assurance systems whilst also being far more versatile. If Virgin Media’s claims are valid, others should pay attention. They could do us all a favour by telling us more.

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 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. 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.