I finally managed to listen to the podcast from the WeDo WUG that Eric posted some months ago. Towards the end, Eric asked me a question along the lines of “with pricing getting simpler, such as all you can eat bundles, what does that mean for RA?”. As I listened to the podcast, I wasn’t convinced with my response, and so this blog gives me an opportunity to add to that answer.
On the WUG, I mentioned that behind the $70 per month, unlimited usage, plan, there would be all sorts of partner agreements that need assurance. There is some validity in this comment and it does bring RA to a margin analysis activity. However, I also think my answer was based too heavily on telco revenue streams as they have been over the last ten years, and not what they may look like in the future.
As I dip into this topic, let me make an assumption that we are discussing here the consumer, mass market customers; as this is most likely to whom these pricing constructs will apply. If so, then the telco that is content to collect $70 per month and essentially act as the “dumb pipe” is not the telco that is likely to survive through the significant disruption that digitalisation of business will bring. Telcos continue to search for new products, new partnerships, and better ways to personalise and improve the customer experience. And this, I feel, is where the new battlegrounds for revenue assurance will emerge.
It’s not the $70 per month that RA will need to worry about as controls on that can and should be automated. It’s assuring the small and incremental spend of each customer, where offers are individually tailored (welcome to the world of Big Data) and purchased in real time, that will make the difference to the winners and losers in the market. Getting that right is going to be key. RA has always played in the crucial 1%s of an organisation’s revenue and it is that 1% that can mark the difference between profit and loss.