Essential Ingredients for Revenue Assurance

In today’s post, guest contributor Michael Lazarou once again shares his perspective as a hard-working revenue assurance analyst. This time, he concentrates on how the Revenue Assurance department needs to work with others, with support from the top.

In order for Revenue Assurance to be successful it requires: resources, defined controls, a framework, collaboration between departments. We can all add to that list based on our own experiences. However, there are two ingredients that are absolutely imperative to have in the mix for the recipe to succeed: at least one executive’s buy-in and good reliable data.

Obviously data is the first step for doing anything worth doing in RA. Getting the data in an efficient, low overhead manner while at the same time ensuring its integrity, is a large hairy beast with fangs. At this point I’d argue that the company as a whole has to be mature enough to have the proper systems in place to enable this. Otherwise, you will find that half your time is spent tracking down a missing file, or the table structure of x mediation file along with the meaning of each value. You can possibly get to a point where all your loaders are working and everything appears to be populated normally, but have you actually verified the data’s integrity compared to the “original”? Adding audit logs and importing data with a useful audit trail requires good planning so that the whole effort is seamless.

The most important aspect of RA however, is to have an executive that gets what it’s about, what it requires to function and how important it is or can be. Without that RA is left at the “mercy” of other priorities both operational and strategic. Let’s see, you want me to increase revenues without influencing demand and establish controls? Most of these things either go over the head of most execs or are simply very low priority compared to getting out the next big campaign to add more subscribers. Not to mention that you will have to beg other departments to pay attention and provide you with information.

If RA is constantly trying to stand up but slips on the wet floor of the above two, it can never truly measure and show what its value is. It takes hard work to get over that hump. Force departments to have your issues on their daily agenda – after all, these are essentially theirs. You need to figure out what is the “main issue” for each department and help them follow though on getting it done. No tool or magic wand can do this. You need to know what you are talking about, you have to be someone that enables conversations about problems and you have to be patient… this also means making a difference in the daily work of each department.

The aforementioned are not novel ideas – the theory is there – however, what happens in practice in a niche function dependent on externalities is real life. That means grinding along, building slowly but surely and even if you don’t manage to showcase your work’s value you will have learnt a great deal; and that is valuable to the one person you can’t avoid.

Michael Lazarou
Michael Lazarou
Michael Lazarou has worked as a Revenue Assurance Analyst for MTN Cyprus since March 2011. His background includes a double major in Computer Science and Economics, as well as an MBA. Before being lured into the exciting world of telecoms he worked as a software developer.

Michael is interested to gain a better understanding of different aspects of RA and data analysis. He shares his insights on training courses he participates in with Commsrisk.