BT Global To Use Subex RA Bureau

Has the time finally arrived for revenue assurance bureau services? Managed services, where telcos outsource revenue assurance to a third party, are not new. However, they have not really caught on yet. Offering a bureau should help software vendors shift more of their product and give them more predictable long-run revenue streams. In turn, a bureau reduces the risk to the customer inherent when purchasing revenue assurance software. By outsourcing the running of revenue assurance systems, a bureau solution spares the provider having to manage recruitment, training, development and absence cover for a small dedicated team that may not fit elsewhere in the organization. Purchasing software and contracting a bureau service at the same time also raises the possibility of creative accounting, with opex costs being treated as capex costs, or vice versa. However, service providers have often been wary of losing control by outsourcing, though you could debate how many have revenue assurance under control to begin with. A more serious issue is defining who does what. Finding a problem is not the same as fixing it. Who finds what, who fixes what, and who chases who, is often poorly-defined for revenue assurance processes even in mature providers. Outsourcing revenue assurance tasks requires clear answers on what is done by the provider’s staff, what is done by the bureau, and how they communicate. Sometimes the greatest benefit of engaging an external supplier is that it will force those questions to be answered. The news that BT Global has signed to use a revenue assurance bureau service from Subex may be a tipping point for the industry. If BT Global has resolved those questions, and both parties subsequently get a win-win from the deal, more telcos will be tempted to follow their lead.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.