Business Assurance and COVID-19: Have You Ever Had a Bigger Call to Action?

I have been in numerous conferences and discussions where revenue assurance practitioners have spoken about the possibility of adding exponential value to the organisation. In the current situation, with its COVID-19 related lockdowns and restrictions, I personally believe that RA practitioners (or rather business assurance practitioners) have a front-line role to play. With arguably the widest reach in terms of data and information in a telco, BA teams have multiple opportunities here. In this article, I’ll try to outline the most obvious ones.

1) Never has access been more important – Families, friends, colleagues and teams are physically separated right now. The world looks to telcos to provide a semblance of ‘life as usual’ through predictable connectivity. This would be the most difficult time to address issues pertaining to customer onboarding, subscriber/enterprise profile synchronisation and/or service provisioning. Considering the fact that the customer service delivery teams are also getting used to a new paradigm of operations, BA teams will have to step up to drive predictability and customer success.

2) Money is tight right now – These are uncertain times for all of us, individuals and enterprises alike. Bill shocks and charging errors can cause significant grief to your subscribers. Add to this that many significant operational changes which have been affected across telcos (including rate differentials, setup of new free channels, regional emergency service numbers, ‘stay at home’ product bundling, retention incentives, bad debt extensions etc), and it makes for a troublesome combination. BA teams are uniquely prepared to assure these rapid changes and execute course corrections faster than almost any other team.

3) Tell me how you can help – Subscriber needs have changed drastically. This would be the time to measure the impact of those changes (e.g. binge watching Netflix) on your network capacity, inventory levels and fair-usage policy thresholds. For the innovative telcos out there, it is possible to cross-sell value added bundles to your existing customers (e.g. a ‘work from home’ package that gives additional video-conferencing bandwidth, ‘kids at home’ package for educational content etc). BA teams can help marketing and customer service teams identify potential candidates for such packages as well as providing dynamic assurance for rapid rollouts.

Of course, there are many more issues which have crept up over the last two months. Business risks in today’s world moves as fast as, and in many cases faster than business decisions. These times call for business assurance teams to leverage their Active Risk Intelligence (ARI) frameworks to get ahead of the issue. If I was a Chief Risk Officer, I would naturally turn to my Business Assurance team, with its vast access to quality data and detailed understanding of business, to act as a pivotal resource in assuring my key business objectives. The world has changed, possibly forever. Both personal and business communications and connectivity requirements have seen the fastest behavioural shift since the last decade.

I have one question for my fellow BA practitioners: when your customer changed, did you?

This article was originally published on LinkedIn; see here. It has been reproduced with the author’s permission.

Ashwin Menon
Ashwin Menon
Ashwin Menon is the Head of Product at Subex. He has also been a consultant and he began his foray into revenue assurance as an implementation on-site engineer.