Counting up to Number One

Subex, the Indian RA vendor has announced some good news: Gartner reportedly ranks Subex as having been the number one market leader in revenue assurance and fraud management during 2011. See here for the press release.

However, I am confused. Take a look at these excerpts from the press release:

…Gartner has ranked Subex as the market leader in the Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management for the second year in succession*.

The Gartner research report: “Market Share: Telecom Operations Management Systems (BSS, OSS and SDP), Worldwide, 2010-2011” highlights the overall OSS/BSS and Service Delivery Platform market. According to the report, Subex enjoys 9% market share and maintains its leadership position.

*RCR Wireless list, 2010

Regular readers will know I am often confused about who is the number one vendor. Last year I wrote how three vendors, cVidya and WeDo, as well as Subex, were each reportedly number one according to three different research firms. That would be confusing enough, though we could argue that different researchers might well gather different data, use different market definitions and hence come up with different headlines about which firm is number one. What is confusing me is that cVidya announced they were number one for 2010, according to Gartner. So now we have Gartner supposedly saying both that cVidya was number one in 2010, and that Subex was number one in 2011 for the second year in succession.

This was how cVidya put it last year:

Gartner has ranked cVidya as number 1 for global market share for 2010 in the revenue assurance and fraud management space for telecom operators based on revenue. The release of Gartner’s report “Market Share: Telecom Operations Management Systems (BSS, OSS and SDP), Worldwide, 2009-2010” follows cVidya’s recent wins in Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management and the launch of the Integrated Revenue Intelligence Solutions (IRIS®) suite in 2010.

Confused? I certainly am. I could audit Gartner’s output to try to get to the bottom of this silliness. But, in truth, I do not want to do that. I just want straightforward and credible results from research reports. If the same research firm is caught quoting that different firms are both number one for the same period, then the solution is to fix the research and fix the reporting of the research. That way we can have one, and only one, reported as being the number one.

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.