Do’s and Don’ts of RA Marketing: lesson 136

I hate spam. I really hate spam. Anyone who reads this website knows how much I hate spam, because I always mock every revenue assurance supplier who sends me spam. It is my way of trying to rebalance the universe. And yet, I still get spam. Methinks I need to make more effort to discourage spam. So I will.

Now, I am not saying that I am an important guy, or that talkRA is the most important website in the revenue assurance industry. No, I am not saying that. I might think it, but I am not saying it. Maybe this site is really unimportant – that gets decided by the readers, not by me. When an RA supplier calls me up, and wants to discuss their product, I am happy to engage in two-way conversation. Unless they called whilst I was in the shower, of course. If some suppliers have the sense to call me, then why do other suppliers think they can push their product by just adding my name to some enormous chain email they send to everybody in the world? It is lazy and, in this case, counterproductive. So what kind of half-assed crew relies on sending spam to a long unvetted list of email addresses? Well GRAPA does, of course. But even they stopped sending me spam a while ago. So who sends me spam these days?

Dear Eric,

I am writing to you on behalf of cVidya Networks [their bold, not mine], a world-leading provider of revenue analytics solutions for communications and digital service providers.

Gee shucks. You can already tell, from this high-quality email, that we are talking about a genuinely world-leading company. What is the name? su-Vid-ee-ya? Yeah, yeah, come to think of it, I have heard of them.

Their advanced software suites support intelligent, strategic decision-making, enabling both business protection and business growth.

Are they sending me this because they think I work in strategy? The software is used for strategic decision-making, after all. That is a shame, because I am interested in software that reconciles billing data.

cVidya plays a big role in this year’s TMForum Management World taking place on 13th-16th of May in Nice, France.

Oddly enough, I was aware of that. They always play a big role in anything with the TMF’s name on it. Which makes me wonder: who collated this spam distribution list? Was it cVidya or the TMF? Update: see below for the answer.

The company has been selected as a Finalist for Excellence Awards in the Industry Contribution category.

Again, surely this happens every year? The Industry Contribution category is very important, because it is about contributing to the TM Forum. Clearly ‘the industry’ is synonymous with the TM Forum. So if your telco is not a member of the TMF, you are in the wrong industry. Possibly you should be driving a bus, or washing dishes, instead of pretending to do revenue assurance in this industry.

If you are not involved with the TMF, and you want to break into this industry, then here is a hot tip for you: make sure your father works in the industry. You will not only get a job, but your job will be really strategic. I mean, it demonstrates a lot of strategic foresight, to decide you should be born to somebody already in the industry.

Moreover, cVidya is participating in two innovative catalyst projects:

Revenue Assurance Maturity Model Update with the inclusion of Digital Services; and

Sharing Threat Intelligence to Mitigate Cyber Attacks.

***Sigh*** Yeah, like I wanted to be reminded about how much innovation cVidya is responsible for. Funny how the innovation always concludes we need to buy more cVidya software. I can imagine the scenario now. A guy calls up his buddy in another telco. “Did you hear about this cyber attack we are suffering?” His buddy hangs up. Unless the threat intelligence is shared via a new software product, then it must be worthless.

You are invited to visit cVidya in the Expo Hall (booth 7) and experience a demo of cVidya Insight, their cross-product business analytics solution utilizing data from Risk, Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management products.

So they have a risk product, separate from their revenue assurance and fraud management products? How interesting. And what kinds of risks does it deal with? Are the risks a bit revenue-y and fraud-y, by any chance? Or perhaps they are a bit strategic-y.

If you have any questions about cVidya

Yes. Yes I do. Many, as it happens. Thanks for asking. See here if you want to start somewhere. Oddly, I might be a bit nicer about cVidya, if I sometimes received an answer to my questions, instead of a one-way marketing barrage.

or if you would like to meet them in Nice please do not hesitate to contact me.

Or I could just wander up to their booth when I am there. Not that I will, because I am not going. Why would I? To find out about innovation? To do that, I get on the phone and speak to innovators who work in the industry.

Kind regards,


Julia Simonova-Lopez
Director PR Marketing and Digital Media Solutions
Juliet Media International

Sorry, who the heck are you? And where did you get my email address?

Final tip: I make less fun of spammers who send me a professionally-designed email including graphics and corporate logos. It makes the company look like world leaders at sending email, and is so much better than sending me something written by an intern who uses bold for every other word.

Update (9:35 GMT 13/5/13): And now Juliet Media International are sending me email PR spam about other companies too. This goes to show the consequences of what happens when personal data is handled by untrustworthy people. The telecoms industry is full of people with a bad attitude to personal data, and this is yet another example.

Update 2 (11:55 GMT 13/5/13): Juliet Media International have been in touch, to explain themselves. Even though I did not give them a business card or permission to contact me, they decided I should receive updates about cVidya and other clients after I attended a press meeting for one of cVidya’s competitors. Rivals to cVidya, and readers in general, should consider whether Juliet Media International – which represents the TM Forum and runs the site – is likely to give unbiased news coverage.

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.