GRAPA: See The Funny Side?

You could not make this stuff up. One of GRAPA’s forums is dedicated to how they will professionalize the industry. Who is active on this forum? Three people: Papa Rob Mattison (self-appointed Hero of RA, 1st class), a senior manager at Ernst & Young in Belgium, and a product manager at South African software firm GijimaAst (??). Or at least, they were active – nothing much has happened on this forum since December last year. However, when they were active, they had some amusing discussions. Take a look at some excerpts [with my comments in the square brackets].

“I had a look at several industry related Certification programs and most of them have 2 to 3 levels of certification… I would like to propose only three levels of certification with possible specialist categories…
1. Certified Associate Revenue Assurance Professional. This certification…
2. Certified Revenue Assurance Professional. [snigger] …”

“I agree, we should… I would even limit the initial certification scheme to 2 certification a more general / foundations certification and one for the more advanced / experienced RA practitioners. E.g.
– Certified RA Professional [chortle] …”

“I am agreed to have two levels of certification…
– Certified RA Professional [lol] …”

“I agree with the CRAP/CRAM – Basic/Advanced approach [LOL!!] …”

“First of all, let us PLEASE come up with an Acronym other than CRAP [at last! somebody notices LOL!!] …”

How funny. They seriously considered introducing a qualification called C-R-A-P. But there is a serious side. Take a look at these excerpts:

“Below the suggested framework for Revenue Assurance Principles…

1. What is Revenue Assurance?
2. Revenue Assurance and the eTOM model [WHAT!?!? Why do they intend to hijack the bits of the TM Forum’s work they want, and ignore the bits they do not want?]
3. Revenue Assurance Maturity Model [EXCUSE ME! More pilfering of other people’s ideas. Maybe authors like me give away intellectual property so other people can attain it freely, and not because they intend groups like GRAPA to find ways to exploit it for financial gain.]”

“Should we put forward some standard well acknowledged (and available) white papers or books on Revenue Assurance that cover the topics mentioned above?
-> This will give the people wanting to take the certification exam a clear view on what they should study.
-> This will also give the committee a clear basis out of which we can draft exam questions…

Rob’s book could be a basis, maybe also some of his white papers. Additionally, TMforum (if we can use their content) also has some content that could form a basis. [Great idea! But shame on GRAPA for wanting to use the TMF’s material when it has made no contribution to it.]”

“I agree. We should use as much of GRAPA documentation as possible. In addition to that I would recommend the following (same as yours above)

  • The Telco Revenue Assurance Handbook (Rob Mattison) [surprise surprise]
  • Revenue Assurance (Chorleywood Publications 2002) [I cannot find a Chorleywood report with a similar title, but whichever report is intended, the cheapest Chorleywood reports cost US$2000, and do they intend to get permission before they take material for their examination?]
  • Managing Successful Revenue Assurance (The Phillips Group) [US$1000 per legitimately acquired copy, and ditto, what about permission?]
  • List of TM Forum Books (very good) (TR131, GB941, GB941-A) [Yup, great idea! At least this means that the people at GRAPA read the TMF’s output, even if they do not admit it in public. But what about fair payment for use of copyrighted material, especially as GRAPA intends to charge fees for exams and certification!?!?]

Sometimes it is hard to know whether to laugh or cry. GRAPA makes me want to do both.

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.