International RA Day is Here Again!

I should send out reminders in advance, because, in all probability, you have forgotten to celebrate International Revenue Assurance Day (December 2nd). You might argue that there is no such thing as International Revenue Assurance Day, especially as it was the result of a unilateral decision I made two years ago. However, I can honestly say I have received no objections to that unilateral decision. In some quarters that would be interpreted as unanimous and unequivocal support ;)

I will not bore you with by detailing all the celebrations I personally have planned for today. It is sufficient to note that, as every year goes by, I feel that our fledgling black art of revenue assurance has grown up a little, and that is something worth celebrating. One day I hope to see our baby all grown, having turned from the exciting-new-buzzword-on-the-block into the mature, sober, sensible (and possibly boring) science it has the potential to be. Part of the reason I blog is to keep a record of its growth. Think of the blog posts as the metaphorical equivalent of a scrapbook – a record of events for a discipline that sometimes lacks a memory. This time last year I gave a summary of events in revenue assurance over the previous year. Today seems like a good day to say “happy RA!” and review what happened over the last twelve months…

December 2007
Gartner moves revenue assurance from ‘hype’ to ‘hot’ on their carrier hype cycles.

Subex rebrands, dropping Azure from its name and launching a data integrity service.

January 2008
Poor financial controls are cited as one of the reasons for the collapse of US firm InPhonic.

Data integrity issues cause trouble for UK telcos Virgin and Carphone Warehouse.

In the branding wars, WeDo’s rebranding exercise is a modest affair. Meanwhile, Subex runs adverts on television.

cVidya launches a new product to verify dealer commissions. About the same time, cVidya’s Chief Scientist, Gadi Solotorevsky, launches his own blog.

TMNG tries to broaden the appeal of revenue assurance outside of telecoms.

Papa Rob appoints his son as new membership czar for GRAPA. Meanwhile, an investigation into GRAPA membership numbers reveals that claims about membership activity are grossly exaggerated.

ECtel buys all the assets of Compwise in a US$1.3M deal.

UPC Ireland wins an award from ACL for the way they adapted ACL’s product to meet their revenue assurance needs.

Pakistan’s telecoms regulator reports that grey traffic costs Pakistan US$47M annually.

Razorsight is caught stealing the intellectual property of rivals TEOCO. The court case is settled with an order that Razorsight pay US$4.5M in compensation.

Subex announces big losses in their year end accounts. CEO Subash Menon describes it as “a disastrous year”.

The TM Forum finally approves the new Revenue Assurance Maturity Model.

The ceremony for the World Billing Awards is held in Amsterdam. Hugh Roberts presents the Award for Best RA Project to cVidya’s Eli Krakauer.

Employees of RA vendor ATS win an award from AT&T.

cVidya and BT’s Geoff Hammond prominently launch the World Revenue Assurance Forum. I blog about the legitimacy of some of the claims made, including that it is “by the operators, for the operators”. Without explanation, the World Revenue Assurance Forum disappears as suddenly and as unexpectedly as it appeared. BT will later boot me out over the incident.

talkRA is launched! Experts from all across the RA industry join talkRA’s team of authors, whilst my blog is migrated from its old home at At almost the same time Morisso Taieb of Bezeq forms a new RA group on LinkedIn.

Telstra’s CEO praises the success the success of their platform migration and highlights the consistent RA metrics in the year end results call with stock analysts.

Connectiva secure another US$17M of VC funding.

Reliance Communications refer to enhancements of revenue assurance and fraud systems in their annual report.

TEOCO uses the money received from Razorsight’s settlement and buys LCR software vendor Vero.

ECtel launches its social network. The Integrated Revenue Management Alliance (IRMA) is a two-tier community, with some sections open to the public and others restricted to ECtel customers only.

Subex’s half-yearly results show a degree of turnaround, but include heavy exceptional losses.

GRAPA announces the launch of its professional certification program, and a membership vote on its standards.

Following the announcement of their Q3 figures, ECtel reduces its revenue guidance for the year.

That was a busy year for revenue assurance, with a real mix of good news and bad news. I am hoping, and expecting, that the next 12 months will be just as eventful.

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.