I was speaking to the new Revenue Assurance manager at a previous employer and was thrilled to hear my friend took over that department. The wellbeing of those team members has been renting space in mind for some time. I emailed an ex-colleague to say thanks for looking out for what remains of this team and was struck by a thought. What exactly was renting space in my mind? The wellbeing of the function I am passionate about or the great many people putting heart and soul into it?
The mind and language philosopher Wittgenstein says language belongs to groups, not to individual or isolated minds. Language reflects communal practices and specifically how those communities use the words in that language. The language also has context and is infused with socio-cultural detail, which further informs the common understanding and adoption of the specific language as practiced.
The term Revenue Assurance has a generic meaning to all who are interested in the subject, yet not specific enough to categorise its components when we reduce the term to a cipher, or a bit, or an atom. A lot of what is going on in blogs, advertorials, vendor white papers and certification efforts are based on pretty much the technical stuff. The how to, or with what cool tool. The sales pitch is about the technology, with added benefits of consulting and on-site support. It assumes that the question is How to do RA?
Is this the question? Does answering this question inform of us of what exactly RA is? I could not help to reflect that for many of us in the RA industry, RA is a logical certainty. One for which we are prepared to fight, motivate and convince. Is the question perhaps Whether to assure revenue? The answer would certainly be yes. Does this require a dedicated team and specialised tools? Ask a commercial bank or car manufacturer and the answer is no.
Is RA perhaps rather a personal relationship? In some of the material I review for the research I find reference to technique to convince the CFO of the merits and benefits of investing in RA. The mere fact that there are executives who do not immediately see the must have of this function and who need a compelling business case to assign funds in this direction rather than that, is cause to revisit the question.
What is the correct RA question to ask to get an answer of 42?