Prague, conference, unexpected optimism

Just getting back from Informa’s revenue assurance conference in Prague, I was surprised by two things: the very warm weather for the time of year, and how well the debate around revenue assurance has moved on.

Whilst packing, I was suffering from my usual pre-conference fear that I would be hearing the same old content as previous years, but just packaged differently. As chair for the first day I decided to keep my opening remarks to a minimum (sometimes the conference is half an hour behind schedule before the first speaker opens their mouth) so focused on my usual pleas to audiences – that debate is good, we need to talk to each other (not just to listen quietly to the speakers) and that we all learn a lot more by being honest. Perhaps it worked or perhaps I had no need to make these comments. I found a surprising blend of people – some even from vendors – making refreshingly honest statements about where RA is both within their own organization and in general, and not just in quiet corners but in front of the whole audience. We were witness to the GBA’s spokesperson playing down how reliable their benchmark data is, a vendor admitting that they had yet to see credible metrics of revenue assurance performance, an operator admitting that there is good and bad with working with peers in a group, a consultant who wanted to talk about the alternatives and limits of using automated tools, and another operator referring to the necessary soft skills that RA people need – including empathy!

So, I am back in the UK and wishing I was still out there enjoying a beer and chatting with these very frank and rather clever people. If there can be some straightforward discussion about the weaknesses of revenue assurance, and not just the strengths, then maybe we can do something about them. At the very least, I will be trying to keep in touch with the new friends I met, as well as the familiar faces, in the hope not just of hearing about them succeeding in meeting the challenges they identified, but also learning how to copy their success!

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.