Proof Before You Buy

There are still many telcos who buy revenue assurance software without proving that the software can be made to work (and deliver some value) first. No matter how rigorous a competitive tender process is, there is no substitute for a proof of concept. Any reliable vendor will be happy to show that their product really can be made to work for the potential customer. Although the software will be implemented for only a limited scenario and for a limited period of time, there is no better way to confirm the effectiveness of the revenue assurance product. It also shows that the vendor’s staff have the necessary technical and management skills to realize success. Best of all, it gives the customer an insight into what the eventual financial benefits will be. But a proof of concept is not just of benefit to the customer. A proof of concept also helps the vendor. It gives the vendor a heads-up on how easy it will be to work with the customer’s staff and to integrate systems in practice. Telco staff who are unhelpful, or who have limited knowledge, will probably lead to a more extended deployment project, pushing the vendor’s costs up. Good vendors have no reason to resist delivering a proof of concept prior to signing a deal; only poor vendors will want to rush to the sale and avoid a proof of concept. My old mate Guy Howie of BIAAS has been working double-time recently, backing up my thesis that good vendors will want to validate their product through a proof of concept. BIAAS has completed twelve – a round dozen – proofs of concept in recent weeks. At that rate, it cannot be long before the rest of us have nothing left to prove… ;)

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.