RA Leaders Amongst Top Telco Software Influencers

The revenue assurance world has received a big boost from B/OSS World after the leading provider of news and analysis published its list of the “25 Most Influential People in Telecom Software“. Amongst the 25, the panel included three thought leaders with strong ties to revenue assurance. What is more, they selected three RA thought leaders with impeccable credentials. They are worthy representatives of the RA world, and I hope they continue to influence telco software for the better. Without further ado, the three RA influencers were…

Atul Jain, TEOCO Boss and Founder

Though TEOCO tend to emphasize cost management rather than revenue assurance, this is because their marketing makes a distinction where most international rivals would not bother. TEOCO has succeeded in the fierce North American market, they have a solid business model and they are increasingly positioned to diversify their range of markets and range of offerings. Atul Jain has fostered organic growth, but he has also shown the killer instinct needed for M&A, buying Vibrant Solutions in 2006, Vero Systems in 2008 and TTI Telecom last year. These purchases underline Atul Jain’s vision of where his business is headed. Whilst TEOCO started by supplying software that hunts down lost nickels and dimes, they are headed in the direction of holistic intelligence that drives business value. There are other good reasons to list Atul Jain amongst the top influencers of telco software. He places great emphasis on moral and business integrity, and this was most evident when ruthlessly pursuing rivals Razorsight for intellectual property violations. Atul also had the vision to build a business that treats its people as more than ordinary employees; TEOCO stands for the The Employee Owned Company. Whilst employee ownership was diluted by a USD60M minority stake taken by TA Associates, it does mean TEOCO has the financial might to keep on growing. Rival vendors should be wary of Atul’s competitive instincts, and learn from his example.

Tony Poulos, Evangelist, Pundit and Globetrotter

What can I say about Tony Poulos that he has not said about himself, twice already? But seriously, Tony received the highest number of nominations for the Top 25 list, and there is a good reason why Tony ranks amongst the most popular of industry speakers worldwide. The man talks a lot of sense. Whether leading the campaign against bill shock, or espousing his views on net neutrality, Tony has the great knack of being thoughtful, provocative and entertaining at the same time. Poulos Ponderings is a must-read, his ‘Insider’ column is the best thing on the TMF’s website, and he is an anchor for The Telecom Channel. But Tony knows how to walk the walk as well as how to talk. He has founded start-ups, done business development for big businesses and seen software from all sides. So what can I say about Tony Poulos? There is only one Tony Poulos, but we could always do with more.

David Smith, Consultant and Pioneer

I like to call David Smith the “Godfather of Revenue Assurance”. He is too modest to take any pleasure when I do, but somebody needs to remind today’s RA practitioner that back in the dark days, before revenue assurance began, David was already pointing us the way forward. His work on the audit of billing accuracy established many of the main themes we find in revenue assurance. At the Global Billing Association, he took the lead in promoting and developing the nascent discipline of revenue assurance. Whilst David has undoubtedly influenced billing and revenue assurance software, as a consultant David has continued to promote a comprehensive vision of how to perform RA. David’s rounded perspective embraces the process, quality and human aspects of performance alongside a deep understanding of technology.

RA owes a debt of gratitude to David, and so does talkRA. Isaac Newton once talked about standing on the shoulders of giants. When the talkRA team secured our book deal, the publisher already knew what revenue assurance is and why there is a market for an RA book. David’s Successfully Managing Revenue Assurance was written 10 years earlier. I cannot imagine how David pitched the idea to his publisher, but he was successful, and the work proved to be seminal. By doing so, David drafted the template for revenue assurance, and we have all followed that template since.

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.