RA Training Scams

Do you ever wonder who writes revenue assurance training courses? I do. A lot of them seem to be written by people who have never even met anyone who does revenue assurance. Take a look at the learning objectives of the revenue assurance course provided by the naughty people at Ossidian, and via their chums at Xpert Learning. This is copied from their brochure.

* define the role of ‘revenue assurance’ for a telecommunications service provider
* identify the activities involved in ensuring billing integrity
* identify strategies for managing account and usage fraud, and bad debt
* identify strategies for managing customer credit
* identify collection management strategies
* define ‘customer churn’ and identify strategies for managing it
* identify how customer service and revenue assurance demands may be balanced
* identify the role of the billing system in revenue assurance

Excuse me, but where is the revenue assurance? This is a course about managing customer payments and debts. Of course, somebody should manage customer payments and debt. Good idea. But not a new idea. I suspect even the most idiotic telco makes an attempt to do that. And they have been doing that for a lot longer than people have been doing revenue assurance. Probably you find out in the ubiquitous “definition” introduction that revenue assurance is defined to be pretty much the same as managing customer payments and debt. Ummm. Defining revenue assurance whatever you want it to be does make it easy to sell a revenue assurance course – you simply define revenue assurance to mean the same as something you do know something about, dust off an old course (for example, a course on managing customer payments) and slap the words “revenue assurance” on top. Easy money rolls in as people trying to learn about revenue assurance get a course about something they had no interest in. Presumably the training company hopes to get away with this because the customer will be so ignorant they will not even know they have been scammed out of their money.

Well, revenue assurance has been defined, once and for all. Who needs a training company to define revenue assurance? The industry definition – agreed by people who actually work in revenue assurance – is in the TeleManagement Forum’s Revenue Assurance overview. Thankfully, there are some training companies that have the good sense to write courses based on what industry is doing, instead of just sticking a new name on their rubbish old material. Here comes a plug for the good people at the Billing College, who also give a definition in their revenue assurance course – the industry definition.

Of course, if you really want to learn how people do revenue assurance, I suggest you keep coming back here ;)

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.