Revenue Assurance is a Silo!!!

Been away for a while now, but on the way back, I got something which has become very, very clear. The way RA is currently being viewed by most Telco’s tends to give me the impression that RA is well on its way to being silo-ized.

Having siloed systems with no interaction/feedback moving through the value chain is one of the reasons for revenue leakages in the first place. Like for example, the switching team introduces a patch that causes a difference in the normal product stamping in the downstream systems. However, the news of this patch being applied is suppressed (perhaps because it might be a quick-fix for an earlier issue that was not highlighted). As a result, as the mediation teams have not got any updates, the incorrectly stamped XDRs are summarily being rejected.

Imagine a scenario where a RA department doesnt disseminate findings immediately, but instead wait for a weekly review or they mail a department of a finding, but due to an ineffective work-flow management, the issue is suppressed. Suddenly the switch and mediation teams are face to face with issues which could have effectively been culled at a grass-root level, but because of linear propagation, the patch has been transferred to other elements, which has effectively bloated up a minor issue.

Though this isnt in the truest sense a silo-izing of the RA department, it becomes critical for operators to not only have a good RA methodology or a good team, but it also becomes important to implement a solid, leak-proof work-flow and processes which govern the entire life cycle of a discrepancy, by which I mean,

Detection -> Investigation ->  Root Cause Identification -> Qualification -> Quantification -> Resolution

As someone in charge, I should be able to track, at least at a high level, the status of a particular issue with respect to the above flow.

I’ve heard a little story about Japanese fishermen throwing small sharks into fish tanks, so that the fish are kept in a constant state of activity, and when they reach shore, the fish would be suprisingly fresh. The point I’m trying to make is that for true RA coverage, it isnt enough to simply identify issues but it is also critical to be able to track it to closure. If the fish represent the discrepancies that were discovered, the shark would allude to vigilance on the part of telcos in being able to track progress/resolution. Else, all we get are rotten fish, a.k.a. lost findings.

Ashwin Menon
Ashwin Menon
Ashwin Menon is the Head of Product at Subex. He has also been a consultant and he began his foray into revenue assurance as an implementation on-site engineer.