The Year In Revenue Assurance

A year ago, I proclaimed December 2 to be International Revenue Assurance Day. I did not ask permission from anyone else, I just did it. Nobody complained so I assume you are all happy with the decision ;)

One year on, I have a cold, and it is raining in my part of the world, so celebrations have been muted. Nevertheless, here is a lowdown on what has happened in the world of Revenue Assurance over the last year.

December 2006
US firm TMNG buys Cartesian, the niche revenue assurance software and consulting business

January 2007
Subex Azure rebrands their products
with names that sound like STDs

The UK television phone poll scandal begins with the admission that X-Factor voters were overcharged

The phone poll scandal rolls on, with Vodafone UK unable to deliver SMS votes in time

EMI agrees to sell DRM-free music via Apple’s iTunes which begs the question of how much telcos will be able to charge for music in future

Meanwhile, Vodafone UK admits to another cock-up, this time with revenue share

And elsewhere, prepay vouchers worth a quarter of a million dollars are stolen from Ghana Telecommunications stores

Eurocrats agree to cap roaming rates

cVidya beats rivals Subex Azure by securing a revenue assurance contract with BT

East buys West once again, when Patni acquires Logan-Orviss

Fed up with the fantasy world of self-appointed revenue assurance certification bodies, I finally stop biting my lip and start complaining about GRAPA

Back in the real world of telecoms standard-setting bodies, the TMF publishes its new revenue assurance KPI standard

The good news is that the annual Subex Azure/Analysys revenue assurance survey comes out with the same conclusion as always: that there is lots more money to be made by Subex Azure and everyone else working in revenue assurance

The bad news is that Subex Azure has to downgrade its revenue and profits forecast after a major customer delays expenditure

And the not sure if good or bad news is that Portugese firm WeDo buys Cape and claims to become the world leader in revenue assurance as a result

It is looking like a year to forget for Vodafone UK as they suffer yet more problems with billing

The problem of DRM and revenue assurance for music downloads is solved by Radiohead, who allow their fans to pay whatever they like in exchange for their new album

The spending spree continues at WeDo, which acquires Praesidium

Indian regulator TRAI demands refunds for complaining customers, showing no sympathy for telcos that cannot provide data to substantiate their bills

Just before close of business on November 30th, UK regulator Ofcom delivers the draft of its new version of the metering and billing accuracy standard, a mere six months behind schedule… but I have not had time to read it all yet because I keep falling asleep (though it looks pretty much like the same old stuff)

Staying on the topic of the same old stuff… GRAPA finally issue the ‘much needed’ standards they promised, after many months of cutting and pasting the content from President Mattison’s book… how very democratic of them :P

Phew, what a lot has happened. Revenue assurance is a year older, but is it any wiser?

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.