TMF vs. GRAPA: Which Home for RA Standards?

The debate about who should issue revenue assurance standards is rumbling onwards, but has no end in sight. GRAPA are the new kids on the block, apparently keen to take on the role of standard-setters. Meanwhile, the much bigger TMF appears to be slow to appreciate they have competition in the area of revenue assurance. A few days back I posted my blog about the risk that GRAPA will split the revenue assurance world. Over at the TMF’s community forum, I raised my concerns that the TMF has failed to get a high enough profile as standard-setters for revenue assurance. I believe many CSPs are joining GRAPA in the hope of obtaining guidance whilst unaware of the work already done by the TMF. You can see from the TMF community thread that some agree, others disagree. Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. There would be no need for revenue assurance if people never made mistakes ;) Now would be a good time to determine the true extent of industry awareness of the TMF’s revenue assurance standards. You can help the revenue assurance profession by responding to these questions:

  1. Did you know that the TMF has issued revenue assurance standards and guidance?
  2. If yes, how did you find out about the TMF’s work?
  3. Should GRAPA adopt the existing TMF standards, or create new ones?
  4. Who are your preferred standard-setters for revenue assurance: The TMF, GRAPA or some other body?

To steer the TMF and GRAPA on the right course, let them know what you think by doing the following:

  1. Post your answers to the TMF web debate about this.
  2. Leave a comment with your answers on this webpage.
  3. If you can register with GRAPA’s forums, post your views on whether they should co-operate with the TMF in setting standards.
  4. Share this with your friends and colleagues and get them to respond with their answers.

My worry is simple. Two standard-setting bodies is one too many. GRAPA is exclusive to communications providers, with no involvement from vendors or consultants apart from XiT, the tiny consulting company that founded it. TMF activity is mostly driven by vendors and consultants. If GRAPA and the TMF both issue standards without any mutual cooperation, they will split the revenue assurance profession down the middle. If you think that would be a bad thing, now is the time to let people know.

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.