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.

3 Comments on "TMF vs. GRAPA: Which Home for RA Standards?"

  1. Hi Eric

    Please find answers below:

    Did you know that the TMF has issued revenue assurance standards and guidance?

    > I knew that the GBA had. I made an enquiry recently to the GBA for more up-to-date KPIs, who told me they were now part of the TMF, who then directed me to the RA benchmarking standards project. I have been working with you on the TMF, so I knew there were “Maturity” standards, but wasn’t actually aware of the KPIs.

    If yes, how did you find out about the TMF’s work?

    > See above

    Should GRAPA adopt the existing TMF standards, or create new ones?

    > Interesting! I appreciate your point about too many standards being a bad thing, but the TMF KPIs are very opened-ended and risk operators using widely varying methods to calculate them. GRAPA has the potential to be an on-line survey, and depending on the format the survey could take, then it may constitute a better way to measure the KPIs!

    Who are your preferred standard-setters for revenue assurance: The TMF, GRAPA or some other body?

    > I think that remains to be seen :)

    Jane

  2. OFCOM, OFTEL, BABT.. you can have more than one body as long as they deal with different aspects of RA.

    But agreed two bodies dealing with the same thing is one too many.

  3. Hi,

    Yes, I know the TMF issued standards and have been using these although they are a bit high level. I guess it is because most of this is driven by vendors who will give enough to make you interested without giving away their IP.

    The bit that I have seen on the GRAPA site does not lead me to believe that standard would come from this community although it is refresing to see operator representation here.

    I just believe there is more to RA than TMF and GRAPA. Attending conferences always leaves me a dire need for more “substance”. Where are the real goodies that make the board members sit up and pay attention?

    Guera

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