They say what goes around, comes around. Mark Yelland, formerly responsible for revenue assurance at Cable & Wireless, and currently boss of revenue assurance at Thus, must be pondering that proverb right now. He is by no means the only person in revenue assurance to have C&W on his curriculum vitae (you include me amongst the C&W RA alumni) but he might just be the first person involuntarily forced to list it a second time. Though Yelland left C&W some years ago, C&W’s proposed acquisition of Thus seems likely to take him back to his old employer. Good luck to Mark, and I hope that if the takeover takes place, Mark will enjoy the new challenges posed, and not be facing the same ones he tackled once before!
This little story serves as a timely reminder that revenue assurance will not be immune of the effects of consolidation in the telecommunications industry. Like a game of musical chairs, people have been swapping places for many years, but the number of seats reduces over time. The impact of consolidation has been disguised whilst telcos have been setting up new revenue assurance teams, but there are far fewer greenfield opportunities than before. The merry-go-round (in this case, a Yelland-go-round) is slowing down. That may be good for the discipline in some ways, as effort will shift from the induction of raw recruits to getting better performance from experienced staff. However, it will also cause discomfort for those worried about keeping a seat in the game, especially with job losses occurring at revenue assurance vendors. In terms of total staff, telecommunications revenue assurance may have already hit a peak and be on a decline. This could be the high water mark for numbers employed worldwide. In honour of Mark’s round journey, perhaps we should be calling this the Yelland high water mark ;) though I am confident that Mark’s career will be a case of onwards and upwards.