Cover your Assets: Risk Protection

The leakage problem is magnified by the sheer number of new services coming online, retail channels, and payment options.

Risk reduction begins with visibility

In highly-saturated, competitive markets like North America and Europe, there is only so much top-line revenue to spread around--looking for leaks and stopping them is crucial to business performance. The problem: often times the leaks drip away, un-noticed. According to research from KPMG, 41 percent of RA teams fail to identify more than half of total leakages.

Consider the following findings from Ernst and Young: “Visibility and transparency of leakage remains a concern. Five percent of respondents can’t assess their revenue leakage and over 20% of respondents can’t assess fraud leakage. Even for those operators who can assess some portion of their losses, it is likely that 100% visibility is not yet attained”

Where are leaks occurring? The seams between the numerous BSS systems are one area of concern. KPMG says leakage is due in part to new transformational projects (including new technology, network and billing system migration) and poor billing system integration.

The introduction of LTE and the move to all-IP traffic presents another challenge. Revenue assurance systems must have visibility into packet traffic, or else they are obsolete.

New digital services are also prone to leakage. Traditional revenue assurance solutions weren’t designed to accommodate these dynamics—they can’t peer inside packet traffic or offer visibility into the wide breadth of activities.  Mobile money, for example, offers a promising new revenue opportunity for service providers. Orange has already added 10 million customers to its mobile money service. How can a traditional RA platform, which was designed for voice networks, ensure that mobile money isn’t slipping through the cracks?

Complex interconnect agreements and value-add services from third-parties also introduce numerous new leakage vectors. Visibility into all of these cases is table stakes for a modern RA solution.

Need for next-gen tools

Legacy revenue assurance systems do a great job of making sure customers are appropriately charged for phone calls, and enforcing charges when data caps and call volume limits are exceeded. Unfortunately they don’t accommodate the leakage scenarios of the future very well. Fortunately, numerous vendors offer the kind of RA solution that has deep visibility into all of the outlined scenarios.

WeDo Technologies, a Portugal-based company that is the market leader in RA, calls its toolset RAID. Now in its seventh iteration, RAID has the tools CSPs need to ensure money isn’t leaking through the many cracks in today’s complex business environment. Platform Integrity (PI), a module of RAID.7, validates information across multi-vendor and multi-technology business support systems – across the operator infrastructure – and identifies information inconsistencies that can lead to revenue leakage. Another tool, Usage Control, monitors xDR creation to ensure no consumed services go unbilled. Other tools in the RAID.7 toolbox include a pre-paid balance validator and a business process analyzer.

Catarina Silva, who heads up revenue assurance for Zon Optimus, a leading telco in Portugla, gave WeDo a ringing endorsement. “Having a flexible and modular tool [RAID] allowed us to deal with the changes resulting from business and technological environment, continually improving our business over the past few years.”

Subex, another leader in RA, calls its complete toolkit the Revenue Operations Center (ROC). A notable addition in recent years is ROC Partner Settlement, a tool that identifies and stops leaks in multi-service settlement frameworks that are increasingly popular. Vinod Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, explained the advantages of this tool in late 2013. “With a new approach to billing & settlements, ROC Partner Settlement provides a new age user interface approach of targeting a gamut of next generation services as against just traditional services such as voice, thus helping carriers to handle assorted sets of content and data services in a converged solution.”


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