Despite many transitioning to a high level of maturity in revenue assurance, some European operators are still seeing leakage that accounts for around 1.2 percent of their total revenues.

Dr Gadi Solotorevsky, CTO of vendor cVidya and newly appointed TM Forum Distinguished Fellow, told European Communications that the threat of this leakage increasing is very real as operators look to roll out new services ever more quickly.

“Operators are in a very interesting position – they are struggling to provide new services and monetise the pipe,” he said.

“I am optimistic they will continue to make money, but no one is sure exactly how just yet.”

The CTO said moves to embrace LTE, mobile money and policy-based charging were all developments that provided opportunities to generate new growth, but which also created specific challenges when it came to assuring revenue.

Gartner analyst Norbert Scholz told European Communications that for those operators focusing on new content-based services, the main problem was the added complication of including third parties into the revenue assurance dynamic.

As a result, the “old way” of taking an ad-hoc, reactive approach must be consigned to history if revenue assurance is to be successful.

“Operators need to look at revenue assurance in a different way – they need to take a proactive approach utilizing predictive techniques that incorporate risk reduction strategies and better analytics,” explained Solotorevsky.

Added Scholz: “It’s all about data now, but where does revenue assurance start and stop? It’s not a defined market any longer as revenue cuts across many of the different layers, such as business, network, service and quality assurance.”

The CTO agrees it is important for operators not to think that they could cover every eventuality.

“You need to understand the risks that are specific to your business, focus on the major ones and select controls accordingly.

“If you do this wisely and take the correct approach then it can be very effective, but you cannot do everything.”

To help operators along the way the vendor community is focused on providing more and better analytics tools as well as new models such as revenue-as-a-service and cloud-based solutions, he added.

Scholz agreed that vendors were driving innovation in this “relatively small, saturated field”.

Getting a “bird’s eye view” across the entire business is perhaps operators’ biggest challenge, according to Scholz, which is helped byt hose who continue rely on inhouse tools, such as repurposed data managements systems.

However, Scholz said operators should be wary of those vendors who are promising their systems will deliver outlandish returns on investment.

“Huge RoI is simply not what is happening out there,” he said.

It’s not all about technology.

“Operators must ensure they have an organisation-wide vision of revenue assurance – you need buy-in from everyone,” said Solotorevsky.

“Revenue assurance teams need to be part of every new project that operators undertake to help ensure a proactive approach.”

The last decade has seen some positive developments.

“Revenue assurance was a graveyard in operators 10 years ago, but now it has a lot of influence,” said Solotorevsky.

As new services roll out, the challenge will be to keep it there.

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