By Ben Bannister, Product Marketing
Last month, MACH announced the acquisition of telecommunications software provider Optel Informatik, a specialist in the provision of fraud management, revenue assurance and data retention solutions for global communications services providers. Building on MACH’s already strong proposition in the space, this acquisition will further enable us to evolve our existing roaming fraud and revenue assurance services towards the creation of a comprehensive revenue protection platform for all domestic and international services. Furthermore, it will also enable MACH to start offering in-memory computing technology for real-time data analytics, as well as a cost-effective and flexible data retention and retrieval solution capable of handling large amounts of data – so-called ‘Big Data’ transactions.
Telecoms fraud and revenue assurance issues continue to challenge operators across the world. Recent figures from the Communications Fraud Control Association indicate that annual global fraud losses for the industry amount to approximately $80bn. Faced with an increasingly competitive market landscape and declining ARPU, operators can ill-afford to disregard revenue loss of this magnitude.
It is within this context that the wider concept of ‘revenue protection’ and the strong business case for our recent acquisition comes to the fore. As a concept, revenue protection provides operators with the opportunity to treat three interlinked processes (revenue assurance, fraud management and partner settlement) within the framework of a unified entity. Instead of operating three broadly similar process silos, each with its own applications, operators should consider instead to deploy a single integrated revenue protection platform, to assure revenue, manage risk, enhance margins and provide a valuable source of information for strategy development.
There is a clear need for improved alignment between the objectives and processes associated with revenue assurance, fraud management and partner settlement. With broadly common objectives, revenue assurance and fraud management functions can be provided with a common reporting and business intelligence foundation. This is all the more logical given that these processes already use the same source of data for many of their activities.
Such an integrated platform approach can provide tangible cost benefits, in terms of both the economies associated with process alignment as well as efficiency gains and revenue improvement. Reconciliation processes, case tools and dashboards can also be shared across all functions. Revenue protection allows revenue assurance and fraud management functions to operate together, so that data from separate activities can be combined into a single report, dashboard or application workflow.
Using this approach, our expanded revenue protection platform will allow operators to augment operational business intelligence by enabling them to evaluate revenue, cost and profit margin at more discrete levels. With this enhanced level of control, operators will be in a position to benefit from increased efficiencies and economies of scale and will be liberated to develop and deliver the services required to maintain a competitive edge in an increasingly complex market.