By Joseph George, Director Revenue Protection & Interconnect
The growing sophistication of cloud-based telecoms solutions can provide a model answer to the ongoing issue of revenue assurance for operators. A cloud-based model avoids the need to acquire and implement a software based revenue assurance solution altogether, while ensuring that all of the process control elements can still be performed, including data warehousing, online reporting and the provision of revenue assurance dashboards and alerts for pro-active decision support.
A cloud-based approach to revenue assurance removes the CAPEX cost issues associated with revenue assurance system acquisition, while continuing to support the revenue assurance check and reconciliation processes expected from a conventional software based approach. If we consider the cloud as simply an extension of an operator’s existing IT infrastructure, then the move to a cloud-based model for revenue assurance is both logical and, from a cost perspective, highly desirable. Cloud-based revenue assurance solutions should be capable of performing all the data collection, validation and verification services based on input streams from multiple sources, including event records, customer data, partner data etc.
A hybrid environment, including the use of cloud-based analytics, data warehousing, correlation and reconciliation, can also be deployed. This provides an operator’s revenue assurance team with online reporting, dashboards and alerts, supported by data processing and data warehousing, and a revenue assurance monitoring and processing capability entirely external to the operator’s in-house IT environment. The hybrid approach can be further extended to incorporate third party services providing part of the revenue assurance management process. For example, a third party service provider might undertake to perform CDR reconciliation, leakage analysis, rating verification, service cross-checks, or database analysis, with the results of such analysis being made available to the network operator’s revenue assurance team via a secure web portal.