By Joseph George, Director Revenue Protection
Obvious differences exist between ‘Retail’ and ‘Wholesale’ telecoms revenue protection processes. For retail, the focus is on a broadly linear process, with measurement, reconciliation and protection designed to ensure an accurate order-to-cash flow. Wholesale revenue protection processes exhibit a divergence from the linear path. For wholesale, there is a need to manage a more web-like series of process interactions, integrating a range of inter-operator activities which also require 3rd party partner management and settlement. An understanding of the different revenue protection requirements between retail and wholesale processes is important to ensure an appropriate set of process capabilities and responses to manage your wholesale business.
There is a need for better alignment between the objectives and processes associated with Interconnect RA, which also includes wholesale fraud prevention and various partner settlement activities. The closer alignment between Interconnect RA, interconnect billing and settlement creates the need for a common Interconnect revenue management platform, taking a multi-dimensional approach to the protection of wholesale revenue. Such an integrated platform provides tangible cost benefits, in terms of process alignment and efficiency gains. The use of shared data across multiple wholesale management functions ensures a more complementary approach, such that data from separate activities can be combined into a single report, dashboard or application workflow.
With the notion of such a cross-functional interconnect revenue assurance platform in place, an operator could embrace the value of wholesale business optimization, meaning the ability to enhance revenue and profits, manage margins and minimize costs. To do this involves a more progressive approach to the use of business intelligence, going beyond standard operational reporting and dashboards, to embrace ‘Big Data’ concepts. Such an approach would provide detailed analytical and investigative capabilities to link and correlate wholesale RA and Fraud Protection with interconnect billing, routing information and partner settlement data.
Interconnect RA, fraud protection and partner management (interconnect billing, roaming & content settlement) have tended to develop in silos, each with their own processes, language and conventions. By linking these closely aligned processes, common data and platform management activity provides optimum re-use of wholesale management data. There are common process management and analytical capabilities that are re-usable across wholesale management functions. When properly implemented, these processes should be able to graduate from a focus on post-event investigations towards a more predictive and pre-emptive approach to prevent fraud, minimize interconnect and roaming costs and ensure all revenue is accounted for.
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