In today’s highly competitive telecoms markets, communications service providers need to constantly battle to improve margins and maximize revenues. New products and services provide CSPs with the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition, but the complexity and rapidly evolving nature of these offerings also provide ample opportunities for revenue to seep through the cracks.
As CSPs seek to leverage new business opportunities in fast-growing markets such as mobile data, apps and content services, the opportunities for billing errors increase due to the novel billing plans and time-to-market constraints. Revenue leakage can not only impact the carrier's bottom line also have knock-on effects in the extended value chain of partners that lies behind new service offerings.
Atos Revenue Assurance is a software solution that helps CSPs reduce leakage and fraud. It spans the entire value chain, from service definition to revenue collection, and offers a proactive approach to revenue assurance that goes beyond the "fire fighting" role traditionally assigned to the revenue assurance function.
Left on the table
In the past decade, revenue assurance has come of age and almost all CSPs now have a dedicated RA function.
Nevertheless, many still prefer to play down the importance of revenue leakage and fraud, even though it is an industry-wide phenomenon and one that has important repercussions. According to a recent KPMG survey, more than a third of CSPs admit to leaking in excess of 1 percent of their total revenues, while a fifth are leaking more than 10 percent.
If you cannot correctly bill your customers your business is at risk on two fronts. Most attention focuses on undercharges as the revenue that leaks out of billing systems directly impacts the top-line. Over the longer term, above-average levels of leakage can seriously undermine the economic competitiveness of a CSP particularly if it operates in markets where ARPU growth is modest or even negative.
But overcharges are equally dangerous. Charging more than the contracted rate for a service leads to more calls to the call center, reduced customer satisfaction and increased churn. In more serious cases, it can result in negative media coverage and even regulatory action.
Data driving growth
In the past, CSP initiatives to stem leakage and fight fraud were predominantly focused on voice services, particularly in areas such as international revenue sharing or interconnect fraud. But the spectacular growth in smartphones and mobile data usage experienced in recent years creates fresh challenges. New pricing plans designed to drive data usage are not easy to implement with traditional billing systems and the greater complexity creates more opportunities for leakage and fraud.
Atos Revenue Assurance is a field-proven revenue assurance solution designed to help CSPs proactive manage leakage and fraud issues, and so recover revenue that otherwise would be left on the table. It can identify and reclaim revenue leakages and discrepancies in networks, OSSs and BSSs, and supports virtually all telecom business areas, including prepay and postpay, wholesale and retail, Internet services, mobile content, TV, interconnect, roaming and dealers. The solution is offered in conjunction with cVidya, an Atos partner, and the industry leader in revenue assurance.
Atos has extensive experience in delivering IT integration projects in the telecoms sector, which is particularly important if a revenue assurance initiative is to deliver its expected benefits. Systems integration is a major headache for CSPS and mature operators may have built up a range of systems for billing, mediation and interconnect systems which often do not talk to each other well. In addition to these challenges, vendors are constantly releasing new applications for value-added services, while different switch manufacturers use different data formats. Integrating a mishmash of platforms and a variety of legacy, green-field and acquired operations is not a job for the faint-hearted. But it is the type of task that Atos relishes.
Atos Revenue Assurance: fight revenue leakage proactively
Business Development Director Telecom