Guy Maidan, Head of partner business development for Amdocs’ Revenue Management Business Unit, outlines how to ensure that implementation of new billing and charging systems will help maximize revenue and margin, and prevent revenue leakage, resulting in increased service provider satisfaction.
As service providers roll out new technologies (such as LTE), and enable new business offers for cloud services, mobile money, machine-to-machine platforms, etc., they use new billing and charging models to harness their big usage data. These new models allow service providers to proactively offer personalized services and monetize them in the data era, but they aren’t free of challenges. Service providers will have to upgrade their existing billing and charging systems, or obtain a new system (in some cases).
While the introduction of a new or upgraded billing and charging systems bring enormous benefits, the transformation itself is a complex project that must be carefully managed. When you change one of your business support systems, you inevitably impact a wide range of IT systems used by the organization. As these systems have typically been supplied by multiple vendors, glitches can creep in, damaging the customer experience or causing revenue leakage.
Monitor the impact on other systems
In a transformation project, Amdocs takes full responsibility for ensuring a new billing system works flawlessly, yet some elements of a service provider’s IT architecture may fall outside this domain. For these elements, service providers should adopt a holistic transformation view. For example, a billing transformation might have a significant impact on an ordering system, a product catalog or a customer care system that has been developed in-house. Unless all implications are carefully monitored, these systems could misinterpret information, mistakenly give customers a discount or make other costly errors.
Service providers typically take advantage of the transformation opportunity to rationalize their service propositions, eliminate aging price plans/service propositions and consolidate offerings to improve operational efficiency. But the process of transferring customers from one tariff to another can result in errors, causing revenue leakages.
To make the transformation as smooth as possible, service providers must operate a Revenue Assurance service that oversees all processes, with a comprehensive view of how the switch to the new billing system is impacting other systems. The Revenue Assurance service must ensure that neither customer data nor revenue is lost, and that the transformation doesn’t have other unwanted side effects. Even if a service provider already has a Revenue Assurance system, it needs to check that the feeds into that system are updated.
The Revenue Assurance service should reveal potential risks (tracking the quality of the data after the new system implementation) and also find (and close) loopholes in the processes associated with new business. The net result should be identification, quantification and mitigation of the project’s risk.
At Amdocs, we work closely with cVidya, our partnership with cVidya supports our commitment to our customers by helping us ensure that transformation projects are executed smoothly, while optimizing revenue and margin. We have achieved this by deploying cVidya’s Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management solutions on top of our existing portfolio. We have worked together on several joint implementations, making it straightforward for service providers to deploy our systems in parallel.
The earlier, the better…
Service providers should consider Revenue Assurance from the outset of a transformation project. If they delay, they will be vulnerable to risks and unnecessary leakage of revenues. By employing a revenue assurance service and deploying revenue assurance solutions simultaneously, with billing and charging systems upgrades, service providers will be well-protected against revenue leakage.
In short, implementation of revenue assurance governance is the best way to minimize the risks during a complex systems integration process. Remember the old adage: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.