I was recently interviewed about global numbering data – by that I mean databases of all international fixed and mobile number ranges for revenue assurance and margin optimisation.
The person I was talking to was surprised to learn that I’ve never met a revenue assurance (RA) function that tries to produce this database for itself. Here are the five main reasons why:
Resource – most RA teams simply don’t have the manpower. The collation of this numbering data requires two full-time employees for a telco, at the total operational cost of around £100 to £150K per annum. Why bother, when you can outsource this work for a fraction of the cost and effort?
Time – as you can imagine, the scale of the database makes keeping it up-to-date an extremely time-consuming task. This not only causes problems with the timeliness of data, but can also be very demotivating for skilled RA analysts. And, it’s an ongoing requirement, so there’s never light at the end of the tunnel!
Skillsets – as for the skillsets involved, there is a need to contact overseas regulators and communicate in languages such as French and Spanish too. Not necessarily something every in-house RA team should be expected to do.
Accuracy– literally thousands of codes need to be accurately managed. In a small revenue assurance team, this leaves way too much room for error.
Audit Trail – the database needs to be up to scrutiny. The telco should be ready to produce auditable evidence at the drop of a hat, especially if a telco customer ever decides to challenge a bill. It does happen. I’ve even known a customer produce fake documentation from overseas carriers in order to have their home phone bills unfairly reduced!