As the race to become digital gathers pace, telcos must focus on revenue assurance to stop potential losses.
In a recent survey sponsored by Openet and conducted by Telecoms.com, fully 90% of 117 operators said that 10% of their revenue would come from digital services in 2017. Over 30% believe this figure will be over 20%.
This is obviously tremendous news and shows that the digital journey for operators is well and truly underway.
However, with the transition to digital services – which are, let’s face it, outside the comfort zone of most traditional telcos – comes great risk. Traditional methods of assuring revenue are no longer good enough, and revenue assurance processes need to be examined and updated.
In the survey, almost a quarter of the operators said that as much as 5% of the new revenues could be lost if revenue assurance systems were not updated to address the real-time nature of the new services. As Martin Morgan, VP of marketing at Openet says, “If you are an operator with $50 billion in revenue, this means serious attention needs to be focused on this area. Over 90% of the respondents said that all the data needs to be analysed all the time to assure against this risk.”
The problem with revenue assurance in this new world is that in a traditional environment only some of the data is sampled to find anomalies. In fact, only a quarter of operators have real-time capability in their assurance systems. Over three quarters of the sample agreed that most existing revenue assurance systems will struggle to collect from real-time, virtualized networks that will carry IoT traffic, for example.
There are several factors driving the need for faster response and greater accuracy, not only the emerging regulatory requirements for greater visibility but also that many IoT type services will require 100% accuracy. There can be no margin for error. The challenge is made greater by the fact that network virtualization adds more layers of complexity to an already complex environment.
To address this challenge, 16% of operators would opt for a “rip and replace” approach to the problem, while around a third would upgrade existing systems. Almost half, however, would adopt an adjunct approach to the problem.
The conclusion must be that while it is good news that digital transformation is actually happening and will start producing significant revenue this year, assuring that revenue must be a priority for telcos on the digital journey.
You can download the webinar slides, where these finding are presented, here.