I have heard knowledge is power; however the road to knowledge is often quite difficult and certainly is not always clear. The acquisition of data and information must be one leg of the journey. Nevertheless, these components must be combined with perspective and sound judgment, as information is only useful when you know how to apply it. And, of course, understanding is a pivotal step on the way to knowledge, as well. After all, being able to perform a procedure is great, but if you understand it, then you know why the process was developed, and how to modify it when something changes.
The reason I bring this up is because, in everything GRAPA does, we strive to help our members grow in their knowledge of Revenue Assurance. Through our benchmarks and standards book, we try to provide data and information, and various perspectives and judgments can be discussed on our blogs and social networking forums, like LinkedIn and Facebook. However, the best way to use GRAPA as a tool to build Revenue Assurance understanding, is through our training events.
Now, I am certainly not trying to diminish the value of the other services GRAPA provides; however, I feel comfortable saying this is the most effective and efficient way GRAPA can help members expand their Revenue Assurance knowledge and understanding.
I believe this is because GRAPA’s training, whether it is a two day crash course, one week core certification curriculum, or a two week advanced program, is dedicated to presenting the whole Revenue Assurance picture. While many might automatically connect Revenue Assurance to control implementation, we recognize it is only a small part of the job, and that most of the Revenue Assurance role revolves around performing forensics. GRAPA training goes in-depth on each facet of the Revenue Assurance Lifecycle - forensics, controls, compliance, and corrections - and makes sure professionals understand the complete Revenue Assurance process and why it is so valuable to their Telco.
Moreover, GRAPA recognizes it is difficult to assure a domain or line of business without having the end-to-end picture of how the systems and processes work at a fundamental level. In that sense, Revenue Assurance professionals need to have a solid grasp on how almost everything works, from network to mediation systems to convergent billing systems, to interconnect and roaming. That being said, GRAPA training, presents a full picture for each of them, but still approaches them from a truly Revenue Assurance and, at times, fraud perspective.
This is what knowledge is all about. As an example, while having a list of the GRAPA standard controls for the prepaid line of business is great, and certainly useful for a Revenue Assurance professional, once one fully appreciates how the line of business functions, where the greatest risks are, and the concepts behind it, a more complete knowledge can be attained. As a line of business changes or a new product becomes available, professionals can figure out for themselves what controls should be in place because they have the background knowledge to do so with integrity.
GRAPA's president, Rob Mattison, has explained that our training is more than just teaching professionals how to perform forensics and implement controls for specific areas (Interconnect, CAMEL, MBanking). It is about providing a methodology for Revenue Assurance professionals that can help them to do their job, regardless of what gets thrown at them in the future.
I believe this is an accurate appraisal of what GRAPA events are all about. While professionals walked away with standard controls for a plethora of domains and lines of business, and with a few other tips and tricks for many of the newer technologies and products, it seemed they achieved something more valuable. The knowledge and the confidence that they understand Telco Revenue Assurance, and that as new products and technologies continue to develop, they have the approach and methods to be ready to assure them successfully.
Posted By GRAPA Staff 11:30 am