Business Assurance: A Framework Aggregating Traditional, New Risk and Assurance Disciplines

Telcos have traditionally used Revenue Assurance to find leakages and track revenue streams. However, the rapidly changing telecom assurance space requires more. With digitalization greatly increasing the overall risks for telcos and, the pressing need to succeed in today’s multi-service and multi-disciplinary services world there is an imperative need for telecom assurance to shift beyond revenue-only assurance (whose primary focus is an emphasis on EBITDA) to Business Assurance.

Business assurance integrates assurance and risk management disciplines into an overall proactive data-centric assurance framework, intending to continuously protect and improve financial integrity, while also enhancing business value and customer experience.

Embracing Business Assurance—an urgent need for telcos

Business Assurance growth is estimated to rise to $64.4 billion by 2025 as opposed to Revenue Assurance growth which was at $2.9 billion in 2019. In the present ecosystem—with a complex, digital economy consisting of partners and OTT players—telcos have expanded into the realm of content providers offering entertainment streaming, current affairs consumption, shopping, and many more options.

In this context, incorporating Business Assurance can play a vital role for several reasons: increased market growth leading to increased risk factors; the mandatory need for real-time controls; key risks that arise from a lack of adequate business process controls of business processes; additional control requirements due to the increased emphasis on privacy, security, and regulatory enforcement; the scope of Revenue Assurance being restricted to small business silos; and the progressively complex multi-service products being offered by telcos.

All of the above points an urgent need for a framework that functions proactively in the value chain. It also helps to ensure agility in digital transformation projects and encourages accountability. For telcos currently on a digital transformation journey Business Assurance ensures end-to-end monitoring systems and serves as a second line of active security for a very complicated digital environment.

Business Assurance can transform billing and revenue management and product performance

Business Assurance enables telcos to bring a significant difference to billing and revenue management and product performance.

The role of billing is becoming increasingly important as Communication Service Providers (CSPs) try to build greater value and loyalty through partnerships and customer relationships. The fierce competition between CSPs and the challenge from over-the-top (OTT) digital service providers means that the opportunity to deliver multi-service bundling with cross-product promotions and rewards, all on a single invoice, is now a vital success factor.

Similarly, optimal product performance is vital for telcos to compete effectively. Improving customer service requires better management of telecommunications efficiency through efficient network metric collection and monitoring. Also, decision-makers require effective monitoring to help successful strategic network investment decisions. Growing traffic and the introduction of advanced monitoring technologies mean that there is an immediate need to process vast quantities of data in near real-time.

Business Assurance assures multiple benefits

The adoption of a Business Assurance strategy would produce tangible business results for communications service providers (CSPs) in the short and long term. Telcos can gain from

  • Providing amplified customer service – by expanding assurance coverage to the whole consumer experience journey. This new approach to ‘business care’ will have a positive impact on ‘customer care’ by ensuring greater consistency in CSP interactions with their customers.
  • Reaching new levels in digital maturity – introducing Business Assurance puts physical and logical assets under one umbrella that is critical to success in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital services, where end-to-end integration is central.
  • Increasing trust – implementing Business Assurance creates faith by providing veritable results to consumers and partners. In turn, it helps CSPs manage risks and threats to their company in an expanded environment by concentrating on financial integrity.
  • Building momentum within the internal community – increasing team morale and improving success in different areas by setting higher goals.
  • Achieving real and measurable economic profit –finally, Business Assurance enables CSPs to quantify their success through profits.

Business Assurance is the way forward

CSPs have been at the forefront of incorporating emerging technologies in their roadmaps and are ready to deliver innovative assurance solutions as new technologies allow. While it is true that it will take time to create a rich and reliable Business Assurance system, incorporating such a system is definitely the way forward.

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