Telecom Business Assurance: Reflections from 2022 & the way ahead in 2023
As per the latest 2021-22, TM Forum survey report there has been a 2.4% increase in revenue leakage from 2019; the existing companies that carried out some form of Revenue Assurance (RA) and Business Assurance (BA) activities have already started shifting towards AI/ML-based tools. Subex recently conducted a Business Assurance survey that highlights various insights, such as how Margin Assurance emerged as the top investment area for 68.1% of telecom operators, where the focus was on optimizing costs and increasing revenue. Transformation Assurance with 5G was the second highest investment area, as indicated by 53% of respondents among other insights provided by the report.
In this article, our goal is to examine how Business Assurance took center stage in 2022 to provide advanced business insights for decision-making for CSPs. This article also touches on the top trends, and the way ahead for telecoms as per our observations from the customer discussions this year and some of the industry forums and reports.
Telcos’ value proposition for Business Assurance in 2022
While 2022 saw a wider adoption of AI & ML tools for business assurance, Telcos operating on assurance with simpler methods in 2021 observed high operating leakages. As per the 2021 RAG survey, Telcos incurred consolidated worldwide losses of $149bn, including the losses suffered by customers in operating leakages. Although it is easy to comprehend the larger impact of analytics-based Business Assurance for telecoms, evaluating key areas by CSPs gives us clear insights into operations and revenue savings.
Below are a few areas that summarize the significance and the critical need to enhance Business Assurance coverage for Telcos in 2022:
A. Launch of complex products and services:
With the introduction of next-generation services and packages like streaming music and video, the cloud, etc., telecom networks are now more vulnerable to revenue leakage attempts as online businesses.
B. Regulatory compliances:
It is challenging to keep up with regulatory obligations on both the company and client sides since rules are tightening and growing more distinct depending on the location of the operating network.
C. Technology innovation:
To keep customers motivated, CSPs must continuously develop and launch new services. Agile technology and more backend systems are often involved. Using new technologies to simplify, transform, and boost business operations.
D. B2B sales channels:
The integrity of the invoicing systems and indirect sales through wholesale and brand partners are also emphasized. It includes everything from partner contracts to configuration validation and monitoring the quality of the service provided (QoS breaches) to the customer
Business Assurance taking center stage for CSPs
Modern Business assurance is supported through four key functions:
- Active Risk Intelligence – Enables the revenue assurance practice to look beyond leakage and device ways to allow other business functions with holistic intelligence and mitigate probable risks
- Analytics-driven Business insights – Collecting, enriching, and validating data from various network sources making it a source of accurate, clean, and usable data for the various upstream process requirements
- High Availability & Scalability – Maintaining accurate visibility of network topologies and other contextual information to support decision-making
- Reduced Revenue Leakage Cycle – While we evolve to business assurance it is essential to note that traditional leakage detection is still important to ensure that no significant gaps exist within the laid-down process.
Modern telecommunications enterprises operate on a complex and dynamic ecosystem that includes several internal, external, and partner solutions and technologies, as opposed to the separate environments for which traditional Assurance platforms and operations were created.
Models and technology for assurance are developing
The evolution of Business Assurance should be understood in light of more general telecom scaling activities. Operators must be agile enough to adapt to shifting customers’ wants and new commercial possibilities in a sector that is continually evolving.
BA teams are being asked to provide coverage for more risks and assurance requirements than ever, especially in the context of new business models and services that will emerge with 5G. However, the BA headcount is not increasing in the same measure. Therefore, they are being asked to do “more, with fewer resources”. AI & ML will help in terms of process automation, corrective actions, and prioritization of the biggest risks. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be crucial in allowing this greater degree of automation for use cases like:
- Democratize toolsets: Drive business insights and improve accessibility for teams spanning multiple verticals.
- Accurate data & AI: Reduce manual intervention with end-to-end automation while improving insight accuracy through clean and validated data.
- Reduce TCO: Handle massive volumes of data while lowering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with elastic, on-demand scalability.
- Boost Operations: Identify blind spots through data and use self-healing KPIs to prioritize tasks.
Beyond automation, operators will need to put more emphasis on interoperability to satisfy client objectives. Operators will be in a better position to advance beyond KPI-driven revenue management to a more flexible and unified approach to management across services by encouraging simpler integration and operation across different and complex ecosystems.
Way ahead for CSPs with Business Assurance in 2023 and beyond
Global telecom providers regularly lose revenue over unexpected sources. Due to their razor-thin profit margins, intense competition, and ongoing attempts by scammers to defraud businesses, telecom firms cannot afford to incur more billing losses. They also cannot overcharge clients since this might result in complaints and potential base churn. In the telecom industry, Business assurance guarantees that clients are billed in accordance with the contractual agreement.
Business Assurance plays a significant role as a business enabler in this evolving digital ecosystem. Business Assurance procedures used by telecom providers must be in line with emerging technologies like 5G. Due to the limited scale of current 5G deployments, telecom companies are able to withstand any losses. Telecommunications businesses must begin modernizing their revenue assurance procedures right once, though, given the pace of 5G implementation.
Audit and control management, process monitoring, dashboards, and reporting are a few effective ways of high-level BA operations. Agility is essential for organizations undergoing digital transformation to adapt to a business and technological environment that is changing quickly. It is more important than ever to deliver on and above organizational expectations with a solid digital mindset supported by innovation.
Data makes it easier to take informed decisions based on customer preferences. Omnichannel customer interaction strategies are the need of the hour to ensure a delightful customer experience. A best-practices approach based on design-led thinking, continuous measurement, and closed-loop responsiveness to customer feedback coupled with strong digital customer experience is critical for telecom operators looking to retain customer loyalty. But Business Assurance is the future accepted formula for new-age telcos to provide a holistic solution with high-level self-reliance, Intuitive interface, ML support, data-driven decision making and efficient risk management.
See how Subex Business Assurance can help you in assuring your business.
Roshan Pandey is currently working with Subex’s Product Marketing team. He is a postgraduate in management from Symbiosis Institute of Digital and Telecom Management with Marketing as his majors. He has work experience across Marketing and sales in the IT and Telecom industry. He is a passionate public speaker and enjoys reading about technology and marketing.
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