Each quarter ATS will be sitting down with a revenue assurance, billing, or network expert from carriers around the world. We’ll ask the questions and bring you the answers. Would you like to submit a question for the next interview, or would you like to be the person we interview? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This quarter, we took a trip down to the Dominican Republic to talk with Carmen Mejia, Revenue Assurance Manager at Claro. Carmen has been in the telecom industry for nearly 30 years across various departments at Claro and has vast experience in fraud and revenue assurance.
Guthrie: How many years have you worked at Claro and what path led you to your current role in revenue assurance?
Mejia: I have been working for Codetel/Claro for 28 years. America Movil has now unified both branches. I have worked as Manager in the Fraud Department for approximately 7 years and as a Revenue Assurance Manager for approximately 3 years.
Guthrie: As a carrier in the Caribbean, what is unique to your revenue assurance practices?
Mejia: Basically every company has its own outlook and priorities with respect to revenue assurance. For example, Revenue Assurance chains in the Telecommunication industry in general, are the same. The procedures and technological platform used by the company to provide service to the client is what changes. America Movil designs a set of metrics and procedures that allow the RA team to monitor all aspects of the operation. In our case we complement that with a set of tools that give us ability to extract and process data from transactional systems that support the operation, analyze and detect revenue leakage.
Guthrie: How important is revenue assurance to the senior management at Claro?
Mejia: Revenue assurance in Claro drives many of the important decisions made by managers. That is not to say that the recommendations of revenue assurance managers are always implemented but RA managers have a strong voice in decision making. One of the RA functions that provides value to the company is our statistical analysis. For example, our RA tools can show us if we are recording too many or too few minutes, if we see an unexpected line increases or decreases, or if the revenue forecasts don’t match the actual revenue It is the job of the RA team to set the understand the business process, set the control points, monitor the statistical tools and close the gaps in order to detect, prevent, or stop revenue leakage.
Guthrie: What will your company be doing to improve the customer experience?
Mejia: Customer service is the main goal in our company. The company consistently makes investments in our infrastructure with the objective of providing high quality products for a reasonable price. In a market such as the Dominican Republic, price is very important. We try to give our clients a balance between price and quality.
Guthrie: How has the shift towards wireless service impacted the way your team approaches revenue assurance?
Mejia: Wireless is a dynamic world. Our challenge is to monitor results accurately in order to determine the causes of unexpected results. Our RA team is always trying to determine what it is happening (e.g. revenue leakage or fraud?). We sacrifice size of the samples to analyze in order to make faster decisions. As soon as you know what is causing the issue, get it fixed, time is money. This means that you will probably not have a deep and complete analysis, but the most important thing is detect the gap, stop it, and prevent it as soon as possible.
Guthrie: What role does data analytics play for you and your team?
Mejia: Data analytics is the heart of our operation. Without it you cannot make any recommendation, design controls, close gaps or prevent leakage. The main capabilities that a RA member needs to have are: search for information, analysis capabilities, conceptual thought, and a goal in mind.
Guthrie: What is your opinion on the need for executive dashboards in revenue assurance?
Mejia: Designing a revenue assurance dashboard should be a goal of RA team, because it allows you to be focused on the vital aspects by generating alarms in a timely fashion in case of unexpected results. The RA umbrella is so big that we have had to prioritize what we measure. One of the things we discovered is that the dashboard needs to be designed with input from senior managers as well as operational managers. Again our goal is to ensure that we maximize our revenue. All of our metrics ensure that this happens.
Guthrie: Where will your revenue assurance organization be in 3 years? What areas look promising for adding value?
Mejia: In three years we need to be capable of preventing leakage instead of just detecting it. Our main focus is to shorten the time of detection and to ensure we monitor the correct control points. We will be focusing on making sure that our dashboard will be user friendly and accessible to all managers that need current data. Our long term goal will be to prevent revenue leakage. In addition, our RA goals will be to evolve to the point where we can accurately predict behavior in key result areas (minutes, revenue, ARPU) depending on different scenarios or possible future decisions. RA can provide important information and analysis that support business strategies and help the executives of the company to make the right decisions.
Guthrie: Thank you very much for your time Carmen.
Mejia: Thank you.