How would you describe the Business Assurance concept?

Business Assurance is essentially about using systems to improve operational effectiveness and manage risk.

Why do operators need to adopt a Business Assurance approach?

In today’s competitive market, improving the P&L is an essential focus for telecom operators. That makes identifying revenue leakage, a vital part of an operator’s business. From service provision to the money collection, there are a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong –especially if we take in consideration the emerging risks from technologies such as full IP networks.

Plenty of operators are already using an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) strategy in their business. How is Business Assurance different?

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is a good concept and a fundamental part of what any organization should integrate into their business assurance strategy. The downside here is that ERM tends to identify risks that can affect an organization’s performance. ERM strategies tend to focus on the negative side and bad impacts that some events can have on a business. Moreover, ERM approaches tend to overemphasize the financial/accounting measures and processes as a mean of quantifying and controlling an organization’s business performance. Business Assurance goes beyond the risk discipline – it tries to quantify what really matters to organizations and their stakeholders, to show how they can improve their systems, and businesses, which ultimately leads to overall business performance improvement.

Operators are already doing revenue assurance and fraud management. Isn’t that enough?

Many service providers today still use metrics in silo to measure overall business performance. Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management are examples of two different processes that you will want to monitor to understand your business’ overall performance. Identifying a structured and relational approach between them and other areas ensures that your organization fully understands the interdependence between processes, systems, and data that impact performance. This is what we call a Business Assurance strategy. While Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management generate their own metrics, Business Assurance will correlate the metrics between the two areas to understand their impact on the business overall and how they relate to areas such as collections or billing.

How do you benchmark business assurance?

Understanding the performance of your business is a critical aspect for improvement. Knowing how you compare to the industry in key operational areas will guide your transformation investment. Business Metrics and Benchmarking Program participation is free to service provider members of the TM Forum and that allows you to compare your business and operational performance against the rest of the industry, providing the critical information you need to shape future decisions.

A Telecoms.com webinar, Business Assurance: Managing Data to Mitigate Risk, produced in conjunction with WeDo Technologies is being broadcast on Tuesday October 9th at 3pm UK time. To register for this webinar click here.

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