Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

  • Home becomes HoT spot for IoT

    on Jun 27, 14 • in Beyond Billing, M2M, News, Opinion • with No Comments

    Home becomes HoT spot for IoT

    The home front has become the new battlefront to capture the hearts, minds and dollars of the connected generation. The battle to own the customer is definitely shifting to who owns the home because it has multiple connections that are growing daily with the explosion in M2M and connected devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) may need to be renamed Home of Things (HoT) if this continues. Even the Connected Car will join in when it’s parked in the home garage space. If you think I’m dreaming just take a look at the slew of

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  • The BillingViews Easter Guide to Customer Service

    on Apr 17, 14 • in Beyond Billing, News, Opinion, Policy Management • with No Comments

    The BillingViews Easter Guide to Customer Service

    See if you recognize yourself from this ‘cut out and keep’ guide on how not to provide customer service. BillingViews decided, with regret, to change broadband provider. The reason for this is that the old provider of broadband could not, um, provide broadband. So the call was made, the deal was done and the date was fixed for the changeover. At some point during this day, the old provider would stop providing and the new provider would start providing. As you would imagine, the old provider stopped providing just before 9.00 a.m. Being just a

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  • Europe’s net neutrality ruling is in no one’s interest

    on Apr 8, 14 • in Beyond Billing, Featured Blogs, News, Opinion • with 1 Comment

    Europe’s net neutrality ruling is in no one’s interest

    EU parliamentarians voted last week for a far reaching net neutrality law that will bar telecom operators from charging extra for delivering faster services.   According to the press release issued by the European Parliament, “MEPs want clear rules to prevent internet access providers from promoting some services at the expense of others…internet access should be provided in accordance with the principle of net neutrality.” While mobile operators have been known to block or slow down OTT services such as Skype, most recognize that this is not what their customers want.  The success of services

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  • Size matters… and also what you do with it

    on Jan 13, 14 • in Beyond Billing, Big Data, News, Opinion • with 2 Comments

    Size matters… and also what you do with it

    Big Data. BIG Data. Big Big Big Data. There are some arguments about how to define Big Data, but I think the name pretty much explains itself. It is data, and it is big. What makes Big Data interesting is that technology now allows us to scale up all the things we always did with small data. As well as looking up and creating new data records, like books on a library shelf, we can also aggregate across the data, searching through it all, performing computations over the whole data set, and so on. When

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  • Kiss my tariff

    on Jan 6, 14 • in Billing, News, Opinion • with 4 Comments

    Kiss my tariff

    I sometimes wonder if I was fated to work in revenue assurance, possibly as punishment for the misdemeanours of a previous life. My middle initials are R and A. I am an insanely stubborn outspoken pedant. Whilst these are weaknesses in other walks of life, they were useful attributes for an RA pro. And as an individual customer, I have been plagued by incorrect bills. I have received so many incorrect bills in my life, that one of two things must be occurring in the universe. Either public claims made about the almost perfect accuracy

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  • The real cost of internet filters

    on Dec 30, 13 • in Beyond Billing, Big Data, Digital Content, News, Opinion • with No Comments

    The real cost of internet filters

    Let us be honest. Communications firms are in the business of making connections, not blocking them. And though some may deny it, many people make all sorts of unexpected connections to many other people. Just consider who has been listening to Angela Merkel’s conversations, or how London newspaper editors joke about hacking each other’s voicemail. It is an irony of human nature that we enjoy the freedom to look and listen, whilst wanting to deny that power to others. British Primeminister David Cameron has pushed British ISPs into implementing opt-out filters to “stop children stumbling

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  • Is it time to cut revenue assurance budgets?

    on Dec 17, 13 • in Beyond Billing, News, Opinion, Revenue Assurance • with 3 Comments

    Is it time to cut revenue assurance budgets?

    Revenue assurance is an upstart. For about a decade, this tyrannical tyro has busted its way into every telco, challenging both managers and systems to eliminate the errors that cause revenues to leak. It has spread globally, like a virus. Along the way, it has extorted increasing headcount and budgets from reluctant execs. However, most products and services follow a pattern of growth and decline. Circumstances change, requirements alter, rivals may conquer. Seasonal advertising will remind us that Coca-Cola is popular around the globe, 123 years after it was first made. But for each evergreen

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  • TEOCO-AIRCOM deal shows how assurance can move back to front

    on Dec 9, 13 • in Analytics, Beyond Billing, Opinion, Revenue Assurance • with 2 Comments

    TEOCO-AIRCOM deal shows how assurance can move back to front

    As somebody who likes to analyse the performance of business assurance firms, TEOCO causes me unusual headaches. Their CEO, Atul Jain, routinely insists that TEOCO is not a revenue assurance vendor. And yet, they sell margin assurance products, and cost management products, and revenue management products. They even have a switch-to-bill reconciliation product. But I can understand Atul’s point of view. Partly he is reflecting the fact that TEOCO, with its Virginia headquarters and roots in the North American market, has followed American priorities for business assurance. When European telcos were worrying about the retail

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  • Why use mobile money, when you can use Bitcoin?

    on Dec 2, 13 • in Beyond Billing, Opinion, Payments • with No Comments

    Why use mobile money, when you can use Bitcoin?

    People talk about being methodical when managing risk, but most of that talk is hooey. It is not in human nature to be methodical about risk. Or rather, as Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman has pointed out, humans use methods that are good for managing some kinds of risk, and terrible for managing others. Imagine trying to persuade somebody about the risks of share prices falling in 1928, the year before the Wall Street Crash. Or imagine reading the Basel II banking accords in 2004, and trying to convince the world that they were woefully inadequate

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  • Surge in Npower complaints reveals need for revamped assurance

    on Nov 27, 13 • in Beyond Billing, News, Opinion, Revenue Assurance • with 2 Comments

    Surge in Npower complaints reveals need for revamped assurance

    Things go wrong. Mistakes happen. That is why businesses have departments to handle customer complaints, and watchdogs keep a close eye on them. We all know this. And two big drivers of complaints are bills, and change. Everyone knows that too. So why are big businesses blighted by a recurring story, with a simple and predictable plot: they change their billing systems, and complaints go through the roof? UK energy supplier Npower recently proved the rule by generating exceptional levels of complaints following what they describe as “challenges with a new computer system”. Consumer Futures,

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