Despite the rise in communications consumption—more devices, more data traffic, more messaging—communications service providers (CSPs) aren’t necessarily seeing more revenue. In many cases, average revenue per user (ARPU) has remained the same even as demand has increased, in large part because of the commensurate increase in competition from over-the-top (OTT) players and the commoditization of long-distance voice and messaging services. In such a market environment, the importance of revenue assurance is keenly felt by most CSPs.
Revenue assurance, as a business discipline, is all about keeping costs down and keeping revenue flowing smoothly through streamlined and more efficient operational processes around billing, routing and network utilization. It’s a simple enough goal, but hard to implement and control because of the complexity of telecommunications networks. CSPs find themselves awash in an ocean of data: call detail records (CDRs), quality of service (QoS) metrics, routing tables, rates, revenue codes, etc. To help CSPs navigate their way to profitability in this environment, revenue assurance teams rely on solutions like Orca Wave’s BlueWater Software to track, analyze and improve operational efficiencies in their business.
BlueWater helps CSPs increase revenue and reduce costs through data-driven operations that leverage best practices in revenue assurance. These best practices include:
Identify and Utilize Least Cost Routes
Least Cost Routing (LCR) is practiced by all carriers in some form or another, although LCR solutions can vary significantly in terms of the value and savings they deliver. Carriers should look for LCR solutions that can select routes based on a variety of criteria including lowest cost, highest margin and best quality of service. Route selection should be managed centrally in the network but enforced locally at the softswitch or session border controller (SBC), and updated regularly to reflect pricing/quality changes.
Streamline Code Management
Carriers have to deal with a large number of customer, routing and supplier codes, which can add complexity to business processes and result in more errors, lost revenue and lower QoS. Having a solution in place that manages and streamlines these codes protects carriers from making avoidable mistakes and enables them to better enforce quality and security while identifying new opportunities through code-based analytics.
Customize Rates for Higher Margins
Carriers need to have clear visibility into route margins in order to maintain profitability. Solutions such as BlueWater allow carriers to customize rates by country, customer or code to achieve optimal margins, and quickly broadcast those rate changes to their partners.
Monitor and Analyze Rate/Code Data
Real-time reporting helps carriers track which routes are profitable or unprofitable, QoS levels and other detailed information that can be fed back into operational intelligence in order to set rates, forecast demand and determine future revenue. If this information can be communicated in a graphical format that’s customizable and easy to understand, all the better.
Ensure That Your Revenue Assurance and Network Platforms Work Together
Revenue assurance solutions—and particularly least cost routing—rely heavily on the softswitches and session border controllers to capture call detail records, identify routes and enforce policies. Orca Wave’s BlueWater solution is designed to work seamlessly with Dialogic ControlSwitch and BorderNet products to provide more control. The synergy between the two also allows for value-added features such as credit-based call blocking at the SBC/softswitch ingress point.
For more information, view the Orca Wave solution brochure.