To say that the telecom industry has grown, might be an understatement. Worldwide, there are 50 billion connected devices. Consumer demand for all things internet and mobile has seen unprecedented growth. And, with the advent of the internet of things (IoT), demand for internet and allied services (such as Public Wi-Fi) is only going to increase. While this growth is opening new opportunities for the telecom industry, it is also increasing operational and infrastructure pressures when it comes to billing and revenue assurance. Getting future ready Telecom companies have started actively updating their existing billing and revenue assurance software. Overall investments in this segment have been steadily increasing. Research by The Insight Partners, estimates the market value for such software at USD 9.7 billion in 2015. Demand for services, is fast outpacing the ability to serve it optimally. And, this is indicated by projections over the next four years – investments in billing and revenue software by telecom companies is expected to grow to USD 25.27 billion by 2025! A new paradigm in billing A recurring differentiator with consumers is an experience that offers more personalization and customization. It ranges from offering greater control over defining plans, fulfilment and billing, among others. And, personalized services (which is a recurring theme in the current digital context), only heightens this experience. Offering such flexibility, control and personalization, however, is severely restricted by legacy architecture. Disruptive trends such as IoT, mobile payments, etc. are often not optimally supported by the existing infrastructure, and binds business and revenue operations under tighter confines. Such enhancements and integrations with existing operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) will fast become a differentiator for telecom companies. It’s still about the bottom line Investments by telecom industries stem from rising revenue pressures and the iterative need to better billing experiences. To address this, telecom companies are adopting a two pronged approach – offering advanced billing solutions in keeping with the time, and heavily investing in revenue assurance. Of the two, investments in revenue assurance is expected to grow at a robust 12.5% CAGR. As a rapidly maturing industry, businesses are subject to increasing competition, pressures on cost and profits. And, with disruptions coming in the form of technology and consumer trends, most telecom companies are constantly trying to identify and generate revenues. Traditionally, the industry has always struggled to maintain vigilance in tracking and reporting revenues. It’s especially the case when telecom companies are witnessing significant upticks in the number of subscribers and the volumes of services they consume. And, it is to stop the proverbial leaks that telecom companies are investing in revenue assurance software. The way forward While telecom companies are getting future ready, the present and the past do represent sizeable challenges. When migrating from existing billing and revenue assurance software, maintaining the sanctity of data, and its integrity is a concern. However, such migrations represent an opportunity to consolidate pricing and billing – often, telecom companies are bound by varying price points that become a legacy which is hard to move from. It allows for businesses to migrate customers from older pricing plans to newer ones, increasing profitability and reducing maintenance overheads. Such migrations also allows telecom companies to revisit their operations, and move towards becoming a ‘lean’ organisation – an organisation that is flexible, scalable and truly, future ready.