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Expert Touts Outsourced Billing for Telcos

As telecom carriers face deep cutbacks, the need to use ASPs for billing and revenue assurance looms larger than ever, says one industry expert.

"Shrinking resources such as cutbacks or hiring freezes in billing departments, coupled with the kind of increased demand brought on in recent weeks is stretching back office operations beyond the breaking point," said John M. Caddell, vice president of marketing and business development at EUR Systems.

Speaking at the United States Telecom Association's Billing and Customer Care Conference in Orlando, FL., on Thursday, Caddell of the forty-year veteran provider of billing and revenue assurance solutions said: "Unfortunately, for the billing department, it may mean lost revenue to the company - just when the company can least afford it."

According to Caddell, new product offerings, upgrades, changes in switches or tariffs, billing incorrect rates, or lost data or damaged switches, are just some of the factors that can affect billing. "In too many cases, billing departments are not able to track down these aberrations right away," he noted.

Outsourced billing and revenue assurance companies can actually save carriers money by finding dropped or improperly billed revenue quickly, Caddell asserted. "In most cases the ASP finds revenue leakage in a few days -- not a few months -- and alerts the carrier before the leakage becomes a problem. If the problem involves a billing dispute between two carriers, the ASP is in the best position to resolve the dispute because the ASP deals with a variety of carriers and is also current with tariff and product issues."

Caddell believes that carriers considering an outsourced billing solution should look at a variety of factors. "Look at how long the ASP has been in business and what kinds of companies they serve -- particularly in your revenue range," he said. "Look at the variety of solutions they offer. A good ASP should be willing to tailor their offerings, from turnkey packages to a total outsourced solution managed by the ASP, to suit your specific needs."

Caddell concluded that in the end it comes down to getting what's coming to you from a revenue standpoint: "A good ASP should do that for you and make you feel good about it throughout the process," he said.

Since 1960, EUR Systems has been providing outsourced or licensed billing and revenue management solutions provided through outsourcing or licensing. Its products support communications firms including AT&T, Global One, and Working Assets.