The GRAPA Standards

I. Disciplines

 II. Domains

III. Levels of Assurance

IV. Principles

II. Domains

    The GRAPA "Domains" specifications provide the industry with a standardized method for the designation of different areas of operational responsibility and concomitant "bodies of knowledge".

    The Domains specification process allows management to understand what levels of coverage are being enforced in what part of the operational environment. The Domains are designated as:

    Vertical - an operational areas where multiple revenue streams are processed and managed.

    Horizontal - the summary of all revenue transactions across the entire breadth of the revenue stream.

    The key to scope definition and management is the specification of "in scope" or "not in scope". The Revenue Assurance Professional can only manage and be responsible for explicitly identified domains, with an associated level of risk containment and level of assurance to attain.

 

II. Domains

The scope of revenue assurance can include any and all areas defined by management as the area with which they are to be concerned. Some organizations restrict revenue assurance to an extremely narrow scope, while others define its scope to include a wide range of areas.

Under the Definitions of GRAPA , the scope of revenue assurance will be indicated by the areas defined as in-scope by top management. There is no recommendation or preference for which areas to include.

In order to be considered to be “within the scope” or revenue assurance, the area must meet the following criteria.

  • The area must be formally defined and assigned by management
  • The formal declaration of scope must include a domain (vertical or horizontal) and an assurance level. (see next section)
  • An initial Forensic Assessment is performed in order to define and assess the risk before controls or corrections are attempted.
  • Based upon the findings of the risk assessment, and management’s appetite for risk, the RA team will then proceed to either develop a coverage plan for the area, or simply retain it for future scrutiny.

 

Formal definition and communication of scope

In order to effectively and efficiently organize the development of skills and approaches, and in order to accurately communicate domains, GRAPA utilizes the concepts of vertical and horizontal domains.

A domain is the term utilized to define that collection of systems, operations and functions are included within the scope of the RA activity. Each domain brings with it a unique:

  • Operational Environment
  • Vocabulary and terminology
  • Operational principles
  • Business objectives
  • Revenue assurance issues and approaches
  • Revenue risks
  • Industry standard controls

Only by clearly identifying and organizing the scope of the revenue assurance function can we begin to develop a standard set of controls, procedures and KPIs around its practice.

Vertical Assurance Domains

This is the assurance of one particular operational area within a larger revenue management chain. A vertical domain is a system, department or operation involved in the capture, processing or management of revenue information that can and often does perform that function for a number of different revenue streams. (Revenue collected for multiple lines of business or products).

For example, a mediation system typically provides operational support for the postpaid voice, interconnect and roaming revenue streams.

The inventory of vertical domains includes systems and BSS or OSS components:

  • Network elements (switches, gateways, IN, servers, SMSC, MMSC and other components)
  • Mediation Systems
  • Postpaid Billing Systems
  • Interconnect Billing Systems
  • Roaming Billing Systems
  • CRM Systems
  • Customer Management Systems
  • Point of Sale Systems
  • Provisioning Systems
  • Sales Channel Management

Or operational areas or departments like:

  • Collections
  • Credit Management
  • Fraud Management
  • Sales Management

Horizontal Assurance Domains

Horizontal assurance is the comprehensive tracking and assurance of revenue transactions across all of the systems that touch that transaction within the same revenue stream. Typical horizontal assurance activities include test calls, call traces, CDR tracking, customer provisioning audits, product audits and other related activities.

Horizontal domains describe a subset of revenue related transactions across their entire revenue management chain. Typically, all transactions for the same product/line of business traverse the same revenue chain and represent a horizontal domain.

    • Voice
    • Data
    • SMS
    • MMS
    • TV
    • Steaming
    • IP
  • Specific Products / Rate Plans
  • Customer Segments or Markets