• Overlooking Truth-in-Billing Practices Can Be Costly

      Truth-in-billing rules aren’t top of mind for most telecom service providers, especially young and small organizations. But they should be. Overlooking them can invite a complaint and result in an FCC investigation that costs hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars. Although telecom bills are complex and sometimes confusing, consumers today are more informed and litigious than ever before. Additionally, there are online services advertising tools that help consumers discover billing errors and seek out noncompliance with FCC policies including Truth-in-Billing policies. Regardless of how small the mistake or oversight, such companies promise to find these errors and …read more

  • IoT Complicated But Easier Than You Think

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking off and creating lucrative opportunities for service providers and channel partners in several verticals including healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, energy, and food and beverage, among others. And the really good news is that you don’t need to know much, if anything, about the technology to get involved and start earning a piece of what Statista projects will be a $1.6 trillion market by 2025. The challenge is that the technology pieces aren’t yet integrated (for the most part) and the supply chain is hyper-siloed.  But that leaves the door open for professionals who can …read more

  • Are You On the Mobility Train?

    In today’s competitive business environment, it’s crucial that business operators make effective decisions in a shorter time frame. Mobility solutions help them do that, which is why they are becoming an integral part of the work environment. Even industries that are typically slow to adopt technologies, such as construction and consumer services, are implementing mobile strategies, according to IDG. In consumer-centric industries such as retail and banking, mobility projects are focused on creating and delivering an exceptional customer experience (CX) to build loyalty and trust. (For more on CX and its relevance in the telecom industry, click here.) Segments with …read more

  • Team Precision Runs 5K Run for Open Hearts

    Precision fielded 10 runners at the Seventh Annual 5K Run for Open Hearts at the Mayor’s Fitness Trail in Clarksburg, W. Va. Every year, the race is organized by the Stealey United Methodist Church to raise money for Open Heart Ministries. Precision often comes in force to support local charitable events and this one was no different. Nineteen Precision team and family members were in attendance and 10 participated in the race. Impressively (some would say surprisingly), five Precision racers won medals for finishing in the top three in their age group. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a picnic including Jo Jo, …read more

  • Is CX the New Battlefield in Telecom?

    In recent years we’ve heard a lot about customer experience (CX) being the new marketing battlefield. All the opinions and data reinforce this notion. Gartner surveys, for example, suggest that more than two-thirds of companies compete mostly on the basis of CX today, and the percentage is growing. Indeed, by next year, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator, according to Walker, a business-to-business consulting firm. Whether a bold statement like that holds up in the telecom business is up for debate. Some would argue that if your tech works, you don’t “touch” customers that …read more

  • Cybersecurity Threats Becoming Increasingly Dangerous for Service Providers

      Given the nature of their business, telecom service providers generally are more equipped than the average organization when it comes to protecting their critical infrastructure and systems from cyberattacks. It’s a good thing. NETSCOUT’s latest worldwide infrastructure security report found the exploitation of IoT devices and DDoS attack-service innovations are leading to more frequent and complex attacks on service providers. Indeed, 59 percent of service providers experienced multi-vector attacks, a 20 percent increase from the year prior. Multi-vector attacks combine high-volume floods, application layer attacks and TCP-state exhaustion attacks in a single sustained offensive, increasing mitigation complexity and attackers’ …read more

  • Consider Your Stage in the OLC When Contemplating Support System Needs

    Over the years, we have had the privilege of working with a range of telecommunications service providers. We’ve seen many succeed and some fail to reach their potential. In the latter case, it’s often because their support systems are not in line with their organizational lifecycle (OLC). The OLC covers the five stages in an organization’s life: start-up (birth), growth, maturity, decline and revival (diversification). There are three influences on all of the OLC stages: Administrative – as the size and number of stakeholders increase, so does administrative complexity. Increased complexity – drives the need for more sophisticated organizational structures, …read more

  • Inadequate Usage Processing Controls Can Be Costly

    I got started in this business in 1996 when I went to work for Larry Sisler, the owner of Procom, a small but fast growing telecom provider based in West Virginia. At the time, Larry was planning to expand into the long-distance wholesale business and tasked me with creating a wholesale billing platform as well as running the company’s retail billing operations. Larry, whom employees, channel partners and industry colleagues affectionately called “Killer,” demanded a lot out of his team. For me, as the guy responsible for billing, that meant I had to account for every single call record before …read more

  • Lessons Learned from Reading The Advantage

    The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni might be the most impressionable work we’ve read and discussed in our quarterly book club at Precision. Lencioni asserts that too many leaders limit their search for advantage to conventional and largely exhausted areas like marketing, strategy and technology. He suggests that there is an untapped gold mine sitting right beneath them. Instead of trying to become smarter, he thinks that leaders and organizations need to shift their focus to becoming healthier, allowing them to tap into the more-than-sufficient intelligence and expertise they already have. Lencioni also emphasizes that organizational clarity separates great companies from …read more

  • Precision Introduces Daily CDR Packages

    Precision has introduced daily call detail record (CDR) packages to assist clients with reporting and quality assurance. For the uninitiated, a CDR contains metadata on a telephone call or other telecommunications transaction. On a phone call, for example, it includes various attributes such as call time, duration, completion status, origination number and destination number, among other details. This data is critical for service providers because it’s the basis for generating invoices and revenue. We have always made this reporting available to clients and insist that they review it before approving a bill run. But the daily CDR package is a …read more