announced its plans for regional expansion into the Asia-Pacific region.
The Asia-Pacific telecoms market is growing rapidly, however, the concept
of revenue assurance is less established here than in, for example, western
Europe where telecoms revenue leakage is 4.8 per cent of turnover as against 13.8 per cent in Asia-Pacific (Azure Solutions/Analysys 2004).
With next-generation IP-based services now beginning to appear, providing a
whole new range of paid-for services via telecoms networks the potential for revenue loss has become even greater, prompting Azure’s geographical expansion into a region already suffering from significant telecoms revenue-leakage problems.
Azure is the world’s largest revenue-assurance company. It enables
communications operators to reduce losses and safeguard profits from malicious and unintentional revenue leakage, such as billing errors, poor processes and fraud. It also assists law-enforcement authorities to identify criminal activity taking place via telecoms networks. Azure has 60 customers across the world comprising fixed-line and mobile telecoms operators and cable TV companies, amongst others. Its heritage can be traced back to BT (British Telecommunications plc), one of the world’s best revenue-assurance performers. Azure spun out of BT in 2003.
In June 2005 Azure announced a further $15m funding. It will be using this
investment to fund further regional expansion with its main target being
Asia-Pacific. The money will also be used to develop further its products
for next-generation networks.
John Cronin, CEO and president of Azure Solutions, said: “Asia-Pacific is a
key market for Azure, with increasing numbers of 3G and next-generation
IP-based services, and an ever-improving recognition by communication
service providers (CSPs) in the region that as increased network investment
and competition squeeze margins, they need to increase profits from within.
Clearly the battle for further CSP consumers will continue, but there is a
huge amount of profit ready for harvesting within every CSP; on average
13.8 per cent of revenues are lost to unnecessary leakage in this region,
and this can easily grow with new technologies coming on-line.
“These CSPs are increasingly seeing that they can outstrip competitors with
a focus on profit-building through improved revenue assurance, network
integrity and fraud management. And that’s what we do; we deliver more
profits for our customers. Our expansion makes our services easier to
access, refine and deliver to the specific needs of our Asia-Pacific
Martin Kammer, senior vice president, global sales, emphasised the need for
local approaches to local issues: “Azure recognises the need to further
invest in local teams to support customers directly. Although we already
have regional offices, and we have made several significant recent sales in
Asia-Pacific, which will be announced shortly, we will need to recruit more
people to provide the full range of Azure services locally. By recruiting
local people who really know the business and the culture, and are
recognized as the best in their field, and combining that with our network
of local partners and existing skilled resources, our customers will
receive an unsurpassed level of service.”