Toronto Conference: 19-20 June 2019

RAG returns to North America thanks to the camaraderie of our Canadian colleagues



Toronto, Canada, will be the location of RAG’s 2019 North American conference, with TELUS generously hosting the event in their impressive tower block, situated right in the centre of the city. The event will be held on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th June. All talks will be in English. As with all RAG conferences, risk and assurance professionals who work for telcos or regulators are welcome to come for free.

We intend to build on the success of last year’s North American conference, hosted by Sprint in Kansas, by continuing to explore the industry challenges that were discussed at that event whilst presenting new success stories drawn from telcos around the continent.



The conference will cover fraud management, revenue assurance, security, cost management, margin assurance, other kinds of business assurance, enterprise risk management, analytics and credit risk.

Each day the formal agenda will begin at 9.30am. Attendees are encouraged to arrive well in advance, because the program of sessions will start on time! Breakfast pastries and coffee will be available from 8.30am, so there is no reason not to come early and network with peers. The agenda will conclude at approximately 5.30pm each day. Attendees are welcome to stay for the networking buffets provided at the end of each day.

Unlike other conferences we want to avoid promising speakers until we are confident they can take part, so we share the draft agenda online and update the schedule every time a new speaker is confirmed. Look below for the latest version of the draft agenda or open it in a new window by clicking here. Click on a speaker’s name to read their biography or look here for a complete list of of all confirmed speakers. Continue reading below for an outline description of the sessions listed in the agenda.


Day One: Wednesday 19th June

  • The conference will open with a keynote panel discussion on “The Practical Benefits of Cooperation”. This will explore the ways the three largest Canadian telcos help each other to combat fraud, as well as reviewing the potential for further industry collaboration, both within Canada and across borders. The panellists will be event host Jacqui Biggart, who oversees fraud as part of her role in managing technology security at TELUS, Katherine Butterworth, Senior Manager in the Fraud function at Rogers, and Delia Guglielmi, Senior Manager for Fraud Control and Detection in Bell Canada’s Corporate Security function.
  • John Brooks of Subex is always guaranteed to please the audience with a mix of anecdotes drawn from his long career and insights into the latest industry developments. He will return to RAG to speak on the topic of “Securing a Multitude of Devices and Revenue Streams”.
  • A panel of fraud experts will debate the hot topics in fraud, both in North America and worldwide. The panellists will include: Jacob Howell, author of the CFCA’s global fraud survey; well-known Canadian fraud expert and industry leader Krista Saarinen; and the Managing Director of Six Degrees, Bryan Rowe.
  • Tony Sani of the RAG Steering Committee and Orillion will tell the audience about the RAG Wangiri Blockchain Project. The wangiri blockchain will maintain a secure but easily-accessed ledger of numbers used in wangiri attacks globally. Trusted telcos will be able to add new records to the ledger, whilst any business will be able to use the information stored. Access to the ledger will be completely free of charge.
  • Jiles Smith, Director of Risk Management and Claims at Frontier Communications, will discuss the design and administration of risk management programs with Eric Priezkalns, RAG Chief Executive and former Director of Risk Management at Qatar Telecom.
  • After many years of managing fraud, RA and billing inside telcos, John Haraburda of iconectiv understands how to engineer practical solutions that mitigate operational risks. His presentation will address numbering, routing and margin management.
  • Amyn Sarif, Senior Program Manager for CyberSecurity DevOps at TELUS, will give a presentation on “Making the Business Case for Cybersecurity”. Amyn will discuss how to determine the expected return on investment in cybersecurity, and how to put a financial value on a security breach. Though Amyn will draw on his deep knowledge of cybersecurity, his insights will also have relevance to all risk and assurance practitioners who face challenges when forecasting and explaining the impact of their work on the telco’s bottom line.
  • Should telcos be selling fraud detection and prevention as value-added services to their customers? That is the question which will be discussed by fraud consultant David Morrow and Arnd Baranowski, CEO of Oculeus.

Day Two: Thursday 20th June

  • Grant Merrill blew the audience away at RAG Kansas in 2018, telling them about the advanced techniques used for business assurance and analytics by his team in CenturyLink. In rapid succession Grant covered: artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, order processing, statistical controls, data lakes, and the development of his staff. So we had to bring Grant back at the first opportunity, giving the Toronto conference the opportunity to learn about the latest projects run by Grant’s team.
  • Alongside many other accomplishments at Verizon, Kathy Romano gained a reputation as one of the pioneers of revenue and cost assurance in North America. Kathy will moderate an RA panel that includes:
    • Floriano Paulino da Costa Neto, a highly experienced Brazilian risk and assurance professional who currently serves as the Business Assurance Director for Oi;
    • Mahesh Thakkar, Director of Revenue Assurance & Fraud Management at Freedom Mobile, a role which has seen him overhaul their RA systems in recent months;
    • experienced RA consultant Geoff Ibbett, who is now a Director of Symmetry Solutions; and
    • Frederick Van de Weghe, the Chief Commercial Officer of billing accuracy specialists Araxxe.
  • Dr. George Bolt is an inventor who has patented innovations in the management of fraud, and a founder of Neural Technologies. George will talk about the state of the art in using artificial intelligence to manage telecoms risks. His presentation will be entitled “Planning for Machine Learning in your Digital Transformation”.
  • Chester Calma of SIGOS will share the experiences that he and his colleagues have amassed whilst performing automated tests on behalf of telcos all around the world. His presentation will be about the benefits of active and hybrid approaches to testing for revenue assurance.
  • A panel of experts will discuss the ways telcos can increase and defend their profitability through the superior use of analytics. The panellists will include: Parthiban Balasubramanian, who is the product owner for the Telemetry department in TELUS, a specialist data analytics team that serves internal customers across the telco, including revenue assurance and fraud management; and Felipe Sebastian Escarate Garrido, who generates traffic insights in the Big Data function of Telefónica Chile.
  • Taruna Ranjan, Director of Revenue Assurance at T-Mobile US, was one of the stars of RAG Kansas 2018. She will return to RAG to present a case study entitled “Revenue Assurance in the world of Uncarrier: TMUS Journey”.
  • Geoff Ibbett is the leader of RAG’s innovation program, and he will brief the audience about plans to turn RAG’s inventory of revenue and cost leakages into an industry benchmark.
  • Tony Sani will give a brief update on the roadmap for RAG Learning, our free online learning management system. He will talk about new courses and functionality in the pipeline, and ask for feedback about the training needs of North American telcos.
  • Ken Bessant will give a presentation sharing the lessons he learned when he established the Lawful Access function for WIND Mobile.
  • Sticking with tradition, the closing ‘Wise Heads’ panel will see industry veterans review the key takeaways from the conference. Regulatory and customer operations expert Chris Poulton will be amongst the panellists.


Location, Evening Entertainment and Hotels

The conference will be held at the TELUS office building known as TELUS Harbour. The location is marked on the map of Toronto below, and the address is: 25 York Street, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2V5.

There is a very wide range of hotels in downtown Toronto, many of which are within walking distance of the conference venue. Some of these hotels are marked on the map above.

As well as providing lunch and refreshments during each day, we will provide food, soft drinks and the opportunity to network each evening.

  • On the evening of June 19th we will enjoy a buffet meal inside the superb conference facilities of TELUS.
  • When the conference finishes on June 20th you are welcome to join us for free food and continuing conversation at The Loose Moose, just a short walk from the TELUS offices. You will find us downstairs in The Antler Room.



We always recommend you check the most recent version of the conference agenda by visiting this website. However, the printable PDF conference brochure can be seen below, or download a copy by clicking here.


Free Registration for Telcos and Regulators

Managers and staff employed by telcos or telecom regulators may participate in RAG Toronto for free, so long as they register using the email address associated with their employer. Academics who engage in relevant research may also register for free. Registrations are managed via Eventbrite; click the button below to begin. Please complete all the fields to register.

Registration - RAG Toronto - June 2019


Attendance Options for Sponsors and Invited Guests

Sponsoring businesses may send their representatives to RAG Toronto. If your business is interested in participating in RAG events then please make your initial query through our contact form.

RAG allocates a limited number of complimentary seats for freelance consultants, subject matter experts, and other industry leaders. To maintain a balanced audience, these seats will only be made available to specific named individuals. Invitations will be emailed in due course. If you wish to be added to the guest list you should contact a member of the RAG Committee, or else ask the host or one of the sponsoring buisnesses to forward your request.

One of the most important aspects of our conferences is what we call the ‘RAG Spirit’. We want attendees to feel relaxed and have the freedom to talk openly about the challenges they face. To protect the RAG Spirit, we reserve the right to decide who may attend on a case-by-case basis.


About Our Host and Sponsors

RAG is a not-for-profit enterprise, and telcos and regulators may attend our events for free, as do many specially invited experts. That means we rely on the generosity of the businesses that host our meetings and pay for everything from our web server to the coffee we serve attendees. We would like to thank the following businesses for contributions that have made this conference possible.

The Hosts


Gold Sponsors

iconectiv, Neural Technologies, SIGOS, Subex, Symmetry Solutions, TEOCO, WeDo Technologies

Silver Sponsors

Araxxe, FraudBuster, GBSD Technologies, LATRO Services, Oculeus, Six Degrees

Bronze Sponsors
Mobileum, Pramata, Trustonic

If you would like to host a future RAG event or if you want to learn about sponsorship opportunities then please get in touch. We will be glad to hear from you!