Why best-in-class billing systems are a game changer for the channel
Writes Wail Sabbagh, Managing Director at Strategic Imperatives
Rapid change is reshaping the telecoms services market. IOT, OTT & cloud services are widespread and the 5G promise of a future of smart cities, connected communities and multi-layered services are quickly expanding beyond the prototype phase. Service providers must expand if they are to thrive, and that means offering services beyond connectivity and traditional communications such as content, professional and cloud services.
As a result, the role of billing systems has been redefined. Without sophisticated, agile, and scalable billing systems capable of providing a seamless transition into the digital era, the much-anticipated transformation will be cumbersome and painful for many service providers. It will only be a matter of time before they start losing revenue and market share to the multitude of digital native start-ups and new entrants eager to capitalise the new world.
Billing requirements for the rapidly evolving telecoms value chain are yet to be fully realised. With new technologies beginning to transition from innovative concepts into market realities, forward thinking service providers are redefining their monetisation strategy where legacy and outdated billing platforms no longer have a place.
These new dynamics are transforming the traditional definition of billing solutions as primarily rating platforms with flat product catalogues, basic support for recurring transactions and limited payment integration designed to generate monthly invoices. In the new telecoms ecosystem, an increasingly sophisticated customer base expects to be able to consume multi layered services on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis whilst service providers must also focus on connecting ‘things’ as well as connecting people to access new industry verticals via IoT and open up new revenue sources.
Billing platforms must evolve to support a more complex and sophisticated monetisation capability including smart packages, dynamic promotions and micropayments as well as managing subscriptions and a hybrid consumption model. Modern billing and monetisation vendors are also adopting AI and predictive analytics technologies to empower service providers to offer targeted propositions to an intelligently segmented customer base according to behaviour, preferences, geographical location and revenue potential, in order to improve customer loyalty, increase profitability and reduce churn.
For service providers to thrive in the new digital ecosystem, they must partner with technology and application specialists to generate a wider range of products and services to target new markets and expand revenue streams. The service provider’s role within the value chain will vary, they can do this through wholesale/retail relationships, revenue sharing, or bundling free over-the-top services, and as a result, billing and transaction data will need to be integrated across all partner systems for accurate billing and clear accountability.
Monetisation is no longer a linear process, and so service providers must identify the most appropriate strategy to defend and optimise their propositions within an intensely competitive digital environment. A critical look at their billing and monetisation capability is more important than ever.
At Strategic Imperatives we are working tirelessly to enable service providers to meet the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities created by a worldwide digital revolution. We are unashamedly a team of geeks, pooling our passion and talent to create solutions that shake up the industry, empower our customers and transform how they do business.
Our strong commitment to R&D, a company culture that fosters innovation and a roadmap born out of our extensive engagement at channel, national and international levels are the foundations that made our cloud native billing and monetisation platform, Elevate. An award winning, modern, and highly agile platform that can propel forward thinking service providers into the digital future seamlessly and with ease. If you want to find out more about our vision for the future of service monetisation then you are welcome to visit the Elevate monetisation page.
Are you ready? Ten tell-tale signs that it is time to review your billing and monetisation capability:
- Your billing platform is a primary consideration and often a barrier to rolling out new products and services
- Billing for alternative verticals, brands and currencies is often a work around
- You are drowning in spreadsheets to support your billing processes
- Everything is cumbersome, unreliable, and just takes too long
- You do not have an insight into your margins, profits and customer behaviour
- Too many manual steps
- Reporting and analytics are poor and not fit for purpose
- User experience and overall interface that makes you feel nostalgic about the 90s
- You dread having to contact your billing vendor support team but somehow you need to do so on a regular basis
- Your current billing provider ties you into a multi-year contract; this speaks volumes about a lack of confidence in the future of their solution
Traditional billing systems have little relevance in the new world. What service providers need is an integrated and flexible service monetisation platform that sits at the heart of their business support systems (BSS) so they can prosper in Digital Britain and beyond.
For more information on how Strategic Imperatives monetisation and billing solution, Elevate, can transform your business, visit https://imperatives.co.uk/ or contact me on 0333 800 4800.