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7 Critical Aspects of Identifying the Right Billing and Subscription Management Solution

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18

Jun, 2014

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Many subscription based service providers are facing difficulty in identifying the right Billing and Subscription Management solution which suits to their Business requirements. Choosing a right system is most financially impactful decision. It can be one of the most difficult as well.

Here are 7 aspects to look into while selecting a Billing vendor:

Agility:

System must be having out-of-the-box functionalities and should be made available as COTS solution as far as possible. It should be highly configurable and flexible enough (API surrounded – SOAP/REST) to handle all your unique business requirements and integration aspects and should have agility to meet the demands of ever changing market place to aid in quick go-to-market situations.

Scalability:

Scalability is of prime importance when it comes to huge volumes of subscriptions to be handled or high volumes of transactions to be processed. The system should be capable of scaling up vertically as well as horizontally to support effective scaling. Days have already arrived where ‘elastic ‘hardware is deployed. Hence the system should also be having the capability to detect and adjust accordingly to the changes.

Revenue Recognition:

The effectiveness of a BCRM system mainly depends on how seamlessly revenue streams can be charged, payments are collected and debts can be followed up thereby ensuring minimum leakage. The system should hence be capable to support multiple services (convergence), connect to different network elements for usage collection, charge the transactions based on usage as well as based on varying business rules and finally collecting the revenue by supporting multiple payments models.  Efficient reporting is a mandate for the reviewing committee to understand the trend and take proper decisions. Effective bad debt chasing is also of prime importance to make sure that blocked revenues are tracked and collected by triggering follow-ups and subsequent actions.

Ledger Posting

Closing of accounts is another function to make sure that end to end subscription life cycle is completed. It should be possible to generate ledger data and do the book closing by interfacing with the associated systems or by itself.

Security standards and legal certifications:

Security standards and compliance with industry forums are quite important apart from having the functional requirements in place.  SOAP/REST APIs are standard part of any product to communicate with disparate systems in a secure way. Encryption standards and PCI standards are also a must while communicating with payment systems and other related systems. Data encryption using standards (3DES as an example) is also a much needed function now-a-days which most of the cloud billing solutions should have.

Nurturing a relationship not just subscription management

While it is quite important to perform all the above mentioned factors, it is quite unavoidable that a very good relationship is maintained between the service provider and the end customer. In that sense, the service provider (Product Manager, or CSR etc) should be able to derive from the system the value which an end subscriber is giving to the service provider. By doing so, the service provider will be able to clearly segment the end customer and treat him/her accordingly. This can be performed using features like loyalty, discounts, free services for a specific period and intimations on further offers etc. Hence the CRM feature has to be elaborate enough to make sure that inspite of performing all required functions, other value added functions can also be performed to transform a subscription to a relation.

Cost:

Think about long-term costs Vs Total cost of ownership. An integrated solution will cost less than having multiple disconnected applications or manual processes.

Solving all these concerns will boost your business and will help you to stay ahead of the competition in addition to reducing customer churn

So, how can you select the right solution you need? Here comes SURE! that can perform all the above listed features and even more!. Wants to know how SURE! addresses all your business concerns, please connect with us @ www.experiencesure.com.

By : Bijoy Iruppatil

Bijoy Iruppatil is the Product Manager responsible for changes and improvements based on the upcoming trends in Telecom, Internet, PayTV and cloud verticals. Bijoy has worked in multiple products across the industry and involved in the redesigning activities as part of making the Products compliant with industry standards. Avid reader, passionate about movies and a dreamer.

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