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SURE! Blog

The significance of a robust subscription and monetization platform

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24

Sep, 2014

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In the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) eco-system, the major application which facilitates the service provider to streamline & automates the business process is a platform that handles metering, billing and monetization. Over the past few years, IaaS has evolved into a full-fledged industry. Many traditional systems, including the metering and billing systems, are becoming obsolete when it comes to adapting to IaaS providers’ requirements. The reason being the paradigm shift in the way these IaaS providers operate.

In general, IaaS is delivered on a subscription basis which facilitates an enterprise to shift from the CAPEX model to the OPEX model. IaaS providers have different kinds of business processes and strategies to capture the market share. While IaaS provides massive advantages for situations where scalability and quick provisioning are required, there are situations where its limitations may be problematic as well.

The challenging economic environment has also increased pressure on IT departments to keep costs down. In this changing environment, businesses prefer not to spend on large, expensive physical equipment, hardware or servers which are used for different operations. Storage, hardware, servers and networking components, including the big expenses concerning their maintenance and periodic upgrade are now the service provider’s concern, with the client paying only for what they require and when they require the same.

Characteristics of IaaS:
  • Allows for the distribution of resources as a service on subscription
  • Allows for dynamic or elastic scaling
  • Enables ‘variable cost’ based on utility pricing model
  • Includes multiple users on a single piece of hardware
  • Facilitates reseller commissions
  • Works on Quote to Cash model
Challenges from metering and billing point of view:
  • Are you delaying the launch of your new service because your billing system is not ready?
  • Are you unable to support new pricing models with your existing billing system?
  • Are you unsure if you are billing the right amount?
  • Are your customers complaining about your bills’ quality?
  • Are you taking more than a month to finish your month end closing?
  • Are your business processes correctly identified and mapped to assure revenue?
Pain Points:
  • Manage Recurring Billing – not a One-Time Sale
  • Usage Rating, Scheduled invoicing, Notifications and Payment Collection
  • Real time provisioning of resources based on request
  • Usage monitoring and management
  • Managing Scale – managing new and existing subscribers, Customer Billing Queries become a challenge as you try to scale your business
  • The Need for Analytics – Churn, Customer Profitability, Customer Usage
  • Plan Management and online payment mechanisms

In-order to address all these above listed pain points and challenges, IaaS providers need to look at Robust Billing, CRM and Subscription Management solution vendor to handle, streamline and automate entire business processes.

Below are major compliances required from a robust Billing and Subscription system:
  • Support Quote to Cash model
  • Reduce revenue leakage
  • Provide different charge models have to be supported such as recurring & pay as you go model
  • Integrate with traditional, on-premise & hosted applications to streamline the process
  • Enable Reseller commissions
  • Enable White Labelling
  • Provide MIS reports to make informed decisions.
  • Integrated to payment gateways or banks for seamless payments

Here are few benefits service provider will get when they partner with right Cloud Billing and Subscription vendor:

  • Efficient way of bundling and pricing services
  • Manage complex pricing schedules
  • Unified financial data and operations
  • Tailor bill presentment based on customer preferences
  • Automated Revenue management and Billing
  • Inbuilt metering and usage tracking
  • Pre-integrated payment gateway(s)
  • Increase insight into business performance
  • Lightweight CRM for handling customer queries and support
Summary:

SURE! billing and monetization platform is intuitive, easier to use and easier to integrate with third party systems or other enterprise software. The different modules such as Contract Management, Quotation Management, Partner Management, Flexible Pricing & Product Management among others enable the service provider to be flexible and scale up to the market changes which are dynamic in nature. The modules can be added incrementally. Thus, SURE! provides the service provider with enhanced choice, flexibility and confidence.

By : Satish Garikipati

Satish Garikipati is a consultant with SURE! (a Magnaquest product). SURE! is an internationally acclaimed player in comprehensive end-to-end Subscription Business Solutions for PayTV, Broadband and Cloud Computing businesses – through deployment of Metered Billing, CRM, Service Fulfillment, Value-Added Services, and Managed Services.

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