In part one of our blog feature 8 Crucial Features When Choosing a Billing Platform, we covered simplicity and ease of use, data security, revenue assurance, flexibility and scalability. In part two we take a closer look at back-end integration, fraud management, intuitive contract management and finally solutions for dealer commissions. This piece forms part of a collaboration between ourselves and UC Today for their Telecoms & ICT Billing series.
A link to the full UC Today article can be found at the bottom of this post.
Choosing A Billing Platform (Part 2)
5. Back-end Integration
In today’s digitally transforming world, many companies would be wise to choose best of breed software packages that can work well together in the back-office environment. Effective integration to create a single pane of glass solution which synchronises data across all software packages, can deliver huge increases in operational efficiency, productivity and accuracy.
This strategy goes a long way to ensuring that the business and its staff operates as efficiently as possible. Also, an effective integration strategy can provide tailored customer services as staff from all departments can be viewing billing data from applications such as a CRM platform or contact centre system.
Taking this into account you should really be looking for a billing system that can achieve bidirectional integration with the software packages you have in use. It will be necessary to work with the vendor of the billing software to develop the level of integration you are hoping for and you should be satisfied that they provide comprehensive APIs for their product and that these are continually supported and onward developed.
6. Fraud Management
In point two we discussed we noted the importance of data security and privacy in a robust billing platform but, just as important, is having a strategy in place for protecting and/or alerting customers to instances of toll fraud.
Toll fraud continues to pose a serious threat to businesses across the globe and if one (or more) of your customers were to be hit by fraud, it could become very costly for them and, potentially, for you as well. The best way to give your customers peace of mind whilst protecting your own business is to invest in as many layers of fraud protection as possible.
Investing in a billing platform that will recognise and flag fraud occurrences early is essential to mitigating the damage and costliness caused. The system will ideally check for signs of fraud automatically as you import CDRs into it. Detecting occurrences of fraud early, then proactively notifying your customer of the problem and advising them how to deal with it, will go a long way in maintaining that customer’s good will whilst putting you on the best possible footing to manage the situation.
7. Intuitive Contract Management
A billing solution that that incorporates contract management tools can be the key to keeping your cashflow stable all year round by ensuring you stay connected to your most important customers.
When choosing a billing system, look for one that allows you to input all the right variable information into your contract from the outset and calculate how well it is expected to perform through its duration. This will also help you determine that the contracts you are setting up are competitive as well as profitable. Additionally, it’s beneficial to have a tool that automatically generates reports to show you which contracts need renewing.
8. Solutions for Dealer Commission
Business development through channel partners such as dealers and resellers can be a very effective way of growing your business. If you think you might be interested to explore this possibility, either now or in the future, it’s important to choose a billing solution that can support a partner network. The main consideration here will be a billing platform’s features for managing dealer commissions, make sure the solution is simple, efficient and perfect for driving adoption.