A billing solution is such a fundamental part of operating a successful telecom business that it is often taken for granted, when the reality is its importance should not be underestimated. Apart from its core function of invoice generation, the software performs a number of other key tasks, namely monitoring cash flow, enabling proactive contract renewal and in some cases regulatory compliance. Most importantly, however, the right billing platform should provide everything you require to achieve the highest levels of profitability. With this in mind, we have assembled an 8 point checklist to help you make an informed decision when choosing a billing solution.
Choosing a Billing Solution
1. Simplicity and Ease of Use
One of the top priorities when looking for a billing system should be that it’s easy to adopt and access. Even the most sophisticated billing software won’t have a positive impact on your bottom line if your workforce doesn’t know how to uses it.
Secondly, the support and training resources that come with the platform must be a consideration in the tender process. Will it be sufficient to enable your team to get the best results?
Consider the needs of your billing team, with an increase in working remotely selecting a service that offers access through a web browser will mean that employees don’t have to download or install the software before they can begin working with the billing platform.
2. Enhanced Data Security
While access for workers to your new billing platform is essential, you also want to ensure that those using the platform have the right level of access to ensure maximum security for your system. For example, granular user permissions can be essential in the billing world when it comes to making sure your workforce get the only the information they need the most.
With the recent implementation of GDPR, resellers and service providers are under significant pressure to ensure that data is collected and stored according to the new guidelines of strict protection regulations. The vendor you choose should help you to meet these new demands.
It is also worth looking at whether the billing solution is developed by a company that has universally accepted credentials such as ISO 270001 certification for information security management. With that in place you can rest assured that your platform manages sensitive data properly.
3. Revenue Assurance and Reliable Reporting
Another important function of an effective billing system is how well it can scrutinise your revenue streams. With sophisticated revenue assurance and reporting functionality, you can quickly and easily identify areas of revenue leakage and misbilling.
Ultimately you want a platform that helps automate your revenue assurance tasks. Reconciliation is one such task, comparing what you’re billing your customers to what you’ve been charged by your suppliers. Ideally, these would always match perfectly but, in reality, they often don’t. A system that can automate the process ensures that you’re neither undercharging your customers or being overcharged by suppliers.
A billing platform that can performs these checks automatically will help to ensure that you are consistently operating as profitably as possible whilst reducing both the time needed to carry out these tasks and the potential for human error.
Aside from revenue assurance, conducting ongoing and in-depth reporting on your revenue streams to identify areas of your product portfolio that are most profitable and those that are not which, in turn, will help you to refine your sales strategy and be more proactive when enhancing your cash flow and revenue choices.
4. Flexibility and Scalability
The mark of a great business is its ability to scale. In today’s digital world growth comes at a more rapid pace largely thanks to agile working practices and cloud computing.
The billing platform that you select should figure into your blueprint for long term growth. While there are many billing platforms out there that claim to be scalable, many can only accomplish so much before they begin to struggle. A billing system’s processing power, or lack of, will become apparent as your business grows and it is required to manage increasing amounts of CDRs and generate the corresponding amount of invoices.
In Part 2 we will cover back-end integration, fraud management, intuitive contract management and solutions for dealer commissions.