Recently Union Street collaborated with leading online Unified Communications & Collaboration publication, UC Today, to create a series of articles focused on telecoms billing. The articles discussed the requirements and challenges related to the billing process and, in particular, the role of the telecom billing platform.
Throughout the series we aimed to clarify what telecom billing platforms are and the many ways in which they can add value and increase efficiency for companies that provide communications services.
We began by focusing on where to start, with an introduction to telecoms billing software. An abbreviated version of this article follows and a link to the full article can be found at the bottom of the page.
In this age of digital transformation, where communication services are becoming increasingly diverse, it’s no surprise that billing operations are more complex and challenging to manage. As a result, the demand for a comprehensive solution that simplifies the billing process is higher than ever before.
The billing process has an important role to play in any business. In communications, it is essential to maintaining a positive relationship with the customer by keeping them up to date on which services they have used, when they used them and where.
Failure to do this with consistency and precision will place that customer experience (CX) in jeopardy and, with the prediction that CX will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020, the consequences of substandard billing processes are clear.
What is a Telecoms Billing Platform?
Put simply, a telecom billing platform is a software that uses call data records (CDRs) to measure each customer’s network usage. The platform then rates this usage according to customer tariffs before generating and dispatching bills to the end user customers.
Billing platforms have matured alongside the communications market, evolving to deliver service providers and resellers with powerful, efficient solutions that streamline the billing process as a whole.
Advanced solutions such as our market leading aBILLity™ platform, manage everything from revenue assurance checks to the collation of service charges to invoice deployment. Increasingly, platforms are reaching beyond the billing process delivering solutions for provisioning services, service management, tackling toll fraud and everything in between.
Who needs it?
Very few telecoms professionals would deny the effectiveness of a billing platform when it comes to customer management and ensuring profitability. Many would consider a billing platform to be essential to both the smooth operating and scalability of any business that provides communication services.
Billing software provides financial teams with the means to automate many time consuming manual processes. Powerful reporting tools can also offer deep insights into each customer account, helping to ensure that they are managed in a way that is efficient and profitable.
With time, emerging technologies will continue to disrupt the communications market and customer expectations will evolve and change accordingly. The onus is on service providers and resellers to respond agilely to these changes, understanding how they will impact their business model and delivering robust solutions that are competitively priced.
Choosing a billing platform, backed by a reputable vendor which continually invests in and develops its software to manage and bill emerging technologies, will help communication providers future proof their business and stay ahead of the curve.