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SURE! Blog

Effective way of offering Subscription services : Cloud Oriented BSS

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Jun, 2014


Service providers in the cloud arena target the customers across globe and also to increase revenue and no. of customers, they reach different tiers. In such a business model, customers come in “All shapes and sizes”. Every customer has his specific requirement, affordability.  Every customer’s requirement should be met by creating different price plans. We have seen that with the increase in cloud adaption, providers have also come up with innovative and flexible price plans.

Benefits in terms of sales and effective operations.

These price plans make it easy for cloud providers to meet their customer requirements. It also helps the providers to maximize their revenues and at times also allows service providers in optimizing their resources this in turn may also reduce their expenditure.

List of benefits in sales cycle:

  1. Improved sales
  2. Reduced sales cycle
  3. Better customer satisfaction
  4. Customer might pay less upfront but the total revenue per customer increases
  5. Helps effective market penetration

List of operational benefits:

  1. Optimized resource utilization
  2. Reduced infrastructure and related costs
  3. Reduces unnecessary costs to both customers and service providers

However, service providers has to confront some of the operational complication with the introduction of flexible price plans. A typical cloud billing provider (be it SaaS or IaaS), bills its customers based on the usage. Hence a usage tracking mechanism is required. The usage tracking tool should be capable of tracking usage of various physical resources like RAM, storage consumption, CPU cycles, etc,. This scenario is applicable for IaaS while the tracking process of the SaaS providers is a little different i.e,. they do not have to track physical resources in most cases we have seen.

Once the consumption is tracked, all the available data is raw usage data that should be converted in billable and non-billable units. Traditionally (even today in case of service providers  with less number of subscribers), this process is done manually. But imagine the size of the activity if the service provider has 300 customers to be billed every month based on the 10 to 12 different types of price plans. Now let me talk about what is it like to target customer’s worldwide. This is relevant since today, service providers are not restricting themselves geographically and why should they when they can address the world market with the recent developments in information and communication growth. But when this happens, they are dealing with multiple currencies and multiple business taxations. Now let me sum it up in a line: How will a cloud based service provider with at least 300 – 400 customer base, at least 5 – 6 Price plans with his customers in 10 to 15 countries across the globe with their individual taxation systems in place, generate a customer specific bill every month with the respective usage details.

Revenue leakage due to this:

My above assumptions are very real even for a start-up company. With this being the situation and with competitors coming up with new and relevant plans regularly, you are set to lose your market share to your competitor. And internally, with such a cumbersome process in place, you really can’t blame your accounts department for random errors, which might lead to revenue leakages.

Benefits of cloud oriented BSS:

We have seen that many companies have come up with very effficient billing systems over the years. These billing systems have met the requirement of various companies that have had large customers and complex billing needs. But a cloud oriented BSS leverages its efficiency on parameters that are quite different from traditional billing systems. A cloud oriented billing system needs to have a few essential features.

  1. Light weight (Not a huge system that consumes lot of resources).
  2. It should be simple and agile.
  3. It should be able to support new and innovative price plans (since many cloud providers leverage on that).
  4. It should have the ability to integrate with various 3rd party systems without much efforts.

Abilities of SURE!

SURE!, after years of experience in the Pay TV, Broadband and VoIP billing has come up with a cloud billing solution. We enable our customers to bring out flexible price plans that can help them optimize their resources. They can spend more time building their business rather than billing for their customers. To know more about our offering, please check below URL.

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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