By Ilan Benodiz, CTO, FTS
October 3, 2019
Telecom billing solutions have been causing communications service providers (CSPs) headaches for a long time: they are notorious for their unwieldiness and difficulty to operate. Hereby five reasons why they should opt for a scalable and flexible telecom billing system, enabling them to break away from restrictive billing boundaries.
One of the most important reasons to opt for modern telecom billing software is speed. Before, launching a new service or price plan could take months, for a variety of reasons: business users would not have the ability to implement changes without the vendors’ assistance, or they could not easily add new services or promotions. A future proof telecom billing solution offers just that: it is user-friendly, which means users can rapidly configure and deploy personalized plans by themselves, turning their BSS from being a bottleneck for innovation to their source for revenue generation.
Then there is Total Cost of Ownership. Running a telecom billing solution could be very expensive, because it required not only a lot of time, but also a lot of people to operate it. Today’s billing solutions change this: with their open APIs, and their ability to launch new services without the need to change ongoing business flows. One could compare it to road maintenance: instead of having to close down an entire highway for multiple days, one lane can remain open for traffic. This allows CSPs to work with a smaller operational staff, thus lowering the Total Cost of Ownership.
Another important benefit of up-to-date, flexible telecom billing platforms is the option to define dynamic business rules. This way, CSPs can automatically trigger actions to invoke for the subscribers in case of a specific event. These actions may include charging, discounting, enforcing credit limits and rewarding loyalty points. For example, if one subscriber has some data remaining but not enough to cover the volume of a session, it is possible to automatically charge a higher price for every extra MB.
CSPs are required to adapt to changing needs among their customer base: revenues from traditional services are declining. In order to launch new services however, CSPs might need to cooperate with partners because they do not have all the knowledge they require in-house. But when they are engaging with multiple new partners, their ecosystem can become quite complex. A modern solution will allow them to easily interact with all the partners within their ecosystem, whether they are mobile virtual network enablers or operators, IoT providers, interconnect and roaming partners, payment service providers or any other type of partner. Strong partner relationship management capabilities address these partners’ unique needs and enables CSPs to extend their role in the value chain.
Cooperating with one or more other parties also requires CSPs to be able to share revenue and interact smoothly and seamlessly with all the partners within their ecosystem, no matter their role. Each of these sectors have their own set of rules, their own business logic and their own way of doing business, and CSPs need to accommodate all of them. For example, if the CSP works with a provider of car charging infrastructure, the billing solution will allow automatic revenue sharing for each individual loading endpoint. This is just one of the ways in which CSPs can cooperate with partners to create new revenue streams and monetize today’s digital lifestyle, IoT and the connected world.