Telecommunications billing is an area of interest not just to telcos but also to customers. Enterprise customers want to ensure that they are receiving the right value for money and to receive their bills in an easy to read format to ensure that their budgets are not wasted. The world’s economy requires increasing investment in telecommunications products, and businesses seeking to compete need to ensure that their investments hold value.
Billing Software – The Traditional Approach
Billing software for telcos has traditionally been based on a per service arrangement. It started with the introduction of the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) and landlines where each client would receive a bill per line they had installed. Then as new services arrived, each one was created discretely – the computing power available did not allow for massively complex billing systems. So the customer would receive a bill for the Internet connections separately, and then their TV services, and then their mobile services and so on.
The problem with this approach is that makes it difficult to analyze the value of telecommunications spend at an account level. High numbers of individual bills are almost impossible to sift and bring back together for useful top-level data without an enormous investment in analytical capacity which comes at a substantial cost.
However, billing software has been evolving in the past few years. It’s been clear that there is a better way and that computing power is now affordable enough to deliver a unified bill.
Billing Software – Convergent Billing
Convergent billing is the process by which a customer receives a single bill for all their services – the Internet, Mobile, Mobile Data, Landline, etc. all appear in one single report. This is environmentally friendly (less paper used), it’s economic for telcos (only one set of postage to pay rather than dozens or hundreds) and customer friendly (single report).
Enterprise level customers can cut back on their analytical teams and still maximize the value of their investment in telecommunications. Telcos that haven’t made the transition to convergent billing are doing themselves no favors. Businesses today expect and demand better services.