Last October, as part of Comms Business’s feature on Billing Services, we were asked the above question by the magazine’s editorial team. It’s an interesting question and one that we hear from time to time from other channel colleagues.
In our opinion, deploying cloud based billing solutions software in the cloud is without doubt the way forward for the communications channel. In 2016, the amount of resellers choosing to use our cloud hosting billing service to host their aBILLity billing system exceeded, for the first time, those that choose to host aBILLity using their own hardware. With the recent redeployment of our hosted environment in Microsoft Azure, which offers numerous benefits to clients, we can only expect this service to increase in demand.
There are many reasons why cloud based solutions, in general, are outstripping their on-premise counterparts in popularity. One of the biggest advantages is perhaps the scalability that’s on offer. The ability to scale up resources, processing power and storage in times of peak demand lends it itself particularly well to billing environments.
Cloud also offers many mobility benefits as well as heightened performance and availability. Perhaps best of all, resellers are able to outsource management of disaster recovery, data security, server maintenance and capacity at an extremely cost effective price point.
Cloud won’t necessarily suit all channel resellers. In particular, those that supply services to businesses in the financial sector and other regulated industries, will need to be able to demonstrate to their customers that they retain complete control over their data centre and its security. This is not an issue as Union Street will continue to offer our aBILLity software both as an on-premise and cloud based solution. We believe this flexibility respects clients’ wishes to host our billing solutions in their own environment if that that is what they choose but, in many cases, we’re struggling to understand why people are choosing the on-premise option.
Whether or not a ‘pay as you go’ pricing model is truly beneficial for resellers is questionable. Increased usage does not necessarily equate to increased revenues or profitability for resellers. A pricing model that’s based on revenue percentage will continue, at least for the moment, to be the fairest most reliable pricing platform and one that the market is likely to prefer.
If you have any questions or require further information on our cloud based billing solutions, simply get in touch.