As part of its Billing Services for Business feature, leading industry magazine Comms Dealer, recently asked us, ‘What is your general market viewpoint in a billing context (ie, macro forces and trends at play that interest you most) and how do you see the market developing? What does all this mean for your business and resellers?’
Here’s what our MD, Vincent Disneur, had to say.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the channel. The industry is being transformed by shifts in technology and customer behaviour. With new technology fast becoming reality, the channel is presented with a wealth of opportunity. These are certain to reinvigorate the channel’s role in the supply chain and offer huge potential for CPs to differentiate their propositions and add value. There are, however, significant obstacles posed by increasing pressure on prices and the inexorable shift towards bundles and ‘all-you-can eat’ subscription models. Effective billing and revenue assurance must be key to CPs’ strategies for overcoming these challenges and ensuring profitability.
The transition from copper to fibre along with the migration from traditional fixed line services to mobile and data will create a more varied supply chain, as will convergence and growing opportunities available in the IT space. The rise of the subscription economy along with other changes in customer behaviours and expectations also present the channel with enormous potential for growth, and billing vendors must support their partners with solutions that assist in the monetisation of emerging opportunities.
Full fibre roll out and the closure of the PSTN means that transitioning customers to VoIP must be a priority for communication providers (CPs). However, with margins continually under pressure, generating growth from VoIP services remains a challenge. For CPs that have come to enjoy the least cost routing options available with Openreach’s carrier preference service, VoIP could in some ways be a step backwards with a significant loss of control over how CPs’ estate traffic is routed. One of our objectives help CPs redress this imbalance and ensure the profitability of their VoIP services.
Because of the trend towards convergence, CPs are increasingly evolving into single source suppliers for comms, IT and an ever-increasing range of services for end user customers. Clear and consolidated billing is highly desirable for end users, so being able to combine all these service charges into one bill is a major selling point for CPs. To achieve this a billing platform must be able to process and categorise all recurring and one-off service charges in addition to any rateable charges for call traffic, subscriptions, licenses and more.
Consolidating all billing into a single system doesn’t just offer benefits for end users. It can deliver massive improvements to CPs’ operational efficiency by providing complete and continuous visibility of customers’ profitability without having to collate data from multiple systems. We’ve introduced a number of features into our software to enable CPs to effectively consolidate their billing and also provide consultancy services to help them achieve this.”
Find out more about Union Street’s telecoms billing solutions.