Union Street was recently featured on the cover of Comms Business magazine. The feature, in its entirety, can be read below or, if you prefer, click here to view a PDF copy of this story from the magazine.
Made for the Channel
Privately owned and independent, Union Street is unquestionably the telecom billing vendor for the channel, explains Vincent Disneur, Head of Sales & Marketing for Union Street. Our solutions are flexible and scalable, ensuring a perfect fit for start-ups through to large wholesalers.
Union Street has always been a 100 percent channel focused. We’re independent, privately owned and completely unaffiliated with any other service provider, ensuring no conflict of interest exists for our CP partners. New entrants come and go, billing vendors are bought and sold, but for 20 years Union Street has moved from strength to strength. This is demonstrated by our consistent organic growth in customer base, revenue and staff levels.
We see the relationship we share with our partners as symbiotic. Their success is our success and their feedback guides development of our products leading to continual improvements. As aBILLity™ gets better, our user community grows. It’s a virtuous circle.
By adopting this collaborative approach, our user community has grown to over 600 CP companies and 3,500 users, making aBILLity™ the billing platform of choice for channel CPs. We’re honoured and very grateful that so many CPs trust aBILLity™ to manage this crucial area of operations.
To ensure aBILLity™ continues to deliver new features that CPs need, we continually plough high levels of revenue back into R&D. For 2019 this will exceed £2 million. Product development isn’t the only area where we excel. Recognising the importance of service delivery around this business-critical software, we also provide a comprehensive support wrap with technical support, training and consultancy services. These assist our user community in leveraging maximum value from our solutions.
In addition to this we provide comprehensive online resources from our service portal. Currently, this features over 100 ‘how-to’ videos and 300 knowledge base articles and it’s growing every day. We also regularly host events for our partners, including our Streets Ahead Roadshow and 2018’s Union Street Partner Conference which was attended by close to 80 partners.
The future’s now
As the leading provider of billing and provisioning software to the channel, we’re often asked what the future has in store. To a large extent, our development roadmap mirrors the fast-changing comms landscape. CPs are continuously under pressure to adapt to disruptive new technologies and to differentiate their market offering accordingly. It’s essential that both we and our software are agile enough to assist them in this regard.
An example of this can be found in the move to subscription-based contracts for bundled services. Around 70 percent of what’s billed through aBILLity™ is now subscription based and we have developed its functionality over the years to ensure it performs exceptionally in this area. Subscriptions present great opportunities for CPs to differentiate themselves with competitive packages but, if the customer’s bill is fixed when the CP’s remains variable, this poses a risk. To assist in this, we have introduced flexible functionality for creating bundles and subscriptions. At the same time, we’ve introduced granular reporting and in-depth revenue assurance tools that will identify loss making customers and help to mitigate risk.
A challenge for the future can be found in BT’s plans to withdraw ISDN services in 2025. The replacement of millions of ISDN lines with IP based telephony is the biggest opportunity the channel has had in years. CPs who can offer the right service and package will clean up and this is something we will help them with.
Now, let’s be honest. Many (not all) existing WLR3 gateways aren’t too impressive. They’re old, ugly, expensive, poorly designed and, all things considered, unlikely to receive much investment or modernisation.
Our new WLR3 portal is an exception to this rule. Using our MOSAIX provisioning framework and, as part of our drive to completely transition aBILLity to a web based solution, we have been able to completely redevelop our WLR3 portal from the ground up. Keeping the user journey firmly in mind, the result is a brand new WLR3 solution that not only looks amazing but also makes WLR3 provisioning a breeze.
Best of all, it’s offered at an extremely competitive price point. If you’re interested to find out more, or to see a demonstration, just give us a call and one of our provisioning experts will be happy to answer any questions you might have on our brand new WLR3 solution.
Much of our development resource over the past few years has focused on transitioning aBILLity™ from what was a traditional desktop application hosted on a CP’s own hardware, to a web-based application hosted in the cloud. This change offers many benefits for CPs including increased mobility, high availability and robust disaster recovery.
Union Street has recruited experienced web designers and user experience architects to ensure that as we add functionality to aBILLity™, we keep the user journey firmly in mind. The result is that aBILLity’s web client is not only feature rich, it also looks amazing with an elegant, streamlined, highly intuitive user interface.
A good example of this can be found in aBILLity’s reimagined WLR interface. As part of our drive to completely transition aBILLity to a web-based solution, we have been able to completely redevelop our WLR3 gateway from the ground up. By working with CPs to understand their requirements, our new WLR3 solution not only looks fantastic but also makes WLR3 provisioning a breeze.
It’s not just the looks that have changed in our drive to the web. We’ve also upgraded our rating engine to deliver increased speed and efficiency. CPs can be confident that as the communications landscape continues to evolve, Union Street and aBILLity™ will continue to provide all the answers to the billing question.
Union Street’s winning formula
Hard work and dedication paid off, as 2018 proved to be quite the successful year for Union Street. Not only did the company scoop the coveted prize for ‘Independent Software Vendor’ at the Comms Business Awards, it also brought home its seventh Comms National Award with aBILLity winning the hotly contested ‘Best Billing Platform’ category.
In addition, the company was recognised as ‘One to Watch’ in the Sunday Times Best companies to work for list.