When working with communication providers (CPs) to optimise their billing operations, we sometimes find situations where they are invoicing fixed recurring service charges externally from their telecoms billing platform. These include services such as lease lines, maintenance and IT management. Because these service charges are not variable based on consumption of network services, it’s possible to raise invoices using accounts, CRM, or other software packages.
The reasons why a CP might bill in this way are varied although rapid growth, mergers and acquisitions are common culprits. In most situations the CP realises that this is not ideal. Billing using multiple systems is time consuming, results in multiple invoices for the customer and limits operational scalability.
Additionally, it’s impossible to gain complete visibility of your customers’ profitability without first extracting data from the various applications and collating it externally. Hardly an effective use of time and resources. Occasionally we’ve found CPs selling services at a loss simply because they haven’t had sufficient resources to collate and analyse data from their various billing applications.
In the case of some network services (e.g. lease lines), it also becomes very hard to conduct reconciliation of supplier costs without using a telecoms billing platform to automate the process. Carrier reconciliation allows you to align outward billing to that which is being billed to you by your carrier, ensuring nothing is missed. Trying to conduct reconciliation manually is possible but it’s an extremely labour intensive process.
If you’re not already doing so then for all these reasons and more, taking the time to consolidate service charges into your telecoms billing platform is well worth doing. It can deliver massive improvements to operational efficiency and, best of all, you can achieve complete continuous visibility of your customers’ profitability, maximising your margins without need for intensive manual intervention.