Billing system as a Cost optimizer in economic down turns


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The most obvious and salient features of an effective billing system would be:

* Configure price plans and rates
* Capture call data effectively
* Rate calls accurately in a timely manner
* Generate bills on time and provide accurate invoice

But, with cut throat competition in the telecom sector, it is imperative for Communication service providers to constantly explore ways to differentiate in the market. Exploring the power of an effective billing system beyond the obvious outcomes would help the CSPs in the long run to reduce costs and generate new revenues. This will also help CSPs in gaining larger market share and retaining customer loyalty.

One such opportunity would lie in using the billing system effectively to optimize the operational expense (OPEX) of the CSP. Listed below are the few activities that can be performed via an effective billing system to optimize the cost of the service provider:

Segment the subscriber base by mapping relevant categories from usage trend to the new category of service being introduced. Say internal segmentation based on Mobile usage, data usage, SMS Usage, MMS and other VAS usage. This would optimize the CSP’s marketing expenses for target audience identification.

Integrated Customer communication to increase customer engagement and hence reduce nonpayment. This can be achieved via billing system as follows:

­ SMS/Mail/IVR on Bill generation

­ SMS/Mail/IVR on due date

­ SMS/Mail/IVR on loyalty points

­ SMS/Mail/IVR on Credit limits

Analysis of payment modes will enable payments within the desired timelines. An example would be to suggest a customer who makes payment through his credit card or debit card each time, to switch to Standard Instructions/Electronic Clearing Service (SI/ECS) enabling auto debit from customer’s account.

Analysis of payment locations will enable the service provider to take decisions with respect to increasing or changing the customer touch points like retail outlets, payment outlets or company owned showrooms.

All these cost optimizers and more can be derived out of a billing system effectively and these can be outsourced activities with a revenue sharing cost model or billing in accordance with cost savings achieved by the client.

What is your POV on this? Thoughts, if any, are more than welcome.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Sripathy Srinivasan
Infosys Technologies Ltd
Sripathy leads the Oracle Communication Lab billing team. He specializes in telecom process, domain and billing. He has co-authored thought papers in the billing domain. He will blog on telecom customer relationship management, billing and trends for telecom service providers.


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