​The Advent of Intelligent Billing Services 

Carl Boraman, Commercial Director at Tollring looks at how the latest billing services need to offer a high level of management information.
The nature of billing services has changed with the growth of apps and managed services. Enterprise customers are looking to be billed for services in a clear and accurate way so that they can easily understand usage and costs.
Many resellers outsource billing services to third parties but it is important to check that they are geared for subscription-based cloud services. Resellers need to ensure that their current platform is delivering and that it can cope with future developments such as more agile contracts.
Interestingly, billing the customer is just the first stage.  The resellers must now be able to see and understand what that data means to the customer.  The key requirement is management information. Many billing systems do not associate the cost with a user – and going forward, this is going to be really important.
A billing system covering mobile devices will need to cater for mobile app usage and associated storage on a user by user basis. It may be a mobile device using Microsoft Office 365 allocated to a specific user and the customer needs to see who that user is and what they are doing.  Traditional billing systems may struggle with this level of detail.
Resellers should be looking for high levels of Managing Information so that they can offer trend based information. Companies will then be able to monitor their usage and costs month by month, and see what is being used and by whom.
Whether on the billing platform itself or another Management Information solution, resellers need to deliver intelligent billing services to their customers. They need to understand the billing and Management Information requirements of their customers and seek opportunities to make the information useful and then charge for the enhanced billing intelligence.
Many resellers use Tollring’s iC360 to consolidate any number of bills so that they can see all services in a single view and determine details such as the total cost per individual employee.