Roundup

Billing Solutions

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  July 08, 2014

Trends in billing continue to change and shift.

For example, IDC’s recently unveiled 2014 Consumer Payments Survey indicates there’s recently been a small decline in online bill payment, but that mobile payments have increased slightly.

"After several years of growth, the market for 'alternative' payment methods is now entering a period where adoption gains may come more slowly and where simply providing an alternative isn't enough. Instead, providers need to offer products that add value beyond the payment," said James Wester, IDC’s practice director for worldwide payment strategies and the author of the report.

Here is a rundown of some of the companies providing billing solutions, and related offers, in the communications space.

Accenture

Accenture provides the full range of consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing services that enable communications service providers to develop and deploy the billing and revenue management capabilities necessary to support a more customer-centric business that delivers digital products and services for customers. As CSPs compete in the digital ecosystem, these billing and revenue management capabilities can help provide revenue assurance and be a strategic enabler for CSPs, where billing can be a make or break experience for consumers and enterprises, who switch providers if dissatisfied. Accenture enables clients to establish new or improved billing and revenue management capabilities for consumer and enterprise customers to maximize revenue assurance and rationalize pre- and post-paid billing architectures. Services include billing/BSS transformation and consolidation; billing analytics solution deployment; smart monetization for digital services/content and data in real time, such as dynamic and rule-based pricing; real-time promotions; cost and spending controls; and mobile broadband data monetization through policy control. Accenture enables new billing capabilities to support CSPs’ launch of new business businesses, services and pricing models, including value-based pricing, hybrid offerings, policy-driven and dynamic pricing; outsourced billing application development and maintenance, testing and operations; and transformation of revenue assurance capabilities.

ACSI-Automated Communications Services

ACSI is a communications management and electronic payment solutions service. Our cloud-based software service in combination with our automated document factory allow for the delivery of statements, invoices, and bills through multiple channels including print, e-mail, SMS, and web hosting. Through this platform documents can be viewed, tracked, sorted, cleansed, and searched by job or item. Our software comes with several reporting options that can be easily integrated with any accounting software. This solution also includes a secure electronic payment portal that is fully branded to our clients and allows their customers to pay bills via ACH, credit, and debit. Our solutions are sold as a service, making them affordable and customizable. ACSI also specializes in trans-promo marketing, document design, and process consulting. Our trans-promo services allow clients to reduce their communications and billing costs through advertising revenue or up-sales. Our document design team creates professional invoices and statements that are specifically designed to drive your end users toward cost saving e-delivery and DSO reducing e-payment.

Advanced Technology Group (ATG)

ATG is a specialized consultancy that focuses on solving complex quote to cash challenges for our clients. Central to these challenges are the billing and collections for services, especially for our service provider clients who rely on subscriptions, usage-based charges, and bundling of products and services to generate revenue. The billing industry has experienced dramatic changes over the past 20 years, seemingly re-inventing itself every few years or so. Today’s buyer of billing services must wade through dozens of alternatives, from stodgy but proven (yet still pricey) on premises systems to state of the art SaaS/cloud billers, to emerging open source billing platforms. If the marketing brochures are correct, every vendor has the greenest grass on the block. We help our clients sort through the myriad billing alternatives on the market and accelerate the process of finding the right billing partner.  Implementing a new billing platform is a mission critical and career impacting decision. If you are in need of a billing solution, give us a call and we will leverage our decades of billing experience and dozens of on premises and cloud billing implementations to help you achieve your objectives.

BeQuick Software

Fusion is a hosted cloud-based billing and fulfillment solution that powers the entire wireless customer lifecycle. From CRM, agent care, and automated order capture, through fulfillment, billing, e-commerce, payment, and analytical dashboards, Fusion offers the entire range of back office capabilities wireless businesses require to thrive and remain competitive. Its focus on wireless business models and on fostering client self-sufficiency accelerates time to market for new products, pricing, and customer experiences. Fusion supports a range of wireless business models including MVNOs, resellers and agents, mobile broadband service providers, and application-based services. 

BillingPlatform.com

BillingPlatform.com offers a comprehensive, billing solution for enterprises of all sizes and industries – available in the cloud. Its customer base is spread across a variety of different markets, many of which are in diverse sectors of the telecommunications space including VoIP, cellular, satellite, network backbone, among others. Its suite of features cover the full spectrum of convergent billing needs, and can be rapidly customized to fit any business model or process and quickly adapted to reflect new product and service offerings. The application allows companies to easily create complex, competitive service bundles on demand to help reduce product development cycles and speed time-to-market. The platform can also rate and mediate high-volume usage in any format as well as support blended rate, flat fees, and subscriptions with overage tiers. Its customer-centric invoicing, rating, and dunning allows for client-specific invoicing cycles as well as custom invoice layouts, flat-file feeds, dunning, and payment options. Like Salesforce.com, BillingPlatform offers a completely configurable user interface and data model that can be leveraged to seamlessly integrate related business processes like provisioning and sales into invoicing and rating via built-in, dynamic web service APIs or application front-end extensions.

Ericsson

Ericsson (News - Alert) offers Service Agility to help operators and their partners accelerate innovative service design, assembly, delivery and management. Service Agility makes it easier for operators to collaborate with an ecosystem of partners, suppliers and application developers, facilitating faster launch of a much broader range of innovative products and services. The solution incorporates Ericsson's broad OSS/BSS and Service Enablement portfolio in a framework that provides rapid and efficient innovation for agile service creation needs as well as accessibility by approved business partners for revenue-generating collaboration. It drives service management and includes delivery through a common enterprise product catalog and is pre-integrated with Ericsson's fully convergent charging and billing in one solution. It also provides mechanisms for exposure of new services as well as interaction for smooth collaboration, faster time-to-market, faster service delivery and cost efficiency. Service Agility uses a single, open and flexible framework to provide a complete solution that allows a user to browse and select offerings from an enterprise catalog that stores all product information as components, and provides a uniform way to create and expose service management, such as charging and policy parameters, and service delivery elements. Pre-integrated software, open APIs, and reusable catalog components stimulate fast, economical integration and product development.

Freeside Internet Services Inc.

The Freeside billing platform is the premier open-source billing, trouble ticketing and provisioning software for ISPs, VoIP providers and other online businesses. Like Linux or Android, the platform is available under a royalty-free license and supported by a global community of developers from multiple companies. Since 1996, thousands of companies have used the software to bill millions of customers. The platform includes billing and converged invoicing for Internet, VoIP and telco services, including anniversary/pro-rating, usage-based billing, CDR rating, free minutes, caps, toll-free billing, minute pools, 1/6/30/60 second billing, 30/6 and other split-billing, as well as real time credit card and

electronic check processing. The CRM module includes prospecting, quotations and customer conversions. An extensive trouble ticketing system assists in support operations, and the customer portal allows customer self-care functionality such as signing up, changing plans, making payments, viewing usage and more. The software supports retail and wholesale operation, and multiple companies or brands in a multi-tenant capacity. Freeside Internet Services offers turnkey billing appliances, implementation and training services, and customized billing solutions.

LogiSense

LogiSense (News - Alert) is a global provider of billing and usage rating solutions to the telecommunications, cloud communications, machine-to-machine, convergent, and broadband industries. Communications service providers rely on LogiSense's flagship product, EngageIP Billing and Usage Rating to automate, optimize, and simplify their back-office requirements such as billing, order management, usage rating, taxing, invoice presentment, and customer self-care – while staying ahead of their competitors with new service offerings and improve operational efficiency.

Profitec Billing Services Inc.

Profitec (News - Alert) is a SaaS billing provider combining state of the art billing with powerful OSS components. The OmniBill service integrates with platform or carrier usage data to support a wide range of billing methodologies including full taxation support. OSS products OmniBill and OmniCare interact with platform table data, keeping the billing database in synch with recent user changes eliminating leakage and avoiding duplicate data entry. Other system functions include CRM, channel management, e-billing presentment, end user self-care, and end user self-initiation. Profitec’s open APIs simplify integration to many third-party applications for integration with sales systems and accounting applications. The core OmniBill OSS is enhanced with the integration of Profitec’s OmniAgent sales channel management and OmniSignup end user e-commerce applications. The newest OmniBill release offers complete support for hosted communications including multiple billing options and support for end user-based product bundles. As a service bureau, we provide the service on a pay-as-you-go basis, minimizing startup expenses and capital equipment investment.

Star2Billing

Star2Billing provides a range of commercial and open source solutions for the telecom industry, specializing in scalable switch and telecom billing systems for residential, business, and wholesale telephony markets, as well as a pre-paid and post-paid calling card platform supporting pinless dialing with a flexible rating and billing engine for imaginative VoIP, DID resale, calling-card and call-back products and services.

Additionally, Star2Billing has a telecom CDR mediation, rating engine, and call data record analysis application for post-paid invoicing applications with a range of connectors to different switch types and supporting many call data formats.

Star2Billing also supplies other telecom products such as multi-tenant voice/SMS broadcasting and telecom software development.

SVK Software Corp.

CDR2Cloud is a cloud-based billing solution for call detail record files. CDR files represent the transaction detail of every call/data usage processed through your network, and as such contain billing and statistical metrics needed for normal telco operations. CDR2Cloud is an easy to use, online billing service that provides billing and management metrics from your CDR files. Whether your network processes one hundred or one million calls/transactions per month, CDR2Cloud ensures that you reliably rate and bill every single call/transaction. CDR2Cloud is available 24 hours a day, via any browser/device and allows you to monitor your billing from the office, home or on the go. CDR2Cloud also allows you to invoice your customers for anything, anytime, via the complete invoice/payment module – allowing you to define your own invoice items, price, and minimum quantity. Generate invoices from drafts or from scratch.  Text or binary, CSV or TAB, CDR2Cloud will read, process, and rate any CDR file. Every record in your CDR file will be identified according to your customer definition, rated according to your rate, and billed according to you taxes, fees, and billing schedule.

TransNexus

NexOSS is a pre-paid and post-paid billing solution for SIP trunking services. It is the only billing solution on the market that is fully integrated with dynamic least cost routing and telecom fraud control. NexOSS features innovative credit controls, which allow users to set customized e-mail and SNMP alarm triggers based on hourly or daily spend rates per customer.  This feature allows a service provider to receive real-time alerts and block or divert calls when customers are experiencing unusual or fraudulent activity, preventing future billing disputes. NexOSS includes detailed call traffic and quality of service reporting, as well as multi-currency settlement billing features. The NexOSS CDRAnalyzer feature includes a simple, high performance application for archiving and locating call detail records. NexOSS is interoperable with most popular VoIP equipment including Oracle Acme Packet, BroadSoft, Cisco, Metaswitch, Taqua (News - Alert), and Sansay. 

USA VOIP

Utile PMS Link has been designed to facilitate the connection between PBXs and other telecommunication devices (Internet, TV, etc.) with the Proprietary Management System installed within the hospitality market (hotels, resorts, hospitals, etc.) with 90 percent market share in Spain. This product is a middleware between the PBX (News - Alert) and the PMS system, enabling an easy and transparent integration between phone or data devices with the management hotel systems. Strengthening the operation of hotel phone services, incorporating advanced telephone services to the PMS, and providing a low cost integration solution that offers security and control in the connectivity between voice and data systems. The application has minimum PC requirements, it’s easy to install and configure, and it works as a service. Virtual license is available through the Internet (with no dongle or installation CD needed).




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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