SURE! Cloud Integrating Platform

September 7th, 2016

In this hyper-connected world where agility and on-demand access are the norm, today’s businesses demand a consumer like experience from platform suppliers.

Yet, many organizations find themselves mired in a maddening reality of fragmented or incomplete offering with frustrated users and missed opportunities. Read more…

Billing, Billing System for On Demand Services, Cloud computing , , , ,

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Dynamics of Cloud service plans and pricing

July 9th, 2016

“Pick what you want” is the mantra that made cloud service providers to stay ahead in the competitive cloud arena. The “On-demand” services offered by cloud service providers are now more dynamically availed by customers. Based on the usage analytics, cloud service providers have to offer new exciting plans to keep customer happy and to get competitive advantage. To meet such requirements of the market dynamics, cloud service providers have to come-up with new promising plans that enhances customer stickiness, sign-up for long term contracts and engages them to avail services continuously.

Service providers are more competitive in offering modular packages such as Bronze, Gold, Platinum with additional services topping on the higher packages and Pay as you go services in order to suffice the market requirement. Though services are offered across the globe, they should support local currencies or a single standard currency.

Service provider system should have the option to scale up and scale down the services with respect to the market. Flexible service plans such as region and customer specific packages, dynamic pricing, lower monthly fixed plus usage based charges, long term contracts exclude or include different tax rates and support based services are few important factors which enhances the customer acquisition rate. These factors makes your customer comfortable and helps you to maintain long term business unlike B2C where most of the customers choose to pay online for their services, all banks in India uses similar model of online fund transfers for like NEFT or RTGS depends on the amount, it uses bank account details like account number, ifsc code and branch details for online transactions in India. From abroad to India, they use Swift code.

A service provider system should be flexible enough to allow customer to avail the service, even after exceeding the usage limit and charge them on the overages rather than terminating the service. This results in less efforts in customer retention process and more concentration of customer acquisition .

Some more scenarios where service provider’s system should support.

  • Automates in changing the customer package on a future date.
  • Override the existing price and define a new price for the same price plan.

Billing, Cloud computing, Pricing, SaaS, SaaS Monetization, Saas pricing

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Multi VM Orchestration

December 26th, 2013

Automation and Orchestration of multiple virtualized environments within a cloud data center (IaaS) is one of the key technologies that enables both customers and Cloud platform (IaaS) providers to deliver services in a predictable and recurrent model. This is the only method to be adopted by IaaS providers. However, it is not applicable for single Virtualization platform providers.

The main challenge stems from having a solution that will enable seamless integration of all the virtualization platforms, and at the same time provide a flexible solution for service providers and customers to create and utilize the infrastructure from different sources.

Do you agree with the solution? Do you see this as a key challenge?

Billing, Billing System for On Demand Services, Cloud computing , , , ,

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Deficient Billing Erodes Customer Trust And Business Viability

December 26th, 2013

Billing errors impact customer trust, and significantly affect customer satisfaction levels. This was illustrated by a recent survey of 2,000 energy utility customers in the UK undertaken by Consumer Intelligence. Their research found that 30% of those polled, had discovered an error on their energy bill. 28% had been overcharged in 2012 by an average of £121, leading customers to conclude that utilities are overpricing on purpose, which the accused utilities vehemently deny, but customer confidence is eroded to an all-time low. Read more…

Billing, Billing System for On Demand Services, Cloud computing , , ,

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On Demand Business Model

April 23rd, 2012

The beauty of On Demand Services is that, you can access and avail service any time you need, but for premium ones you need to pay for it.

There are also challenges in maintaining these kind of services, as a corporate if you have On Demand Services these should be accessible by your customers at any time through internet and these customers can be from various region and from a region there might be different types of customers (Sex, Age, etc) accessing the service and so you need deliver the appropriate content based on parameters such as region, customer profile, etc.

There are content Management systems (CMS) available which can index the content based on parameters and store it, qualify the request for content based on parameters such as region, customer profile, etc and provision the appropriate content.

So, Content Delivery is managed through these systems but on pricing part, On Demand Service Provider might come up with different prices for the same content in different region and also packaging of services using various combinations of services as promotional activity and further more invoicing and collecting the payments, before provisioning of the content.

CMS are not capable of packaging & pricing of the services, invoicing & payments collection, this part can be handled by Billing Systems.

So, On Demand Service Providers can have good turn over in this model by having an efficient CMS and Billing Systems in place.

On Demand services are really on demand in each industry, here is an example of banking industry. Many functional parts of the banking services require billing solutions.

SaaS billing solution

SaaS billing services can be known by simply distinct popular business terms like “software upon demand.” end users or even consumers utilize the computer software legally through make payment on license via a new pay as you use system or perhaps through the subscription.

These People will no longer have to buy the entire hardware and furthermore the software program they may not want for a lengthy time. Taking photographs involving the things about him fully satisfies him.

The cost of buying the necessary server hardware as well as the software program itself is too steep as in contrast to computer software as services remedies the place where a organization may just spend for your utilisation involving the software.

Organizations should really take benefit of this prior to they’re forgotten through their own competition.

SaaS Billing blogs from around the web

Billing, Billing System for On Demand Services, Saas pricing , , , , , , ,

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Revenue Management & Customer Retention in Subscription Management

March 26th, 2012

Principle of Subscription Management Business Model - “Transforming Onetime Revenue to Recurring Revenue”. This lured many corporate and even industries to shape, offer and buy their services on subscription basis by the customer. Many (companies) turned to subscription model to -(leverage on) the advantages embedded in the principle  such as business continuity (Financially), brand and customer loyalty, up selling, revenues from subscription sale (value) greater than Onetime, etc. Customers prefer to buy product or service on subscription basis as it eases the payment for expensive items, saves time in case of frequently purchased items, etc. This Model fetches advantage for both the customer and service provider.

How customer retention results in revenue generation?

Service Provider receives payments from customer on periodic basis in subscription model, but one should be aware of the fact that losing a customer in middle of any subscription period might bring down sale value, instead which onetime sale would have bought him more money. So, retaining a customer in subscription model is a key for recurring revenue. Service providers need to efficiently and effectively handle the some / all of the below activities in order to retain a customer in subscription model

Pricing and Packaging Management: Create and offer flexible price plans, offer discounts and promotions, etc to win a new customer and also for retaining the existing customers.

Contract Management – Service providers need to efficiently store and manage the contract related transactions such as up gradation/down gradation/renewals) to maintain a continuous information of a customer. By knowing purchasing behavior of a customer on a continuous basis will facilitate a service provider to retain a customer.

Billing – Number of invoices generated will be more in subscription model compared to onetime sale. Service providers should be able to generate invoices on periodic basis with different frequencies (monthly/quarterly/half yearly/Yearly) as per contract agreement.

Customer Care – Need to provide 24/7 online help desk services, handle requests in time, and provide self-care portal with privileges to view their contract details, bills, raise tickets, etc for providing transparency.

Some service providers handle these operations manually, which might work for a business with a low customer base, but for higher ones there should be a system in place to take care of these operations.  In the case of a small company the billing process is handled manually and faces a critical challenge in scaling up their business. And a reasonably large company faces critical issues by managing their business in a manual fashion or by obsolete systems. Subscription centric billing systems like eVapt are fast replacing various traditional billing systems in many companies across the world.

These billing systems come with a set of features that are increasingly becoming necessary rather than a option to run the business. These modern day billing systems come with various abilities like integration with CRMs, ERPs, Financial Accounting Systems, etc and ability address various organization specific billing requirements and supports data transformation.

These benefits are increasingly being adopted by various business houses across the world and are enabling them to scale up their business by completely automating their business process and supporting in faster time to market their services & offerings.

Billing, Cloud computing, OSS, Pricing, SaaS, SaaS Monetization, Saas pricing , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Identification and successful mitigation of challenges in Partner Management: An IaaS Scenario

February 16th, 2012

In the context of IaaS or data center (Cloud computing), Partners play an important role of business process. Be it as a technology partner who is enabling the service provider by providing technology support or a sales partner who is sells the products to the end customers. No matter what kind of a partner one is, he is an important part of the value chain of a company and should be rewarded according to his contribution. Companies see to it that their partners get their benefit in terms of commissions, which are also called revenue sharing.

Some of the examples of these partners are virtualization platforms, resellers, vendors, payment gateways, sales personnel to name a few. This business model of passing on the benefit to its partners can actually improve the presence of a company in the market, without actually spending directly towards the same. A strong market presence in the market using partners can be helpful for better market penetration, new product introduction, increasing the markets into new segments, reduce the efforts required to build a system, handle payments etc.

Partnership model of business, however has few challenges to address from a business process point of view. Partner agreements are different from one another as the agreements are made on the basis of each partner’s role in the business process. Hence the revenue settlement cannot be done on the basis of a single agreement. Companies without billing systems generally take care of the revenue settlement manually in a tedious process and this leads to reduction in revenue and increase in expenditure.

Billing systems like eVapt come with a revenue settlement module as revenue settlement is treated as an important part of revenue management. These systems come integrated with payment gateway and a FAS(Financial Accounting System).

So once the receivables are received, the billing system will automatically credit the respective amount of money in the partners account in your accounting system based on the pre-defined settlement rule.

Agile development, Billing, Cloud computing, Uncategorized, eVapt, eVapt Inc

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Agility and Flexibility in Rating and Billing

May 27th, 2010

Cloud service providers should be capable of billing automatically based on any billing cycle. But one must not ignore the pains of a cloud service provider in calculating the usage of each and every customer, applying a specified rate plan, and generating a bill. So there should be a proper mechanism in generating a statement of account or invoice/bill.

Now the challenge here is, cloud service provider has to have a continuous watch on the usage consumption of its customer(s) which may prevent from significant revenue loss. Solution towards this is a Metering component, which integrates with cloud service providers database servers / control panel /virtualization platform to collect the usage detailed records (UDRs).

Does this accurate usage collection details really facilitate in generating usage based invoices/bills? In order to do so, a flexible rating engine should be in place to rate each individual service usage. Rating engine should allow service provider to comprehensively define different price rules and measure based on the usage. So rating engine should be extensible with no restriction on units of measurement, support flat and tiered (incremental) rating schemes and also support both the prepaid and post paid scenarios.

Following are the different rate plans a cloud service provider metering and rating system should support.

Volume based rate plan: Based on the total volume (e.g.: storage space) consumption, system should support incremental slab where price per unit varies. Depending on the total usage invoices are to be generated.

Time based rate plan: Any day of the week, day of the year and time of the day are considered in order to define different rate plans (Off peak, holidays, business hours etc). And based on these parameters the usage is been calculated and the bills are generated accordingly.

Billing: Invoicing/billing process will use the charges generated from rating engine i.e. discounts and tax calculation and posting them into accounts. Billing engine should also be flexible to support prorate rules while calculating the final invoice/bill.

Billing, Cloud computing, Pricing, Saas pricing , , , , ,

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Challenges of Usage Metering in Cloud Computing

March 12th, 2010

Whose challenge is this ? Marketing team is coming up with innovative price plans, Sales is aggressive in acquiring customers, Technical team is provisioning services, Customer is availing every option of service extensively but end of the month, usage metering , calculation and invoicing !…..How do we do this? Is this a concern for every cloud computing provider ?

To have competitive edge and sustain in the cloud market place, cloud service providers are flexible in terms of their services, price plans or pricing structure which introduced the concept of Pay Per Use (PPU). But, one must not ignore the pains of a cloud service provider in tracking, collating and calculating the usage of each and every customer, applying respective rate plan, and generating a bill.

In addition to the usage based pricing parameters such as storage space, bandwidth consumption, computing cycles, number of users, modules, services, instances, downloads, alerts, hours etc, every cloud service provider has its own vertical specific usage based pricing charges e.g. in SaaS HRM vertical , they charge based on number of employees, or per month per user, Now the challenge here is cloud service provider has to have a continuous watch on the usage consumption of its customer(s) which may prevent from significant revenue loss. Alerting and allowing a customer on the usage limit (threshold) is again one such crucial business process. Cloud service provider follow a manual process or they have a tool in house developed to track such things. This exercise involves additional human resource or efforts to their operations .

Manual usage tracking is not much of a painful process for start-ups with less customers. However usage tracking process would become a challenging and painful process for the service providers with Large customer base. Hence cloud service provider should automate its usage tracking process and keep a weather eye on the individual customer’s usage consumption. This will reduce the revenue loss occurred in manual process.

eVapt has proven experience in collecting the usage records for cloud subscription service providers across the globe. eVapt has deployed its solution along with it’s Metering module which integrates with cloud service providers database servers / control panel /virtualization platform to collect the usage detailed records (UDRs). This will collect data that is in logfiles, databases or can run scripts written in Java to collect data. The Metering component in eVapt allows collections of multiple usage type and accurate processing of the same. This will plug the loss of revenues through accurate usage collection and processing.

Cloud computing, Pricing, SaaS, SaaS Monetization, Saas pricing

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Cloud solution fitting into the jigsaw of the current IT eco-system

February 3rd, 2010

We have seen a significant increase in cloud solution adaption during the financial crises period. Customers / users are now more cautious in evaluating the cloud solutions. In addition to the adaptability, user friendly and scalable criteria, organizations are now more concerned about any third party system’s capability in interacting with the existing solutions in the eco-system. Where as the eco-system may have few home grown solutions, standalone applications, third party systems, back office solutions etc.,

Opting a cloud business application affects all the areas of an organization, from sales & marketing, technical, operational and till customer support. An integrated cloud system should ensure that there is no redundancy in data, yet without compromising on its security.

So System should have a flexible architecture which ensures integration with external systems and internal systems of the organization. And the overall system should be tightly integrated resulting in enriching the value of their offerings through the synergy of functionality brought together on these platforms.

Though there are good number solution providers aware of this fact, still few of the solutions offered to Cloud Business are not fully geared up in delivering these promises or expectations to their customers.

Cloud computing, Economy, SaaS

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