If you want to run your billing functions using an external service then your main choices are cloud billing, managed cloud billing, and billing as a service, more commonly known as BaaS.
While many people use cloud services to store their data and businesses use them to deliver content, services, accounting programs, social networking services, and to share resources there has been plenty of resistance towards the idea of billing through cloud services by communications and digital service providers and even larger enterprises.
It’s certainly not easy to replace an in-house legacy system that a company has been using for a long time, and it’s incredibly difficult to transition from the very old to the modern cloud technology, but this hasn’t stopped people from using BaaS to offer services that would not be compatible with their existing billing platforms.
The challenges to using cloud billing are the same as the challenges one faces with any transformation project, but changing to a BaaS mode of billing forces the enterprise to analyse and even modify their processes to optimise them and get them ready for the cloud.
As pressure builds on enterprises and operators to bring in more revenue and reduce costs, along with customers demanding more options for services and pricing schemes, the ultimate strategy appears to be cloud-based billing, which can handle all of these problems and more.
While there is still an interest in clinging to old legacy billing systems from providers and companies, these companies could find themselves the minority as cloud billing continues to expand and become more widely used.
Expect Staggering Growth
Markets and Markets put an estimated price tag of around $2.4 billion on the cloud billing market back in 2013. It’s predicted that this figure will become $9.5 billion by the time 2018 rolls around, which would represent an annual growth of 32%.
There are a number of reasons that companies are interested in embracing BaaS, but the most prominent reason is staying competitive in the modern digital world. If a service is required to be launched within a matter of days rather than months then the company needs to have a billing system that can keep up with these requirements. With a service such as FlyBilling it’s possible to implement in a matter of days without the need to spend a lot of money upfront. Organisations can implement a new product or service in-house on a “pay as you go” basis.
The following will particularly benefit from using BaaS:
- An established service provider looking to move to a cloud-based solution from a legacy system in order to reduce the complexity of their systems, reduce costs, and improve overall customer service;
- Service providers who don’t want to, or just can’t, upgrade their old platform to use it with a new service;
- An entrant company that doesn’t have an in-house billing solution already and so relies on managed services to handle billing;
- Enterprises that offer a subscription billing service that need dynamic pricing and require charging data;
- People looking to handle a revenue-sharing agreement or a partner settlement;
- A range of complex services, including services introduced at a moment’s notice