Billing is no longer the just functional process of calculating usage and compiling invoices. Today, billing operations hold much more strategic importance to service providers in many vertical markets.
This is particularly the case in deregulated utilities and energy supply markets. Gas, electricity, and water are mere commodities and the differences among suppliers in competitive markets are minimal. Many utility service providers are investing in upgrading their billing processes in a strategic effort to improve the attractiveness of their services and create differentiators from their competitors.
The same can be said about the communications market. Most voice and data services are also commodities, and many communications service providers are promoting their efficient billing processes as a unique selling point to attract new business and keep customers loyal.
Strategy over functionality
LogNet Billing is a BSS vendor and provides what it refers to as Modern Billing solutions. Since the company’s founding in 1996, LogNet Billing has deployed its billing solutions for over 60 service provider customers worldwide, including providers of communications, utilities, transportation, financial and gaming services. Many of these implementations have involved complex retail, wholesale and B2B billing requirements.
“We have been in business for over 20 years and have large and diversified customer base. This is something we are very proud of, and few other billing vendors can claim this,” commented Rechter.
Rechter is quick to point out that when LogNet Billing engages new customers, the company focuses on the service provider’s growth strategy rather than its detailed functional requirements. He said that LogNet Billing concentrates on the service provider’s strategy and then explores together with the service provider how the operational areas of billing, service delivery and customer management can be used to expand the business.
“This really is the essence of our Modern Billing approach,” said Rechter. “It’s about helping our service provider customers leverage their billing operation as a growth engine.”
Rechter noted that the need for Modern Billing is clear, although the strategy is applied differently for each service provider depending on its current situation and objectives. For instance, Rechter said that many service providers approach LogNet Billing regarding merging separate business lines into a unified multiple service operation, which enables a service provider to better package services and reduce operational complexity by managing one system rather than multiple systems. The company also has a lot of engagements involving service providers looking to entering new service markets to generate new revenue streams or service providers wanting to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency with standardized and automated workflows.
“We also get a lot of new business that comes from new entrants, especially in the retail energy space, who want to get their billing operation done right from the start of their operations,” further explained Rechter.
At the core of Modern Billing is LogNet Billing’s MaxBill solution. According to the company, MaxBill is a full end-to-end billing and customer management solution. MaxBill is designed to support multiple service operation thereby allowing a service provider to manage numerous products and services in a unified framework. In addition to these multiple play capabilities, MaxBill has a configurable workflow engine and integrated modules for CRM, product catalog, order management, partner management, billing, rating, and self-service.
Rechter described the configurable workflow engine as one of the keys strengths of the MaxBill system. He said that with this workflow engine the business processes and billing workflows could be fully automated and reach all levels of a service provider’s operation.
LogNet Billing is currently very active in competitive utility markets, mostly in the UK and Western Europe. The company is highly involved in helping new entrant gas, electricity and water suppliers rollout efficient billing processes and transparent pricing as a means to capture market share and create loyal customers.
In the near feature, LogNet Billing expects to continue to expand into additional vertical markets, such as the communications and the gaming sectors where its many plays and B2B partnership management capabilities are in high demand.
Rechter highlighted that recently many of the company’s new customer engagements started with successful trials of the MaxBill system.
The company is currently offering qualified potential customers to contact LogNet Billing and register for a no obligations trial of the cloud-based version of MaxBill, including many of its advanced billing features as well as the solutions mobile self-care app.