There is much talk, and some confusion, in the reseller channel about WLR3 integration and its relationship to billing applications.
Billing of wholesale line rental is relatively simple and most of the billing platforms on the market will do it. However WRL3 integration is more about provisioning and customer care; the impact on billing is solely avoiding duplicating data entry. Whilst some platforms interface directly with WLR3 and some via a third party WLR3 portal, the problem arises when other carriers or distributers have their own portal, or their own version of a third party portal.
This makes it difficult for all billing providers to offer the full suite that resellers are looking for – it is important to recognise that a system that integrates directly with BT Openreach may not integrate with the WLR3 portal of your chosen carrier. WLR3 integration may give advantages for those who have a direct Openreach account, but little or no advantage if ordering lines through a different carrier.
Whilst I see WLR3 as directly associated with provisioning and customer care, I don’t refute the importance of integration as a whole for billing platforms.
For me, overall integration is where real benefits are to be achieved. The capability to integrate billing platforms with provisioning systems, customers’ CRM systems and accounting packages for example, allows for an automated back-office including but not limited to WLR3.
From my perspective there are currently bigger issues facing resellers in the market, particularly smaller providers, who would find it more advantageous to bring their billing in-house. Lack of knowledge can lead to confusion and reluctance for resellers to take control of their billing.