If a week is a long time in politics, then a year is a very long time in any industry. We look back over key changes and observations for Telecoms and IT billing over the last 12 months:
Over the past year a number of industry requirements and potential influences – such as changes to how non-geographic numbers are charged and reverse charges to VAT – have required billing providers to act quickly and proactively to ensure that both their software and the way reseller customers use it, remains compliant. Increasingly resellers need more than just access to billing software, it is the opportunity to access advice, guidance and training to navigate these changes, without additional charge, that sets providers like Inform Billing apart.
There also continues to be a huge increase in demand for cloud based systems. Inform Billing has always given resellers the choice and offered our billing software on both a hosted or ‘on premise’ basis, but now demand is such that we provide our Eclipse software via the cloud as a matter of course, unless a customer requests otherwise.
Demand for bureau services has also continued over the year with many resellers choosing to outsource all elements of billing to a specialist, freeing up precious time to go out selling and to grow their business. Since launching the service 18 months ago, Inform Billing now provides a bureau service to around 60 customers.
Whilst we have always supported resellers to become self-sufficient with their billing and increase control and visibility over their customer base, we are finding that more and more resellers are happier to take advice and guidance from us and use our expert bureau billing team as an extension of their own.
Another key observation is the increase in new suppliers entering the market with VoIP and SIP propositions – both start-ups and established IT companies. This growth area highlights the trend for resellers to offer a broader portfolio in order to maximise their income and avoid competing suppliers from ‘muscling in’ on their customers.