Cloud billing can be tricky, quirky result in many common pitfalls. We’ve put together a library of cloud billing resources to help service providers and telcos overcome common problems.
The worst cloud billing pitfall you can make is clearly not understanding what your customers are using and therefore not billing correctly. Why offer a service after all if you cannot monetize it properly? Billing keeps your cloud business ticking, yet the process for it is often one of the last things to be considered when building out a new cloud service. We believe there are five cloud billing pitfalls all telcos and cloud service providers should avoid.
When it comes to cloud billing, identifying the best option to offer your customers can be quite a head scratcher. As a service provider, you need payment for the services you provide (obviously!), and at the same time, you want your customers to have a clear understanding of what they receive in return for payment. Simple enough I hear you say, but in reality service providers are not in a position to offer such simple cloud billing solutions because it is a much more complicated and expensive process to solve on your own.
Cloud billing is a widely accepted challenge in the industry – mostly because there are many business models, complexities around infrastructure and customers and resellers to support. Here I look at some cloud billing quirks. Problem Many service providers are using their own home grown or cobbled together billing system as a direct result of quirky business models. And as a result, most of the time, the business model doesn’t fit into off the shelf billing solutions. The problem is that a quirky billing model does not support growth, complex business models or reseller programs. So what’s the solution?
We’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: cloud billing is not a sexy subject. But it is fundamental to any hoster, cloud service provider or telco’s business. You need to bill for what you are delivering. A truly cloud-centric billing system needs to support the following services: Complex products – cloud computing products can be as simple or as complex as the customer requires. Cloud service providers need a system that can support as much complexity as they choose to provide. Scalability – the sheer volume of individual items that a cloud service provider needs to bill is significant. It will also continue to grow rapidly as each new service is brought to market and the customer base expands.
It seems like an obvious question. Billing keeps your business ticking, yet the process for billing is often one of the last things to be considered when building out a new service. As a customer of any utilities, whether personal or business, you expect to receive a bill for the services you use. A detailed bill, for example, that showcases how much gas, water or electricity you’ve consumed. You want to be able to monitor your usage, check figures and call your service provider if you are not happy. So, why would you not expect this of your cloud computing service provider? However it is important to bear in mind that there are two stakeholders in the billing process – the customer and the service provider.
When it comes to billing for cloud services, it’s a tricky business. Sometimes complexity can take over causing services to not be billed for correctly. And as we all know, if you are not billing properly, you are most likely losing money or customers. Here is our latest infographic featuring five cloud billing pitfalls we believe every service provider and telecom operator should avoid based on our experience.
Understand how you can build a cloud-specific billing system that keeps pace with the demand of cloud services and your customers.