Cerillion recently took part in the re-branded Billing and Information Management Systems (BIMS) event in London . As the industry has evolved since the “Billing Systems” event started 14 years ago, one of the key questions to be addressed is “Where does billing fit in the next-generation telecoms IT landscape?”.
During the conference programme, Cerillion CTO , Mark Nicholls, took part in an interactive panel discussion debating this very topic, alongside leading industry experts from Ericsson and Catalyst IT Partners , and chaired by Danny Dicks, principal analyst at Analysys.
The round-table style discussion covered many different topics that need to be considered in the new generation of business support systems, including:
- There is a concern that services and billing are in danger of becoming too complex for customers to understand. CRM & Billing systems need to be sophisticated to hide the underlying network complexity from the customer, whilst presenting them with easy to use services and transparent charging.
- Though the people responsible for buying and implementing billing systems are still the same in each operator organisation, there is now much more influence from other departments, particularly marketing, who play an important role in specifying the requirements for new service propositions.
This can often result in “wish-lists” to cover all possible needs in the future.
- There is a growing belief amongst operators that they need to do everything in real-time, but many of them do not actually know why! All operator RFPs now require some degree of prepaid-postpaid convergence.
- As long as billing is maintained as a separate process, it can be outsourced to allow operators to focus on their core strengths of marketing, selling and managing the customer relationship. Managed services are also well suited to niche content services and the MVNO model.
After a highly interactive debate it is clear that billing is alive and well, and considered to be a strategic weapon in the telecoms operator armoury. However, vendors need to broaden their horizons for the next-generation telecoms IT landscape. As Mark Nicholls summarises: “The future may be bleak for billing-only vendors. The line between BSS and OSS is blurring and vendors need to focus on the complete order to cash cycle to continue to thrive.”
To discuss the billing challenges faced in your organisation and find out how Cerillion's end-to-end pre-integrated solutions can help your business grow, please contact us on: email@example.com
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