Incorporating a billing system into your cloud is the easiest way for service providers to manage consumption of cloud services. Billing systems might seem outwardly equal, but there are several key differences among them. There are several key components that you should look for in a billing solution. It is important not only for your business, but also for your end users as they utilize your billing portal to pay for services. Keep these key necessities in mind as you are searching for the perfect solution for your business.
FUNCTIONALITY AND REDUCED TIME TO MARKET
A billing system needs to be easy to manage and use for everyone involved – end users, admins and internal accounting departments. Your billing solution should have a simple user interface that is easy to navigate and manage. Direct access to invoices, payment options and historical data helps visitors understand exactly where they can find resources they are looking for.
Scalability is a main component of cloud and your billing system. Utilizing a billing system that easily grows with business demand will be an integral part of your cloud. Ensuring that the system you are implementing will expand to meet the needs of a growing market will help your business accommodate for increased resource demand and simplify your billing process in the future. Your billing system should be able to handle multiple client accounts and appropriately bill for services rendered, no matter how many customers use your infrastructure.
REDUCE ERRORS AND RISKS
Automation within your billing system allows your business to quickly and accurately invoice for your services. Information can be pulled directly into your billing system from your cloud’s metering interface and auto-populated in a comprehensive invoice. This reduces the manual process for administrators and provides a simpler invoice for end users.
INTEGRATION WITH BUSINESS SYSTEMS
A billing system that reflects other services that your business provides is one more step toward integration for your billing system. Using a system that can give customers a single invoice will help simplify the invoicing process for them. The ability to pull usage data from other offerings is an invaluable tool that can significantly reduce manual processes for your team and produce more accurate invoices. Other offerings can include invoice data for data center usage or Internet charges. Aggregating all of these components into a single invoice simplifies your accounting processes and allows your end users to view a comprehensive list of the services they’ve purchased.
A billing system needs to be reliable. This is one of those systems that most of us take for granted until something goes wrong and we realize how important it really is. Implementing a solutions that has reliability through failover or redundancy in the cloud ensures that it will always be available by transitioning to a secondary system if a disaster occurs. Billing systems that include this feature creates peace of mind for service providers and gives a safe space for private end user data.
Your billing system should allow you to create or change firewall and user permissions to fit your standard of security and those of regulatory agencies. Some billing systems come to you pre-configured, which is a great start, but your business needs to be able to adapt to changing regulations and standards of security in the future. Implementing a solution that provides this level of control prolongs its lifespan and allows your team to mold to higher standards.
Selecting a billing system for your cloud environment is an important task that impacts both your internal staff and end users. Utilizing a system that encompasses automation helps remove some of these manual processes from your team and enables single invoice creation for end users. Billing systems are not created equally and it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each before you invest in the solution that suits your business needs.