Are You Ready to Unravel the Digital Billing Maze?
Ever guessed who will be your next partner in wholesale, digital or OTT? Seeing the pace at which partnerships are burgeoning across the length and breadth of the industry, it seems you won’t get an easy answer to this question. In this rat race, growing partners is the need of the hour, and that too across categories of entertainment, security, gaming and more; there won’t be much time to analyze the partner’s background or work on the business logic. But you are confident that your digital journey is on track, with newer business and revenue opportunities.… Hurray!
Now, things turn upside down when you realize after a few days that there’s a difficulty with managing the partner account, faulty content delivered to subscribers, disputes arising from agreements, or you find out that there’s a serious problem in the way business terms are being executed. Why do these happen?
Well, the issue could be arising from a lack of preparation and foresight; no one is to be blamed either, the rapidly evolving business landscape throws a curve ball. With several thousands of digital companies forming a complex maze of partnerships, challenges are certain. These challenges could arise from all quarters, not from your partners alone, but your customers or external sources as well.
Let’s look at some of the typical challenges you may confront in your engagements with new types of partners:
- There is a content provider and a partner who deals with a variety of content types including OTT video and mobile apps, but you find it difficult to integrate all types of services on one platform.
- The content offered by your partner is incomplete or corrupt, and the charges need to be reversed to a customer. How will you settle the deal in this context?
- A customer engages in fraudulent activities; for example, after downloading the content, he/she defaults the payment arguing that the content is of poor quality.
- Partner settlement becomes difficult as your partner engages in unethical practices like using a fraudulent platform for tracking the number of downloads or the impressions.
- A phishing fraud affects your customers, forcing you to compensate massively.
- An inadvertent regulatory violation from your end leads to a serious legal complications, leading to financial loss and damage to reputation.
And the list goes on…
Where does the problem lie? Who is to be held responsible? How to overcome these challenges?
The underlying problem with most Telcos pursuing digital opportunities is sometimes the lack of preparation both in terms of technology, infrastructure and awareness. With constant changes to the digital landscape, regulatory pressure and escalating CAPEX, anticipating everything that could go wrong is a downward spiral. An upgrade to your Business and Operations Support System (BSS/OSS) could be a solution, but how far and to what extent the upgrade should go? Most Telcos have already initiated the BSS/OSS transformation, but has not yet achieved the level of digital maturity which they are supposed to. Why so?
Well, the scenarios discussed above indicate that the technology infrastructure you are building to protect your digital business should be capable of addressing not only the current challenges but also the future events that are likely arise. In other words, it should be capable of predicting the future scenarios to an extent and address the problematic ones before they impact the system. And be future compatible so that it can adapt quickly.
Broadly speaking, an encompassing OSS/BSS strategy that addresses different aspects like revenue management, billing & partner management and customer experience in a proactive manner is the need of the hour.
Stay tuned to understand how Subex can help you build a digital billing strategy that helps you rise to the status of a successful Level 4 digital service provider (DSP). If you want to know how Subex’s solutions can help you build a digital ecosystem that boosts your revenue streams and enhances customer value, contact us.
Debolina is a seasoned professional who specializes in Telecom Partner Settlement, Route Optimization, Interconnect Billing and Order Management/Provisioning. She has over 10 years of experience in the Telecom industry and has a vast exposure to customers from all regions. Debolina currently works as a Technical Product Manager where she manages the product management for the Cost Analytics Portfolio of Subex. She is an active contributor on various forums like Actuate, QlikTech, and is also a voracious reader and an active blogger.