For many of the world’s CSPs, this is an excellent alternative to high cost, traditional telco systems that require extensive on-site expertise and frequent upgrades. According to analysts, while this market is in its infancy today, global telco spend on cloud-based billing solutions will grow steadily to reach USD1.5 billion by 2015. BaaS providers will take around 11% of this market by 2015. (source: Innovation Observatory Report, 2011)
A BaaS type of solution means that a real-time, multi-tenant billing system is maintained and operated by the vendor instead of the operator. In effect, from the service providers’ perspective, this provides turnkey ease to the entire billing process; from provisioning and account activation, to real-time charging, billing, customer care and invoicing, all information can be accessed via the ‘cloud’ from any browser at any time. In fact, the CSP can even offer cloud services to their subscribers with a web-based customer self-care portal, where they can view their accounts online and make changes to their services in real-time.
Cloud based billing system requirements exceed beyond multi-tenancy requirements. The system needs to provide flexibility and scalability to comply with the changing needs of billing in a telco environment. It requires support for sophisticated rating, dynamic price plans, handling large volumes of variable kinds transactions in real time, revenue sharing and settlement capabilities between various parties, support for variable billable units, and end to end processing with little or no direct intervention from the service provider’s IT staff.
CSPs stand to benefit a great deal by moving to a cloud-based billing solution allowing them to: