Subscription Commerce has changed the way the world of business operates. Jeremy Rifkin, in his book The Age of Access, propounds that today’s business is not about owning or hoarding physical or even, digital goods. Today’s business is about access – access to information, services, technology, and customers. And it is the subscription business that provides this access that businesses seek.
While we are no longer strangers to the SaaS subscription model, HaaS or Hardware-As-A-Service, is a similar procurement model that provides businesses access to hardware along with the accompanying software, installation, maintenance, and upgrades. The HaaS model is a cost-effective model to get access to state-of-the-art hardware and allows businesses to shift from a CAPEX to an OPEX model. The understanding here is that the customer pays for the value delivered by the service rather than the underlying hardware.
Navigating HaaS Billing Challenges
To leverage the benefits of HaaS, much like SaaS, it is essential to make sure that billing complexities do not impede the benefits of the technology.
Here are some of the challenges facing HaaS and how to navigate them.
1.Quotes and Contract Management
Different SLAs and dynamic licensing agreements for each customer make managing the quotes and contracts quite complex for HaaS providers. They lack the capability to create individualized quotes from product catalogs at speed, especially because of manual approval processes and a lack of integrated workflows.
A robust billing and revenue management solution can help HaaS providers navigate this situation with ease. A comprehensive billing solution helps organizations develop customized quotes from the product catalog and email the same to their customers immediately. It also helps in setting up the right workflows and processes to eliminate offline flows for receiving approvals for quotes and automating the quote and order approval process. Enabling DocuSign integration further makes quote management seamless.
2. Seamless Order Activation
With a complex product portfolio, different integrations, and applications, organizations have to make sure that they have robust inventory management capabilities to drive seamless order activation.
Employing a billing and revenue management solution, organizations can manage this complexity by assigning the inventory and the associated unique identifiers, such as the SKU number, to specific customer subscription plans.
Having defined workflows to provision and activate service, automated and user-friendly order orchestration and service fulfillment processes help accelerate order fulfillment and activation leading to elevated customer experience.
3. Managing Product Bundling Complexities
HaaS providers have multiple complex products. With personalization becoming critical for business success, providing personalized promotions or price bundles become imperative.
For this, organizations need to gain the capability to configure multiple complex products with varying charge types such as one time, variable, metered, etc. They also need the flexibility to provide variations based on currency. Capably assigning relevant tax codes also becomes essential considering the complex regulatory and governance landscape.
A comprehensive billing and revenue management platform allows organizations to navigate all such challenges and enables them to deliver price personalization. They can attract potential customers by offering personalized product offers, setting up limited period discounts, or providing unique promotional bundles.
However, such a platform must allow the organization to manage all the quotes, approvals, and contracts through the platform without any manual intervention.
4. Multi-level Channel Management
Disparate billing, lack of transparency, and difficulty in managing the sheer number of reseller or agent partners bills can lead revenue to slip from the cracks.
Organizations need to develop their capabilities to bring their resellers and agent partners under one billing ecosystem. They also need to capably resell products to partners in a specific price range, define their incentive models clearly, empower this network to manage their billing and revenue cycles, and manage end-of-cycle commission settlement.
For this, organizations need to leverage a billing and revenue management solution that allows them to:
- Offer a version of the product catalog for specific partners or agencies with a defined product mix, price range, and incentive models. The partners should be able to also add their own products and services to this catalog.
- Enable partner networks to white label customer invoices with their own branding while driving a connected revenue management experience.
- Establish a multi-party settlement process that allows organizations to configure settlement utility and define the process for each partner with multiple settlement modes based on who is serving the customer.
- Access and export transactional data through a user-friendly dashboard.
- Drive robust commission management capabilities by leveraging automated commissions based on an agreed set of rules (for instance, a percentage defined or dollar amount), create deals specific to partners, and define processes for each sales cycle from lead generation to order fulfillment.
HaaS solves the challenges that many businesses face with the initial investment, maintenance, and constant upgrading or replacing hardware within the organization.
This model makes it easier for businesses to eliminate major expenses and the accompanying frustrations that emerge from the growing needs of organizations for new equipment or systems. With HaaS, businesses can easily maintain their competitive advantage in a challenging business and fast-evolving digital landscape. However, to truly thrive as a HaaS provider, organizations need to manage the unique billing and revenue management challenges that this sector faces.
Connect with us to see how our intelligent, end-to-end, subscription management and billing solution can help your organization eliminate these revenue and billing challenges and transform your entire customer lead-to-revenue generation experience.