Complex billing models have become a matter of course for growing B2B and B2C businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition and maximize customer value and revenue. However, with complex billing models come complex system needs. Traditional and legacy billing platforms tend to shudder and balk when asked to handle high volumes of usage-based transactions. Overall, these systems are built for rapid growth or complex processes.

Unfortunately, it's not just legacy systems that can pose a problem. Agile billing platforms are not "one-size-fits-all," and many vendors make big promises they don't quite live up to. Implementing a new billing platform is a significant investment in money and time (not to mention employee patience), and selecting the wrong platform comes at a high cost. Businesses that invest in usage-based platforms to replace their legacy systems find that their new system is less robust than they'd hoped. Therefore, they find themselves resorting to similar manual interventions and costly maintenance and customization efforts they were trying to leave behind.

So, as you search for a billing platform equipped to handle your current and future business needs, ask yourself these three questions about your business—and then compare the answers to a potential billing partner's actual capabilities.

What Is Your Invoice Volume?

What is high-volume billing? It depends on the number of invoices a business generates in a typical month. For example, many companies would agree to the following:

  • Modest/Small: Less than 1,000 invoices per day or less than 30,000 per month.
  • Medium: 1,000-100,000 per day or 30,000 to 3 million per month.
  • High 100K: 100,000 to 1 million per day, or 3 million to 30 million per month
  • Enterprise: More than 1 million invoices per day or more than 30 million per month

Consider your current invoice volume and future goals when asking potential billing vendors about their volume capacities. You may be at medium volume now, but if your roadmap has you realistically crossing into that high 100K territory in the foreseeable future, then a platform that only handles medium billing volume won't meet your needs. You'll outgrow it in no time and have to start the search again.

How Complex Are Your Billing Transactions?

The next question to consider is the complexity of your billing transaction. Again, think about your needs both now and in the future. Forbes discusses ways to recognize and overcome complex billing models to help businesses navigate the issue. To do so, here are some areas to consider and questions to ask yourself:

  • Invoices: What format are your invoices in? What level of detail do they include? How are they distributed? How are various billing rules affected by attributes like product, customer, invoice value, or location of purchase versus location of installation?
  • Regulatory: What mandates surround the payment? For example, is your system ASC606 compliant? What tax, privacy, and security does your billing need to support?
  • Payments: How many different payment methods should be supported? Does the system need only pay-in, or does it need to support pay-out (such as for marketplaces)?
  • Products: How complex are your standalone products, services, subscriptions, or component bundles?
  • Pricing: How many pricing models are you looking to support now and down the road? (Here are a few examples of models you might be looking at.)
  • Channels: How do you maintain product catalog, pricing, and discounting discipline when products are sold through particular channels?

Be sure you have a good handle on discussing these items with potential billing vendors so you can gauge whether their platforms are equipped to handle your complexity needs, now and in the coming years.

What Kind of Agility Will You Require from Your Billing System?

Finally, consider how agile you need your system to be. It is important to know how agile billing powers business innovation. Specifically, its critical to examine how rapidly the solution can be implemented, how many resources are needed, and the effectiveness of support and maintenance.

So, how do you know what kind of agility you'll need? Start by considering the resources available for configuration (and reconfiguration) and maintenance. If you have an in-house engineering team that can dedicate significant time to coding and recoding your billing system whenever a change is needed, that may mean your agility needs aren't quite as high. But more than likely, you'll want a platform with serious agility—one that can be implemented quickly and reconfigured easily (with no coding involved) and with a support team that will stay on top of updates, bug fixes, and regulatory changes on your behalf. That agility allows your team to move quickly, keep pace with the market, and focus on strategy rather than logistics.

Choosing the right agile billing platform is a serious endeavor. At Gotransverse, we understand what's at stake, and we're dedicated to providing our clients with the support they need to achieve all of their growth goals. Our platform is built to handle highly complex transactions at hyper-scale billing volumes, and it's as configurable as they come, making it easy to pivot on a dime as the market and customer demands continue to evolve. To learn more, we invite you to take a virtual tour of our platform today. Then, when you’re ready, request a complimentary demo to talk with one of our experts about whether Gotransverse is the right billing partner for your organization.