Mediation is a critical part of the billing process, but we rarely stop to talk about how it works, or what it even means.

In everyday life, the term “mediation” usually refers to a means to settle disputes — one person acts as the go-between to help two conflicting parties come to a resolution. Mediation in billing is obviously a little different, but it does have a related purpose: to convert one type of data to another to prepare it for the next step in the billing process.

Usage data can come into the order-to-cash process in many different formats, based on the source and format of the data. In order to give the customer a straightforward invoice and calculate revenue, that usage data has to be converted to pricing. That’s where mediation comes in, normalizing the data and feeding it to the rating engine, which then turns it into a bill.

Traditionally, mediation has been done manually, or by add-ons to legacy systems. And while that works just fine for a business with low volumes of usage events, consumption-based billing opens the doors to new events that need to get processed, and manual processes and inflexible, old-school systems simply can’t keep up. They’re no longer efficient, and there’s too much risk for error.

The Benefits of Automating Mediation in Billing

As billing becomes more sophisticated in order to optimize back office workflows, improve customer relationships and bolster revenue, the mediation process has to become more efficient. Sophisticated intelligent billing platforms automate the process, improving the billing experience for both business and customer in several ways.

Rules Management System

Every billing model has its own set of rules, and whereas most legacy systems can only handle one or two, the automated mediation capabilities of an intelligent billing platform can work within a much broader range of rules for a variety of usage events. What’s more, the system is configurable, allowing you to change the way each event is handled. That means, when it’s time to make an organizational change, your billing platform is right there with you.

Multiple Format Capabilities

Sophisticated mediation functionalities include pulling in, reading, and converting data stored in multiple locations and written in multiple formats. That means there’s no need for your team to spend time preparing data for mediation — the platform can handle it as is.

Real-Time Updates

With manual systems — or legacy systems that require handholding to manage large quantities and varieties of data — it’s easy to see how the process could experience significant delays, leading to old information on customer accounts, late invoices and even errors in billing. But the automated mediation engines in sophisticated billing platforms like Gotransverse’s can process high volumes of data at internet speeds, and they’re designed to scale with your organization. This ensures your information (and your customers’) is always up to date, no matter how fast you’re growing.

Error Prevention

As we’ve all experienced, a small error or a bit of bad data can lead to much bigger issues later on. Intelligent billing’s mediation capabilities identify those errors in event data immediately and isolate them for repair, eliminating glitches before they become problems.

Once the mediation process is complete and the data is normalized, usage information is ready to be rated — converted into pricing in dollars and cents (or any number of global currencies and formats) — and added to customers’ accounts and invoices to make payments and revenue recognition as smooth as everything leading up to them.

If your organization is looking for a more powerful, intelligent billing system to minimize logistical headaches by automating complex processes like mediation, take a tour of the Gotransverse platform and its capabilities. Interested in learning more about how intelligent billing can give your business a powerful competitive advantage? Schedule your complimentary, personalized demo today.

Marni Burger is the Director of Product Marketing at Gotransverse. She brings over 14 years of experience in Product Marketing, focused on software in the IT and engineering spaces, and has a degree in Electrical Engineering. When she’s not geeking out on products, she’s chasing her kids around or watching way too much TV.