Once upon a time, billing was considered a standalone business operation. Maybe it was done manually, or maybe it one of many functions managed individually through a monolithic ERP solution. Regardless, billing was more or less accomplished in its own silo, disconnected from other business systems and operations.

This approach may still work fine for small organizations with simple billing needs, but for most companies, it’s no longer sustainable – or prudent. As business models become more complex, client bases grow and expand into new markets, and industry landscapes and consumer demands evolve, so do billing needs become increasingly mission critical. The old-school systems suddenly lead to lags, errors, lost revenue, and a diminished customer experience, functioning more as an obstacle than an enabler. Modern organizations need billing systems that empower them to be more agile, more able to pivot to acomodate market needs and to adapt to change within the organization.

In short, modern organizations need a billing platform that’s a fully integrated part of their IT ecosystem.

Agile Billing Platforms as Part of a Complete IT Ecosystem

In a recent Forbes feature, Gotransverse CEO James Messer wrote about the importance of having a network of technologies that “play well together.” He noted that, rather than adopting single-source, end-to-end solutions, savvy companies are adopting a hybrid approach, standardizing on two or three strategic platforms with robust integration offerings and then filling in gaps with carefully chosen best-of-breed vendor partners:

“For example, many companies view their ERP and CRM solutions as strategic, so they standardize on proven platforms like Salesforce and Workday. While these platforms may check all or most of the feature boxes, they also offer integrations with best-of-breed solution providers. Customers can add customizable solutions to platforms like these that meet their unique requirements because of strong partnerships.”

The result is a network of “best-of-breed” solutions that work together seamlessly, streamlining processes, automating workflows, and generally enhancing business operations (and the customer experience and the bottom line, too). A key part of that ecosystem, of course, is an agile billing platform that plugs into existing systems through integrations, APIs, microservices, and connectors that ensure your front office and back office don’t misalign on critical revenue streams .

Advantages of Connected Billing Systems

While siloed systems become a hindrance as business operations grow more complicated, agile billing platforms empower businesses in countless ways. For example:

Transparency in the Quote-to-Cash Process

While we may think of billing primarily as the process of receiving and paying an invoice, the reality is that it’s much more than that. The quote-to-cash process touches a wide range of business departments — from sales to legal to customer service to finance — every element of customer experience. This means there are plenty of opportunities for bugs or errors to creep in and, if left unchecked, snowball into challenging billing issues that compromise both revenue and relationships. However, with a connected billing platform driving the process, businesses can have fully transparency into every step of the process, catching and resolving any issues right away.

Automated Workflows

When a customer places an order, that sets off a variety of workflows to ensure the order is processed, fulfilled, and invoiced. Of course, when multiple individuals or teams are working on disparate parts of the same project, it can be a challenge to make sure everyone is on the same page and everything is moving forward as it should. But when your billing platform works with the CRM, ERP, and other systems to automate these workflows — and all the notifications and progress updates that go with them — it’s easy to ensure efficient, accurate fulfillment, invoicing, and billing.

Enhanced Customer Service

The transparency and efficiency this connectivity enables ultimately lead to an improved customer experience, ensuring that communication throughout the quote-to-cash process is appropriate (tailored to each customer’s experience without redundancies, gaps, or irrelevant communications) and that invoices are on time, clear, accurate, and easy to pay. The result: satisfied customers who are eager to return — and refer you to others in their network.

Detailed Reporting and Insights

When the billing platform can communicate with other systems, it’s much easier to mine those systems for data that will drive strategic decisions about resource allocation, product development, customer service, and more. What products and services are customers buying together? What are they leaving on the table? Are invoices being delivered on time? How many days are passing between invoice receipt and payment? In another recent Forbes article, James Messer outlines ten critical billing reports businesses can mine from their agile billing platforms — and how those reports can guide educated decisions that improve the bottom line.

These are just a few of the highlights of what businesses can achieve when they integrate billing into their broader IT ecosystem. Of course, the key to creating this kind of connectivity is finding vendor partners who have the integration capabilities to synchronize with other systems — both existing ones and those a business may incorporate in the future. At Gotransverse, we pride ourselves on our strong technology partnerships and our commitment to helping clients build the systems foundation that solves their unique business challenges. If your organization is ready to complete your tech ecosystem and enhance your billing processes, we invite you to learn more out more about Gotransverse’s platform, integrations and Partners today. When you’re ready, call us to schedule your complimentary, personalized demo.