Instant. Accurate. Easy. Understandable.

These adjectives don’t often come to mind when you think about billing, but they should. Why do we put up with antiquated, homegrown or behemoth systems to handle such an intimate customer touchpoint? Why do we limit our business strategies by the functionality in yesterday’s technology?

The Evolution of Billing

Today’s billing challenges didn’t just emerge; they’ve evolved over decades. Before 1990, complex billing problems were almost exclusively problems for Communications Service Providers (CSPs), utilities and financial services companies. They built highly bespoke systems using mainframes and COBOL delivered through a service bureau or on-premise. These systems were very customized and surprisingly, these platforms, or subsets of them, are still used by in-house development teams and by some reputable billing vendors around the globe.

In the early 1990s, these companies tried to productize these solutions with varying degrees of success, yet most deployments were highly customized. These customizations were delivered via code changes and not configuration. Of course, they were incredibly expensive and always over budget.

During the mid-1990s, systems were created to achieve product economies-of-scale. Developers of billing systems took advantage of relational databases, commercial, off-the-shelf hardware, and client-server architectures. In the late 1990s, providers started to take advantage of new technology and architecture paradigms such as Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), and Remote Procedure Call (RPC) in an attempt to retrofit existing systems—as the expression goes, “putting lipstick on a pig.” Many leading billing providers still promote these systems, that are largely using mid-1990s technology.

The early 2000s saw some simplistic recurring charging engines emerge to handle simple subscriptions like on-line access to newspapers—essentially they were payment gateways. They couldn’t handle the sophistication of the billing systems of the 1980s and 1990s, such as usage, rating, and mediation, but they did serve a broader market with attractive price points for those basic use cases.

Not Your Average Billing Company: Gotransverse

Fast forward to today. Microservices, web services, virtualization and other cloud-centric technologies are mainstream, and cloud-based billing is the new status quo. In fact, many companies have adopted a cloud-first approach when bringing new technology into their business application stack.

Gotransverse was launched on the premise that the billing industry had not had a real refresh in the back office in 15+ years, and it was long overdue. Our intelligent billing platform, TRACT, was introduced to solve the following shortcomings of our billing ancestors:

Technology Neutral: Our solution is designed to be delivered via a true multi-tenant SaaS model allowing for scale and flexibility and based on widely accepted technology.

Vertical Agnostic: Our solution did not pre-suppose the products and services for which to bill; it supports any combination of pricing models, such as one-time, recurring and usage (or consumption-based charges) and any combination thereof.

Configurable: Our solution was designed from its inception to be easily configured to support different billing models and business processes and to not require specialized personnel.

Integratable: Our solution was designed to work well with other systems and to fit well into service-oriented, microservices and web services architectures.

Scalable: Our solution was designed to scale in a highly elastic manner, reducing the amount of resources that need to be pre-provisioned.

Technology aside, the functionality needed to support the agility, speed and frictionless freedom to serve customers with modern purchasing, pricing and consumption preferences, which can’t be found in legacy or simplistic systems. Billing vendors will have to move beyond basic subscriptions to support functionality such as usage-based pricing plans, real-time or near real-time rating, comprehensive product/services catalog, native revenue recognition and analytics with forecasting capabilities.

Today’s market is being driven by top-line revenue growth, hyper-competition and the monetary rewards of digital transformation. Leading businesses are already experimenting with mixed business models of one-time, subscription and usage to attract and retain customers and they are doing it with Gotransverse.

Don’t let yesterday’s technology hinder your path to business prosperity. Schedule your 30-minute free consultation with Gotransverse today.