The word subscription is not a new term when it comes to ease the business flow and offer your customers an option of recurring payment for any service or product could be taken with right combination of subscriptions, one-time fees, and usage-based charges. Industries like telecom, media, entertainment etc. have been providing their services for longer duration with a flexible choice of subscription and payment options. They have been doing this since decades; Earlier it was Newspapers, Cable Television Networks, and Landline Telephones bills, whereas today these have turned into Consumer goods, Jobs, Travelling, Dating, Netflix, and other such offerings.
However, with the increase in growth of mobile communications and the internet, the face of subscription-based business models has dramatically evolved and is changing the way customers use to look at buying options. Every business is becoming a connected one by moving from products to services. Earlier it was only a handful of industries that offered the choice of recurring payments, today a lot of industries have already moved into this business whereas, several others are planning to opt the option of offering services and products on the basis of subscription.
Subscription Based Billing – Win-win for Customers and Business
It is not only businesses that are being benefited with the use of SAP Subscription Billing model, but customers are also get more options to choose from and buy only what is required. This also help businesses in maintaining continuous cash-flow and building stronger and lifetime relationships with the customers.
As growth persists, such companies have already started realizing that to maintain and support the new and more creative subscription-based offerings, stronger, more efficient, and flexible billing solution is required and using traditional ERP and CRM systems will not be enough. These systems lack the capability of managing the diverse requirements like fulfilling the recurring billing demands for the customers or managing large volumes or real-time competencies linked with the hyper-connected world.
Although the internet can help you with the hits on subscription billing, you need to have a proper understanding about the important features of subscription billing to get benefitted as a business.
A Few Key Features Essential for a Subscription Billing System
Flexibility : The subscription billing model is required to be flexible and should come with the option to be easily deployed in the cloud, on-premise or in a hybrid way depending on the requirement of the customer.
Responsiveness : With rapidly changing billing requirement, Agility is one of the most important key features of any billing solution. businesses need to have a solution that is responsive and powerful with the ability to create any type of pricing rules imaginable in hours or days – not months. Any subscription billing system that do not require a lot of highly trained developers for its installation, implementation or management is considered to be the best.
Real-time and Centralised Pricing Model : An ideal billing system possesses a real-time and centralized pricing model. Along with the simple integration of all the systems that require pricing and customer information (typically in real-time), a billing system should also be capable of providing needed support to all subscription products and services that are offered by a particular company.
Scalability : You can easily manage the scenario in the initial phase of using a subscription billing model for your business as you might have fewer customers at that time. But as you grow, this number will also increase dramatically and will require a system that can support a huge number of subscribers and can process billions of transactions in a single day. Thus, scalability is one of the important features of any subscription billing system.
Usage metering : We need to understand the fact that the simplest subscription models are based mostly based on flat recurring fees. There are a lot of businesses that need to meter customer usage so that they can efficiently manage pricing, discounts and other options like up-sell. Another advantage of usage metering is reporting and revenue recognition.
Financials and reporting : An effective billing solution provide complete customer financial management and integration with the Backend Accounting Module. Reporting and Business Intelligence must be leveraged at real-time speed to keep a check on the company’s health and growth rate.
When it comes to managing the subscription billing process for your business to maximize its benefits and growth, you need to have a billing system that is fast, agile, flexible, convergent, scalable and powerful at the same time. Choosing a billing system with the above-mentioned important features will not only ensures that your business can reap the most benefits from this investment but also offer your customers exciting new products and services with better customer experience.
Advantage of Choosing SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management (SAP BRIM)
While you choose SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management Solution for your business, you get the advantage of monetizing subscription and usage-based business models with agility and with the advanced capabilities like revenue management and recurring billing. This also increases the transparency of the entire revenue management process with the help of its dedicated scalable, agile, flexible, and highly automated software that helps in billing, invoicing, and revenue management.
Below are the key benefits of using BRIM
1. Supports high-volume processing and Scales up businesses : Provide support to the Internet of Things and connected devices with high-volume, automated, and transparent processing across usage-event and financial postings.
2. Easy Migration from selling products to selling services and physical goods bundled with services : Offer your customers outcomes-based on subscriptions and real-time usage-based services, while supporting revenue-sharing models across your extended ecosystem.
3. Ease and flexibility of operationalizing your business model : Get the freedom of enabling any variant or combination of prepaid and pay-as-you-go business models with rules-based, smart automation of invoicing and accounting processes.
4. Supports Partner Revenue Sharing : Partner Revenue Sharing option by SAP BRIM helps the partners in establishing a successful cloud practice with lower liabilities and risks providing maximum benefits to them.
How SAP BRIM Contributes to managing Subscription-based order management?
Below are the few points that will help to understand how SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management can help companies that are looking for an effective solution for managing their subscription billing process.
- The automated process ensures accurate delivery and billing process. This is done by capturing and monitoring subscription orders.
- Promptly and automatically addresses contract changes, renewals, extensions, and billing cycles to avoid errors.
- Provides Ease of managing master agreements, that includes invoicing hierarchies, specialized catalogs, and shared credit.
- Automated payment handling from any channel. Integrated Credit, Collection, and dispute Management.