In the first of a regular series of conversations, Alex and Tony discuss template driven PR and why the CEO of a major European telco is leaving the Billing Transformation to his successor.
About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.
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Always enjoy listening to Tony’s view, unfortunately I do not know you Alex, but I guess we have met.
On your question on why billing systems hampers innovation? In my opinion, and I stress my opinion it is because we still talking BILLING (rating of thousands of components piped through an engine). Most telcos have 10th of thousands of product codes put together in millions of combinations to be rated in order to put a price to a call or MB or whatever.
In other words, it is about monetizing a network element through the traffic produced.
We don’t see the same buying from ebay, Amazon, iTunes etc.
We need to address “billing” from the opposite side. Not from network out, but from business capabilities in. We need to put goals against Cash Flow, Working capital, Liabilities, uplift based pricing, introduce Account payables to get away from the term revenue share.
Get away fro ARPU – Revenue is vanity, Profit is sanity – profit is a result of products and services sold, not from the term “profitable customer”.
We need to get away from Postpay billing meaning accounts receivable and collection, but a transactional account holding debit balance against a customer who by the way should be able to hold a pre paid credit transactional account as well as a cash (debit card or credit card_ account). Just like in a bank, we have current account, saving account, mortgage account etc.
If we go about billing, mechanically the same way we always have, we will get no further than performing technology change.
NB: Time to market, due to rating catalogue has not changed much since 1987.