Have you ever wondered how “tall” your customers’ consumption data would be if you were to print it out? Here’s a point of comparison for you: a VAR with just four end-customers using Azure and Office 365 will receive .csv files from Microsoft which are approximately twelve metres* in length each month! That’s twelve whole metres of consumption data which needs to be consolidated and matched against margin and subscription data.
And that is just four end customers!
It’s no surprise then, that Microsoft is changing the rules around requirements for its Direct CSP partners, to ensure that partners have the right infrastructure in place to manage customer billing effectively. It’s clear that manually processing this data is no longer sustainable, and VARs need to implement a better solution.
The Need for Change
Whilst the industry has made the shift to XaaS, where consumption and subscription models are the norm, many VARs and Service Providers have not yet adapted their own internal processes to withstand this shift. Consumption and subscription-based businesses have their own unique challenges, such as having to handle more transactions, data and interaction with customers.
As TSIA suggests, “to be successful, customer success initiatives require investment in enabling technologies such as consumption monitoring and event notification, recurring revenue automation, and workflow automation”.**
The winners will be resellers and service providers who can adopt automation and offer their customers a seamless experience every single month – no matter the scenario (upgrade/downgrade/overage). They need to inject more time and resources into extending customer value, rather than on tedious administrative tasks which are soul destroying.
Automation is the answer and technology is the enabler for this. VARs should adopt tools that can help accelerate their billing process whilst lowering costs at the same time. Imagine entering 12 metres of data and ending up with just a page or two in the matter of seconds!
iasset.com’s new cloud billing engine – Solano, is doing just that. Visit iasset.com/solano to sign up for a free trial.
*Our calculation is based on font size being approximately 10 points.
** TSIA Research Publication - 2018 Customer Success Technology Stack