For a comprehensive Saas Billing Platform such as Smartbilling the catalog is where it all starts. Creating the catalog needs a level of understanding of the business and its dataflow. It also takes planning.
The objects in a Smartbilling catalog are:
- Product: it’s something that can be stored in the inventory; a tangible object such as a modem or intangible like a phone number. Products can be combined with other products, with services and with charges within an Offer.
- Charge: it’s like product but cannot be in the inventory.
- Subcharge: is associated with a product or a charge. A subcharge is basically an additional charge that an organization sells through its VOIP billing software. Typical subcharges are shipping, maintenance and installation fees.
- Rate: are related to transaction billing. They can be a flat fee, per minute, per gigabyte, or calculated using a rate plan. In general the more users of a service use something the more they have to pay. How much they have to pay? It should be calculated and the calculation can be quite CPU-consuming; as opposed to monthly charges that are very simple to calculate and just repeat themselves.
The above-mentioned concepts are related to a Service. We can have many products, charge, subcharges and rates within the same service.
- Service: a container that keeps all the things an IoT Billing Software sells to its customers. It’s a tool to organize everything a typical company delivers to the market through utilizing the power of Telecom BSS OSS.
A phone service can have long distance (usage rate) and DID (charge) and other things.
Now you have the flexibility to create a service for a group of sales people at the retail price and another service for other sale people who deal with wholesale price. This is a very common scenario in VOIP billing software systems.
- Price list: a combination of services and individual products and charge available on a Saas Billing Platform at a certain price.
When something is actually sold a new player shows up: the supplier.
- Supplier: this is who you get the product or service from. Bell, Telus and Rogers are famous suppliers within Telecom industry. Same service can have different suppliers in different regions and that’s one reason that an IoT Billing Software must be flexible in this area.
It’s a common practice that if customers sign up for a longer period they get to pay less.
- Contract type: determines the minimum contract period. If contract is for a year the price is usually higher and if it’s a 3-year contract it will be cheaper per month.
- Location: Subscription should be sold to a service location. An address is necessary for any subscription and location is where that address is held. A location may also be a billing address that’s different from a service location.
A Product can be included in a service but it can also be sold individually to a certain customer. A company that harnesses the power of a Telecom BSS OSS may choose to sell just a single product and not make it part of a service. If a customer breaks his TV remote the company can just ship him a spare one. It’s an individual product sold only once, and not part of any service or subscription.
At last let’s not forget the ones that pay the bill:
- Customer: we can have parent customers and child customers. Without a customer nothing else is usefull.
Smartbilling is a cloud-based subscription billing and OSS for telecom industry.
Our software supports full customer life cycle and features a seamless quote to order to cash process.