An Internet provider needs a functional and reliable billing system designed for managing customers who access the Internet according to different service plans. In some cases Internet providers have service packages “Residential Internet Access + TV”, so the system shall run for customers who opt for this offer. In order to have the capability to perform this and other tasks, the ISP shall pick a specific billing system while keeping in mind a range of criteria.
Key points while choosing a billing system
While choosing a billing system, an Internet provider should take into consideration the following key points:
- Size of the client base. The maximum number of active subscribers the system can manage. The size of the client base may vary from several hundred thousand to tens of millions.
- Amount of data on each subscriber. The data the system operates on are user IDs, the service package, and the operational aspects of bandwidth, etc.
- Analytical capabilities, or the system’s potential to analyze technical data, the costs and popularity of services for further tariff plan optimizing and reducing costs.
- The functions of management and the CRM system designed for customer interaction — personnel management, assessment of customer activity to mitigate subscriber loss, etc.
- Accounting functions — integration with payment systems and the 1C program featuring different protocols.
- Type of reporting, both for internal and client use.
- Possibility of mass printing, options to monitor accounts receivable with a capability to send out SMS (or e-mail) notifications reminding to pay for ISP services within a given time frame.
The ISP billing system should provide ample opportunities in terms of developing different plans. These opportunities have to vary from analytics to creating new plans by simple editing, adjusting existing ones and their entry into force on a schedule, i.e. automating this area of the provider’s activity. Billing should be easily incorporated into various operating systems as well as into other accounting and miscellaneous software and CRM systems.
Other billing requirements for an ISP
Some customers want postpaid service, others — prepaid, so the billing system ought to be able to handle both billing types. ISPs often provide different plans depending on the time of day, amount of traffic consumed and customer benefits. A good system should be able to easily take all these factors into account.
An important feature is a line of communication with the developer allowing to contact a 24-hour technical support for fixing issues should they occur. The way of providing the system (suite- or cloud-based) may play a crucial role for some Internet service providers. The TENET company offers an optimal billing system for major regional Internet service providers. Its service capacity is up to 5 million active subscribers. The billing may be purchased under a license, in a private cloud or via the SaaS model. To learn more, please contact our professionals.