Any new technology purchase is likely going to be heavily scrutinized by both decision-makers and everyday employees. Does it make people’s lives easier? Has it increased efficiency and productivity? Has it lowered costs? These are all benchmarks that communications service providers (CSPs) consider when evaluating recently acquired platforms and solutions.
When it comes to telecom billing software, people often assume that the platform’s benefits will only extend as far as the billing department. As such, employees might not rally around a new solution since they can’t readily see how they stand to benefit. The truth is billing software in general — and IDI Billing Solutions’ CostGuard® Billing and OSS, in particular — delivers meaningful results that can be felt across a variety of departments. CostGuard’s benefits truly span the entire CSP organization.
Let’s begin by focusing on the area of the organization that will feel the most immediate impact from a powerful billing system: the billing department. CostGuard provides the tools to improve virtually every aspect of billing, but one perk that billing teams are sure to notice is that they can do more with less. From workflow automation to support for even the most complex rating scheme, CostGuard makes it easier to manage all your billing needs.
IDI’s cloud-based service application offers around-the-clock monitoring and hands-on support your billing department can lean on whenever necessary. IDI’s billing experts function as an extension of your team, monitoring every stage of the bill production process to ensure invoices are completed without delay and bringing revenue back into your organization as quickly as possible. The combination of a reliable billing system along with expert support effectively removes obstacles that could stand in the way of consistent cash flow. Generating and sending invoices can be done within hours, rather than days.
Finance, Accounting & Collections
Finance teams responsible for accounting and collections activities will discover plenty of opportunities to make their jobs easier through CostGuard. For one, CostGuard fully complies with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to generate configurable General Ledger Journal Entries for activities such as billed and unbilled charges, payments, adjustments, calculated taxes and retail transactions.
Like the billing organization, finance and accounting departments will enjoy the quality-of-life improvements that CostGuard offers. For instance, the platform can automate the collections cycle, reducing the amount of work needed to address outstanding payments and bring in revenue. With CostGuard’s seamless integration capabilities, finance teams can also import the general ledger into any third-party accounting package with ease.
The real-time visibility into all past-due accounts and collections statuses makes it easier for accounts receivable and other finance stakeholders to keep track of outstanding balances and maximize cash flow. In addition, ready access to data via an intuitive interface provides the critical reports needed to monitor and evaluate financial status, as well as make timely and informed decisions.
Accounting for taxes and regulatory obligations can be a major headache for CSPs, especially when serving multiple markets and releasing various offerings that may be taxed at different rates. CostGuard simplifies these requirements by including tax software as a fully integrated module, eliminating the complexities and expenses associated with an additional vendor.
The platform provides complete transparency regarding how taxes are calculated and applied to every product and service, clearing up any confusion about this often-confusing aspect of the telecom industry. IDI’s in-house tax experts are also available to offer their knowledge and support, answering questions, lending a hand with internal audits or ensuring that products are taxed properly.
Having a reliable telecom billing system helps CSPs quickly and accurately generate invoices for customers. As such, customers are less likely to have questions regarding the status of their accounts. That’s great news for customer support representatives who will field fewer calls and inquiries. In addition, self-service tools like online portals empower users to manage their accounts, relieving strain placed on customer service and support teams while improving meaningful customer satisfaction metrics.
Representatives will likely notice that the calls they do field take less time to resolve since CostGuard’s intuitive user interface features the most requested information right on the main account page. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Sales & Operations
CSPs need to continually explore new products and services to compete in crowded markets, but launching and supporting additional offerings can add new layers of complexity to already complicated telecom infrastructure. CostGuard simplifies order management processes through integrated automation and workflows, increasing efficiency across the entire organization.
IDI’s billing and OSS platform also comes equipped with a full suite of applications that will dramatically improve internal operations. In addition to order management, those web applications include: Workflow, Bi-directional Communications, Equipment Inventory, Ticketing, and more.
Operations teams can also save an enormous amount of time and energy by taking advantage of the available fully documented web services APIs to easily release, deliver and support new products and services.
Billing system issues can be a persistent distraction for telecom IT staff, who are often tasked with addressing the technical problems that impact the billing cycle or the software and infrastructure itself. Because CostGuard makes billing processes so much more reliable, stakeholders won’t need to lean on IT teams as much for support. That means IT departments can focus more on tasks that directly impact business strategy and overarching company goals.
Moreover, IDI’s platform is fully hosted in the cloud, so IT teams don’t need to worry about ongoing maintenance requirements and expenses that typically come with any on-premise system. That includes accounting for disaster recovery needs, since those capabilities are baked into the CostGuard platform.
Security & Compliance
By their very nature, billing platforms access and process a wide variety of sensitive customer data, including personally identifiable information and financial records. In most cases, CSPs will need to comply with many regulatory requirements, industry-specific guidelines and data security and privacy standards.
As part of IDI’s SaaS offering, IDI provides assurance on its internal controls through the issuance of its SOC 1 focusing on financial reporting risks and SOC 2 covering security, availability and confidentiality. Additional assurance is provided through its Report on Compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS), and a report on its compliance with HIPAA. In addition, IDI continues to review and assess its controls against other recognized frameworks, such as HITRUST.
In this way, IDI can proactively address the changing needs of the business environment, giving CSPs peace of mind that their billing and OSS solution will keep them in good standing. Download our latest white paper to learn more about the importance of security and compliance for today’s CSPs.
In the competitive telecommunications industry, CSPs need to do everything they can to stay ahead of the curve. Implementing a cutting-edge billing and OSS solution can provide the opportunity to improve business operations without taking on the additional expenses and responsibilities. IDI Billing Solutions’ CostGuard platform provides end-to-end capabilities to address your every billing need. Reach out to IDI today to find out more about our solutions and how we can help.