WALLDORF — SAP AG today announced the availability of a new version of the SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management solution. A new “allowances” functionality gives communications service providers (CSPs) a way to offer their customers better control over subscriptions and services. By leveraging allowance capabilities, CSPs can provide customers with highly personalized plans, add-ons and offerings that can be activated and consumed in real time.
In today’s market, carriers are seeing revenues from voice services decline at a rapid pace, and in developed markets some are already getting 50 percent of their average revenue per user (ARPU) from data services.* Consumers want to be able to buy, stack and share voice, data and messaging service quotas across all their devices, family members and business units, and to make changes to those allocations in real time. Furthermore, carriers are legally required to implement “bill shock protection.” In other words, carriers cannot surprise customers with unexpected charges at the end of a billing cycle. Therefore, customers need to be able to see the impact of any plan or activity changes will have on their bill as soon as that change is made. CSPs with billing systems that do not have the capabilities to flexibly manage services quotas are in danger of losing customers, as well as missing opportunities to increase revenue from existing customers. The new allowances capabilities in SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management address the needs of modern carriers, helping them to unlock completely new commercial possibilities.
Using allowances, CSPs can enhance their customers’ experience by giving them self-service control over how they consume services and the ability to easily share allowances with family members or colleagues. Business customers and individual consumers can have a flexible way to manage minutes, messaging and data across devices and among plan members. Allowances can be bought and stacked to increase the amount available or shared across services or billing periods. Customers can set priorities for usage and trigger re-fill conditions, as well as decide who can consume specific allowances. Because the convergent online charging system quickly sorts, finds and debits the correct allowances, customers can monitor usage and update priorities in real time.
Allowances also give carriers the ability to offer unique promotions and programs not previously possible. For example, a carrier could offer a roaming bundle designed for family vacations. This could be a short-term package of services added to a contract in real time, shareable among all plan members, easily tracked and configured by the carrier and the consumer alike and with a fixed end date. Carriers can attract and retain customers by offering this type of personalized, customized plans, which can help them build market share and maintain profitability. The fully integrated nature of allowances into the existing offer-to-cash process means that complex billing, revenue recognition and legal requirements related to service quotas are managed in a standard and automated way.
“SAP has a strategic focus on the telecommunications industry, and we work with CSPs that focus on providing a superb customer experience with great operational efficiency,” said Fergus O’Reilly, vice president, Solution Management, SAP. “By offering a real-time platform for launching, managing and analyzing personalized offers with unprecedented scalability and usability, we are providing carriers with the tools they need to create agile, customer-centric organizations.”
Kate McNeel +1 (484) 624-2256, firstname.lastname@example.org, CDT
*US Mobile Market Update, Q4 2013 and 2013, Chetan Sharma Technology and Consulting, May 2014