Evolution of Managed Billing


Comms Dealer spoke to our Head of Billing, Nick Jarrett last month about the evolution of managed billing services at 9 and how machine learning could positively impact the industry. Click here to read the full article or skip to page 39. 

The acquisition of Dataflow Communications by 9 Group in 2011 provided a significant capability boost to its Billie billing platform, which was acquired by 9 when it bought Club Communications two years earlier. According to Head of Billing Nick Jarrett 9’s managed billing service continues to evolve and staff training is key to matching end user and regulatory billing requirements with new technology.

“We invest time every month training our managed billing service team to develop a broader understanding of regulatory changes, commercials, best practices and new product technologies,” he stated. “This enables us to provide partners with a range of solutions to complex problems. For example, we’re seeing more demand for subscription-based models, IT services and complex hosted and mobile bundling, while balancing the need to make things more secure and effortless.”

Regulations relating to NGCS, GDPR, mobile capping, domestic reverse charge VAT and auto compensation (to name a few) are disruptive, noted Jarrett, and just one reason why high levels of flexibility in billing is key. The critical importance of flexibility is also reflected in the squeeze on margins as competition focuses more on value over price. “It’s important for partners to compete based on each customer’s needs, whether that be tailoring what the invoice looks like and how it’s presented or integrating with CRM or marketing platforms,” he explained. “Furthermore, as the telecoms and IT markets continue to merge scalable subscription-based services will grow in popularity, creating a requirement for communication and billing providers to offer API access into provisioning portals to ensure that billing integration is maximised.”

9 has offered a hosted billing service for over 10 years and to boost its capabilities the company now leverages Microsoft Azure’s capacity for on-demand scaling. “Ease of onward billing now forms part our development roadmap for all new technologies at 9, and I am excited about the possibilities that Machine Learning could bring to the billing industry,” added Jarrett.