"In today's market, being another
Internet Service Provider (ISP's) in a sea of 20 or 30 competing ISP's
that charge flat rates will not make you rich. In fact, you may find yourself
quickly out of business. The only way to differentiate yourself with flat
rates is by lower prices or by offering more costly and time consuming
services than the next person.
What ISP's need is to
be able to quickly distinguish themselves from competition by offering
flexible, creative billing plans that can be marketed to target segments.
Customers searching for the right ISP can then choose the plan that fits
their needs and requirements. Think of billing capabilities not as a method
to send out a bill, but as a way to market your product to the customer.
Howard Sundwall, states that "the billing operation needs to support the
overall marketing plan and the bill must become both a branding and customer
care tool." (Sundwall, Howard. New Weapons in Telcos’ Fight to Keep Customers:
The Bill. Billing World Magazine. May/June 1996)
Billing used to be the back-room
operation which was only a step in finalizing the sale of a product. It
no longer can be viewed that way. The right billing package can make or
break an operation. Without the right capabilities and flexibility to cope
with market changes (and we all know how fast the Internet market changes),
ISP's will soon find themselves behind their competition and unable to
meet the needs of their customers."
"Why should I Invest in Billing
1996, Billing World Magazine