Billing Specialists Ltd is a small UK-based consultancy that provides expertise in revenue management IT systems. In particular we bring experience on how flexible and targeted pricing and discounting can be implemented.
Businesses recognise the need to build a relationship with their customers, whether they occasionally walk through the door (e.g. into a store, restaurant, hotel or perhaps a railway station) or use services at home having signed a contract and receive a regular bill (e.g. for a phone, broadband, cable TV, gas or electricity). Getting the price right is essential, but a business has many products to sell and persuading the customer to buy the most profitable ones is key. We work with our clients to understand their customers, build up knowledge, communicate effectively with them and offer attractive products and services to them.
Advising our clients how to use powerful modern IT systems that offer innovative product pricing and discounts to change customer behaviour and grow your business.
Having suitable business and operational support systems (BSS/OSS) in place is crucial, and this is where our expertise lies. We work with clients on many different back office systems, and are independent of all software vendors. However, we were formed by consultants with more than 15 years of experience implementing, upgrading, supporting and tuning NetCracker's Rating and Billing Manager (RBM) software that is used by more than 100 tier 1, 2 and 3 operators around the world.
Our small team has worked on projects for more than 50 of those RBM operators, visiting in excess of 20 countries in Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia.
The RBM product, which took the telco billing world by storm around the year 2000, was formerly known as Geneva and became part of the Infinys suite when purchased by Convergys. It is now being marketed by NetCracker (who bought it from Convergys in 2012) as part of Smart Revenue Solutions, which also included CRM, Order Management, Inventory Management and Mediation systems that were pre-integrated with RBM. In early 2012 RBM-5.3 was launched and our consultants are very familiar with that release. We are now working with a client on RBM-7.0, which was released in 2013, whilst supporting other clients on older RBM versions in various European countries. We have also been reviewing the new functionality available in RBM 8.0 and have produced a presentation on the benefits of upgrading to it.
Our consultants provide high-quality Business, Application and Technical consultancy on revenue management systems, especially for NetCracker Rating and Billing Manager. However, we also have some knowledge of rival applications such as Singl.eView, Oracle BRM (formerly Portal) and Rating Enabler from Alcatel-Lucent.
In the UK we have been working to identify new incentive schemes to persuade passengers to use less crowded trains. Existing yield-management is limited and totally unsuited to the 'walk-on' railway. We have suggested moving from a model with unfathomable fares and very basic discounts (and few loyalty schemes) to understandable and customer-centric pricing with incentives to change how people travel.
The telco industry is in the fortunate position of being able to satisfy all demand from their users, as there is substantial capacity in the infrastructure for existing services; their challenges are emerging services such as watching movies on mobile devices that are reliant upon rolling out new technology such as 4G. However, in other industries (typically mature ones) there will never be sufficient capacity and it is necessary to manage customer expectations. The best that can be hoped for is to persuade customers to use the spare capacity where it exists. Appropriate pricing and discounting is part of the answer, and we are here to help.
We also provide more IT generic consultancy, such as data migration and technical assurance for large business applications.
Occasionally we provide business analysis, design and development of revenue-based web-site solutions for small organisations. Please look at the case study of the online membership facility we introduced for Railfuture, Britain's leading rail campaigning organisation, which is run almost entirely by volunteers.
On 6th August 2014 we submitted our response to the BBC Trust on its Commercial Framework Consultation, which is essentially the formal relationship between the Public Service Broadcasting part of the BBC and its commercial subsidiary BBC Worldwide. We believe that the BBC should follow in the footsteps of many of our clients and provide a range of on-demand content through modern channels with convenient billing using innovative pricing and discounting. Read our somewhat controversial response, in which we challenge the BBC to be more commercial, HERE. Our response suggested many ways in which we believe the BBC could generate funds to plough back into new programming.