As a provider of broadband services to broadband providers, we bill based on the number of subscribers a provider has. A common call that I’ll get from one of our customers after our bills have posted is regarding how they can best reconcile their billing database to our monthly invoice. It’s always a challenge when two billing systems are in play. Data is often entered manually in both systems, and totals can get out of sync over time as account changes are made. So, it’s becoming more and more common for our development team and I to work together to integrate our billing system with that of our provider’s system.
As a result, we’ve been through several integration projects and are now integrated with billing systems such as ICOMS, Azar, GLDS, Omnia, and BillMax. We’re also open to integrating with other billing vendors, and even get the question of whether a “home grown” billing system can be integrated. The answer is yes, and if you are working with a provider of managed broadband services like ZCorum, there are some good reasons to integrate—whatever your billing system happens to be. Integration creates a single point of entry for additions, modifications, and deletions, which saves a lot of time when entering or modifying accounts. Once a provider integrates with our system there’s no need to go into our account management application to enter a subscriber account, modify a billing address or a phone number, or change a password. The provider’s billing system pushes the account data to us via an API, and we provision in real-time the broadband modem, the EMTA if VoIP is included, and any associated email accounts.
Another benefit of billing integration is accuracy. Since the two systems are operating as one, billing exceptions are few and far between. When an account is deleted out of the provider’s billing system it’s automatically deleted out of ours. This saves on manpower, since no one has to keep two systems up-to-date, and no one needs to figure out later why things aren’t matching up.
Is integration 100% foolproof? No, but most of the time it works flawlessly. Yes, no one should pay a bill without reviewing it for accuracy, but it’s much easier reviewing and reconciling billing when both systems are integrated.