Billing Platform Architecture

Launching Subscription Billing Software: 3 Phases for Successful Implementation

November 24, 2021

Launching new subscription billing software isn’t easy, and the process can be riddled with challenges. What if to meet the unique needs of a few of your billing personnel you chose a system that’s highly customized. While a handful of your billing employees are now able to handle their daily tasks with ease, others may find it difficult to understand and use the system, forcing them to revert back to spreadsheets and manual processes. In another example, say you purchase a billing system that ticked all of your requirement boxes. Then upon implementation found that the system was so rigid that you needed to reintroduce manual processes for complex subscription billing scenarios, resulting in extra man-hours and potential errors.

Now imagine that your search for the right subscription billing software led you to a system that not only addresses your business requirements, but is flexible enough to quickly and easily make modifications to meet evolving needs. It’s full speed ahead, right? Not so fast! Now it’s time to pause and carefully craft a plan ensuring your requirements and project timeline are clearly defined. Without this often overlooked action item, you may find yourself handling workarounds or dealing with time-consuming re-works and delays. To avoid miscommunication and additional costs, work with your subscription billing software vendor to create a solid and achievable implementation plan.

Why a Subscription Billing Software Deployment Plan is a Necessity

With everything else on your plate, you may be wondering… why should we take the time to develop a billing software implementation plan? You may also be thinking… surely, the billing vendor has successfully deployed subscription billing solutions before. While the subscription billing software vendor may have an impeccable reputation, it’s to your advantage to remember that every organization is unique so deployments vary.

Using a proven implementation methodology for your subscription billing software deployment ensures:

  • Project scope and goals are clearly defined
  • Expectations of the vendor and your company are understood and agreed upon
  • Tasks are easily prioritized
  • Deliverables are completed in adherence to the documented timeline
  • Everyone understands next steps and project dependencies

Without a deployment methodology in place, it’s likely that critical planning steps will be bypassed. You need to ensure everyone involved in the implementation has a clear understanding of the project lifecycle. Otherwise you can expect frustration that increases in intensity as the project moves forward. In addition, without clear deployment guidelines for system goals and processes, you may need to make numerous system updates that extend the project, tying up time and resources. Even more concerning is the possibility of implementing a billing system that doesn’t meet your needs.

A Phased Approach to Implementation: What is it?

To start, in order to ensure that your subscription billing system meets all of your needs after launch, the implementation methodology should take into consideration high collaboration between the vendor’s resources and yours. Some billing system providers require customers to employ outside consultants and technology partners, so be sure the subscription billing software vendor you choose offers an in-house team of experts to guide you in simplifying complex subscription billing scenarios.

In addition, a phased implementation approach with proven deployment methodologies ensures that even the most difficult subscription billing use cases can be handled with ease. Let’s take a look at each of the phases, what they consist of and the benefits you’ll receive.

Phase 1: Definition and analysis

The vendor takes the time to understand and document your current processes, billing pain points, desired outcomes, and how they are going to achieve them. This step ensures that everyone involved has a comprehensive understanding of the scope, assumptions, project plan, and dependencies. Once you sign-off, this document is used throughout the entire project.

This phase also includes project definition and problem analysis of three main areas of impact – people, processes, and technology. It’s important that all stakeholders, from management to end users, are involved in order to alleviate ambiguity and issues as the project progresses.

Phase 2: Construction

This is when the tasks that were documented in the definition and analysis phase begin to come to life. During this phase, the system is configured and tested to ensure it meets your unique subscription billing needs. Many times the work taking place during this phase is broken down into configuration sprints, where changes are worked on by predetermined groupings versus making all changes at once.

During the configuration part of the construction phase, the billing software vendor should initiate meetings to discuss the timeline, achievements and challenges, as well as provide milestone demonstrations. At the conclusion of the configuration, a final demonstration should be provided for your approval and sign-off.

With the system approved, end-to-end testing can now begin. This is when the vendor ensures that the subscription billing solution works as expected and has been properly integrated with your agreed upon disparate systems.

The last component of the construction phase is user acceptance testing. During this step, employees provide hands-on testing of the system and deliver feedback to the vendor for any modifications.

Phase 3: Transition

With testing complete, technical knowledge transfer sessions are next. These should include sessions designed to bring everyone involved with the new billing software up to speed on how to manage the implementation going forward. Plus, more in depth train-the-trainer sessions for those overseeing the new billing platform.

The train-the-trainer sessions are extremely beneficial because they provide you with on-site expertise to answer staff questions as the transition moves forward. Additionally, these experts can be called upon to provide training to others within your organization. In no way, however, should your internal experts become replacements for your billing vendor’s resources. Your subscription billing software vendor should always make themselves available to answer questions and provide support when needed.

Once the transition phase is complete, there is another phase – post-deployment support. It’s only after you and your team feel comfortable that the project should be considered complete and you move into a post-deployment support mode. During this time, your subscription billing software vendor should be available to incorporate requested adjustments/changes and answer questions.

Tackle the Challenges of Subscription Billing with the Right Billing Software Provider

Implementing a new subscription billing software solution doesn’t need to be all-encompassing or immensely difficult. You just need the right partner. BillingPlatform follows the three-phase implementation and usage plan to the letter. Our team of in-house experts guides you every step of the way and helps simplify even the most complex subscription billing scenario.

We’ve accomplished this through years of dedication to the specific challenges encountered by subscription-based companies. At BillingPlatform we embrace a hybrid approach to deployment that incorporates features from the traditional waterfall methodology. This includes critical milestones for planning and agile delivery such as collaborative cycles, and a continuous feedback loop to ensure all technical aspects of the system are quickly handled. This ensures you get the system you need. With us, we’re there to help you manage expectations, meet deadlines, reduce transitional challenges, and deliver a billing system that was built for your success. Get started with a 14-day test drive of BillingPlatform to see us in action!

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