Case Study for:Bizcel do Brazil
Founded in 1994, Bizcel is one of the leading telecommunications companies in Brazil providing diverse solutions in various market segments internationally. In addition to cell phone service, Bizcel provides international leasing of cellular and satellite phones as well as 3G Internet modems at highly competitive rates to business travelers around the globe. Headquartered in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Bizcel has the largest international coverage area in their space, which includes more than 190 countries.
Bizcel needed a comprehensive billing solution that could bill and rate highly diverse, wireless traffic in multiple currencies, across multiple time zones, and in a variety of languages. They also needed a highly structured process for inventory management and order fulfillment integrated with their CRM application, Salesforce.com to eliminate errors due to duplicate data entry and user errors.
Their rating methodology was complex consisting of a blend of one-time and recurring charges as well as complex usage based rating which aligned with fluctuating, supplier rates and tariffs in order to accurately manage margins.
The Brazilian regulatory and tax authority also requires a unique method for invoice delivery wherein invoices must be electronically submitted to the local government for taxation and distribution to the end customer. In addition, a second copy of the same invoice would need to go to the end customer directly from the biller for reporting purposes.
BillingPlatform worked closely with Bizcel IT to configure a fully automated and integrated billing, ordering and inventory management solution that would complete their unique quote-to-cash cycle efficiently and accurately. The components of the new Bizcel billing system now includes the following:
Custom, Configurable Product Catalog and Multi-currency Rate Plans
Bizcel now has the ability to maintain a highly sophisticated product catalog that allows them to automatically monetize every aspect of their service offering through BillingPlatform’s highly customizable, component-based product model. This feature opens the door for highly competitive and creative pricing across several, diverse aspects of a product offering with the ability to define each service component uniquely as recurring or metered as well as to create relationships between components to support scenarios such as subscription rates with tiered overage rating based on customizable time and unit-based intervals.
Each custom product and component is immediately available for individualized; customer rate plans with unlimited, international currency configurations that align with the end-customer’s locale. With BillingPlatform’s metadata driven infrastructure, every new configuration or customization in the system is also immediately available for presentation on customized search, list and form configurations as well as built-in Web Services; Unlimited invoice Templates; Reports and Dashboards.
Automated Usage Collection and Mediation
With a product catalog in place that reflects exactly how Bizcel defines its product and service offering, the usage feeds from several, diverse sources in different formats must be mapped appropriately to ensure the correct routing and interpretation of the data to product components, usage end points and customer rate plans.
Bizcel leveraged built-in, configurable mediation tools to enable the collection of several different CDR feeds not only to precisely monetize every relevant aspect of the usage but also to capture non-billing data for reference in invoicing and reporting.
These powerful tools ensure that Bizcel can manage usage mediation and monetization from any new source in the future or support any new product configuration through configuration, without writing custom code.The product supports rating in any language and currency as well.
Metered and Recurring Charges with Custom, Formula-Based Rating
Bizcel needed a way to managing varying rates from several cellular partners that evolved as business travelers used their services across the globe. Not only did rates vary across cellular service vendors, but these rates also incurred roaming charges and tariffs for separate states and countries internationally. Bizcel leveraged the platform’s ability to enter custom formulas into the rating process in order to create pricing as a function of supplier rates included on CDR data, adding a percentage-based surcharge to ensure adequate margins.
This powerful feature dramatically simplified and automated what once was an impossible, manual task. With this level of automation, every shift in pricing is not only captured and adjusted on the fly, but is also presented accurately on the customer’s invoice in the currency where the usage took place.
Invoicing Integrated with SAP and Local Tax Authority
The Brazilian regulatory and tax authority requires that businesses electronically submit invoices to the local government for taxation and distribution to the end customer. In addition, Bizcel customers demand high-volume usage reporting and PDF invoicing roll-ups as a supplement for auditing and forecasting aligned with customized invoicing cycles.
Bizcel leveraged BillingPlatform’s configurable extract tool to design regular extracts of rated usage and subscription data in a format consumable by their existing SAP system. The SAP system in turn was integrated with governmental taxation systems to provide the invoicing data necessary to comply with regulatory taxation and distribution policies.
Bizcel also leveraged BillingPlatform’s configurable invoice templates and e-file functionality to deliver the CDR and invoice-level reporting directly on an automated and customizable billing cycle.
Localized Inventory Management, Provisioning and Asset Tracking
Bizcel manages an inventory of thousands of rental devices with unique attributes and identifiers that are critical to service provisioning and billing. These devices are assigned to specific individuals for a specified period in which they are unavailable for other customers. They needed a system to create, search, and track each device and the associated inventory, billing and service data such that no two customers would be assigned the same device during the same time period and the correct service charges could be assigned to each rental instance.
Customer service representatives needed an easy and reliable way to provision hundreds of equipment rentals per day, adding the correct usage and subscription attributes specific to each type of device while avoiding overlap.
BillingPlatform was configured with completely localized provisioning tools that align recurring or subscription product components with the correct inventory items, service end-points, custom rate plans and usage events. A custom, inventory management module was developed for adding and decommissioning rental devices making them available for searching and selection during provisioning.
Customer service reps can now easily select the type of device and search available inventory for use during a specified date range. The system ensures that that the device is available during the date range specified and displays an error if there is any overlap.
Each device type is configured to display the appropriate service attributes and subscription types specific to the device. This ensures that the appropriate charge types and required data elements are captured at the time of provisioning. Now service reps can accurately configure the correct rating and charging methods as well as critical service attributes when provisioning a broad and diverse set of products.
The primary language of choice for the Brazilian fulfillment team was Portuguese. The platform was configured such that all system labels on the UI were translated in the local language and invoice templates translated into the language and locale specific to each customer.
Automated Integration with SalesForce.com
Because the Bizcel Sales team does much of its ordering and pipeline management using Salesforce.com CRM, It became critical to integrate the two systems such that Accounts, Products, and default rates configured and managed in Salesforce.com were accurately reflected in BillingPlatform for billing, rating and provisioning.
Bizcel is now able to configure new products and services and manage default rates via Salesforce.com leveraging BillingPlatform application interfaces and bulk load tools to keep billing up to date. The Built-in integration tools also allow Bizcel to sync critical account data managed in Salesforce to ensure that customer information is accurately represented for billing and invoicing.
Billing Platform allowed Bizcel to replace a very ridged, manually intensive and complex, in-house system with a completely automated, flexible, and hands-free solution in the cloud. This dramatically increased sales, ordering and invoicing efficiency as well as accuracy - while it kept spending below their previous IT and HR costs.
Bizcel now has ultimate freedom to charge and rate any type of product or service using built-in configuration tools to quickly respond to their dynamic and competitive, global market.