The Challenge of Billing for Cloud Services

 In Blog

At one time or another MSPs struggle with generating accurate invoices. This should not be a surprise to anyone in the cloud service provider business. The issue often comes down to transparency – it can be difficult to truly understand what services were consumed, by which customer, and in what amount.

Consider just a few of the challenges that go with billing:

• Collection of accurate consumption and billing data for each client
• Producing and sending invoices
• Invoicing for any number of different product and service combinations
• Different billing increments on the same invoice – monthly fees, pay-per-use, one-time costs

The time and effort required to produce an invoice can be significant, and if you’re working with inaccurate consumption metrics then revenue is being lost in two ways – through inflated operational costs, and through missed service revenue (leakage).

The Revenue Cycle

Revenue not only comes from product delivery and excellent customer service, but from successful, efficient revenue collection. We’ve built HyAlto to deliver efficiency at every step in this cycle, but for some of our customers it was the platform’s ability to better monetize the billing process that made the difference.

Having HyAlto as your cloud monetization platform delivers both efficiency and accuracy to help prevent the revenue losses noted above.

Unprecedented Transparency and Detail

At the core of HyAlto’s usage tracking is transparency. The MSP and the customer (and reseller if applicable) can easily view all usage & transactions for IaaS/PaaS/SaaS and XaaS services. The level of detail goes right down to the individual customer and SKU level, making it clear what to bill for.

Having such a comprehensive picture not only resolves the accuracy issue, the data can be fed into a downstream billing system for accurate chargeback/invoicing. This significantly reduces the time spent preparing invoices.

Transparency Benefits Customers Too

Customers also have access to their consumption metrics, which not only reduces the number of billing-related support inquiries, it builds a greater level of trust. Customers will appreciate the transparency, and they can be sure that each invoice is an accurate reflection of their service usage.

Business Planning

HyAlto’s detailed usage data can also be used for planning and budgeting purposes. MSPs can track revenue and profitability based on resource consumption.  For example, they will be able to see which services are the most/least used, and which offer the greatest/lowest profit margins. This can help determine whether a price increase is required, or if a product/service should be changed or even discontinued due to lack of use.

The historical data provided can also be leveraged for a longer-term view of growth vs. cost. Analyzing these trends can assist with future capacity and resource planning.

Oh, and these benefits extend to customers as well! They can analyze data for their own budgeting and forecasting purposes, and to help find efficiencies in their operations.

Complete Cloud Monetization

Though we focused on billing in this post, HyAlto truly does deliver for MSPs across their business. From product creation, to selling, to provisioning, to usage tracking, the platform monetizes your cloud services throughout the revenue cycle.

If you’d like to talk to us about monetizing your billing process, or about how to deliver your cloud to customers more quickly and efficiently, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today and let’s get started.

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