If you are becoming a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider and trying to choose a Microsoft CSP billing platform, this article is for you. You can also check out our comprehensive guide for the Microsoft CSP Program.
Choosing the right billing model for your business can be tricky. It’s necessary to have a platform that saves you time, eliminates billing errors, and delivers accurate invoices. Billing should not be complex and time-consuming. So, how do you choose the right platform for your business?
Here at interworks.cloud, we have prepared a list of the 10 questions to ask before deciding. To make it easier for you, this article has two parts. Let’s start with Part 1.
An Overview of the State of the Cloud
Gartner predicts IT spending will reach $3.9 trillion by the end of 2021, which indicates a rebound in the economy after the crunch in 2020. The proportion of spending in cloud computing is expected to grow by 18.4% in 2021, up from $275.5 billion in 2020.
Data Source: Gartner
The market growth provides an opportunity for Microsoft Partners to become Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers. CSP participants can open new streams of revenue, choosing their own profit margins for reselling.
Accurate billing is a critical part of good customer service. Additionally, an efficient billing system also helps your business run smoothly. Let’s explore what you should look for when choosing a Microsoft CSP billing provider.
1. Which Billing Features Should I Look For?
Choose a platform that provides multiple pricing options, such as subscriptions, yearly bills, pay-per-use, one-off, and more. Give your customers the flexibility to choose which pricing model is better for them.
Automated invoicing and taxation
Automation can save you time and money by streamlining repetitive tasks. Instead of manually sending invoices to customers at the end of each month, choose a solution that automatically invoices according to the pricing model. The right solution not only bills recurring customers but can also handle one-off billing.
Another thing to take into account is taxation. When you work with customers across regions, taxation can be a hassle. Look for a solution that automatically adds taxes for the appropriate states and regions.
Manage collection and payments
According to a study by Statista, digital and e-wallet payments make up 41.8% of online transactions worldwide. The convenience of electronic payments makes it easy for your customers to consume your services. Allowing multi-currency payments can help you achieve global reach. Choose a solution that provides multiple payment options, including electronic payments like Paypal and Paymill.
Create and manage discounts and offers
With the right billing platform, you can create special pricing schemes, such as a 30-day free trial or price protection. This can give your business a competitive advantage.
Another important feature is automatic updating. When you implement promotions and special offers, it is important to have a tool that can update these discounts for you.
Subscriptions are the most popular pricing model for tech services. You can bill subscriptions according to usage, at a flat rate, or per user. Every subscription model has pros and cons. For instance, having a flat rate can affect your earnings, since you’ll miss opportunities to charge more. An automated billing platform should be able to manage subscriptions.
2. How Can I Scale My Business?
As your business grows, you’ll need to scale up. This can easily be done by creating product bundles. A bundle allows you to package multiple products in a single offer, and then bill the bundled products in a single subscription.
You can scale up quickly using a billing platform like interworks.cloud. The platform calculates the cost and selling price of a bundle automatically, according to the specific rules you have defined.
3. What Is the Return On Investment?
Billing automation can benefit your bottom line and increase your ROI. First, it streamlines the time-consuming aspects of billing, saving time and overhead costs.
Second, when billing is processed manually, you risk human error that may result in losing your customer’s trust. Automation reduces the chance of error and ensures accurate invoicing.
Finally, when migrating to a new automation platform, customer data must be imported accurately. Existing customers and subscriptions can be migrated automatically with the importer tool in the interworks.cloud platform. The importer tool automatically transfers all your data from Microsoft’s Partner Center.
4. Does the Service Include Consulting and Onboarding?
One of the most important parts of integrating a new platform is a pleasant and efficient onboarding. This is one of the key parts of a great customer service experience.
The interworks.cloud onboarding process ensures you know how to make the most of the platform. An initial meeting defines the milestones and deliverables, and then you’re shown how everything works and customize it to meet your needs.
A good onboarding process cannot be completed without integration support. Our platform supports an integration framework that easily connects your existing infrastructure (ERP, CRM, Accounting or Ticketing Software) with your cloud operations including leading CRM solutions (like Salesforce) and accounting (like Intuit).
5. What Microsoft CSP Billing Scenarios Does It Support?
When planning to migrate to a billing automation platform, ensure that it supports the billing scenarios you need. interworks.cloud allows you to manage multiple pricing models and billing scenarios. It supports pay-per-use, one-off, and recurring payments. The platform automatically creates subscriptions and issues the invoice when receiving an order. You can also customize the platform to get the reports you need.
The Bottom Line
Here are the first five things you should ask your potential billing platform provider. Consider solutions that offer the billing features, automation, and customization you need for your business. Choose a platform that offers a comprehensive onboarding process and strong support.
Not sure where to start? To learn more about how interworks.cloud can help you automate your billing and increase your ROI, request a free demo. See what the power of automation can do for you with interworks.cloud.
Continue reading on Part 2!