The importance of Electronic Bill Presentment (EBP) in the Digital Transformation Journey of Telecommunications Operators

In a highly competitive sector such as Telecommunications, B2B Operators' revenues have slightly declined in the last few years, with an average compound annual growth over the last five years equal to -0.4% *.

Strong competition leads to a greater difficulty in differentiating the products launched to the market, in a quick innovation-copy process, basing the selection of the Operator on the price.

On the other hand, the introduction of new paradigms such as machine learning, IoT, AI, among others, increases the complexity of the services and the relationship with the customer, creating an additional challenge for the Operators and the need to rethink their offer positioning and presentation.

The emergence of new competitors with disruptive offers adds pressure to the traditional Operators, who are finding it increasingly difficult to meet their customers' needs, whether in the emotional connection, involvement and transparency, as well as in meeting the service levels and the responsiveness, often incompatible with the customers' expectations.

In this growing complexity in the services provided by the Operators, it is essential to reinvent the "chemistry" in their relationship with their customers.

Saphety's Electronic Bill Presentment (EBP) solution - SaphetyBill, makes an important contribution to the implementation of a digital transformation strategy in the Telecom Operator, enabling (1) a stronger connection with the customer, creating a strong involvement during the entire relational “jouney”, (2) changing the mindset and the behavior towards building a more customer-centric culture, (3) increasing customer trust and transparency, delivering a personalized level and quality of experience, more in line with to the customers' expectations.

The SaphetyBill solution behaves like a services module, provided by the Operator to its B2B customers, from its corporate portal, coexisting with others that may have already been presented.

Through self-service mechanisms, the customer can autonomously set, from the billing information already received, but editable, multiple dimensions consistent with its own organization (e.g. cost distribution by departments, geographical areas, employees, etc.), allowing the collection and control of the respective statements, in each of the selected dimensions. As an example, we can refer some of these dimensions:

  • Expenses and consumptions
  • Invoices and outstanding balances
  • Measurement of consumptions within the billing cycle
  • Definition of the budgets allocated to each dimension and alarm activation in case of deviations from pre-defined thresholds.

This self-service format solves a set of customer problems and dissatisfaction in their relationship with the Operators: (1) it increases the transparency in the relationship, allowing the customer to control and approve its consumptions - currently most B2B customers receive their  invoices through PDF or paper, but can't easily verify the accuracy of its content, (2) it allows the 24x7 update of any of the previously defined dimensions, due to changes in the organization or the consumption of new services, and receive, from that moment on, the respective statements - following the previous point, the customer has the ability to manage how and when it wants the service, without having to wait for the eventual availability of the Operator.

The SaphetyBill solution also provides customers with dashboards on the various selected dimensions, allowing a quick and intuitive analysis and control of each parameter.

The SaphetyBill offer, in addition to significantly increasing the value perceived by customers in relation to the service provided, also allows other important advantages for the Telecom Operators:

  • Many Operators maintain parallel billing solutions, which means sending multiple invoices to a single customer, sometimes for each type of service provided. In other cases, the invoice sent is too complex for the customer to clearly understand it. Both situations can lead to a deterioration in the customer relation because they're not in line with its expectations.

The ability to integrate billing data with the purpose of providing your customer with a single invoice, with clear readings on different service consumptions, usually means strong investments in billing and back office systems.

A possible alternative is the creation of modules that allow to aggregate information from different systems and create a single output. This is also SaphetyBill's role: to collect data from different billing systems and present them in a unified way, in statements, accompanying the respective invoices. The ergonomic and user-friendly presentation is valid in the different dimensions selected by the customer.

  • Telecommunications Operators have a unique opportunity to surprise their corporate customers. With SaphetyBill, they will get an insight regarding the needs of their customers who, according to their organization, will be able to get the distribution of different types of services across the different dimensions selected. This important information, along with CRM, will enable Operators to efficiently and quickly design new offers or specific campaigns for a particular customer.

The evolution towards the exclusive and unique treatment of B2B customers is a critical step to achieve those customers' expectations, building relationships based on solid trust, avoiding churn and creating paths for a faster new customer acquisition. SaphetyBill is a key part in achieving these goals.

(*) Pwc 2018


João Pereira
Board Member, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)
Article translated into Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.

Subject: SaphetyBill, Electronic Bill Presentment, International, 2019

João Pereira

Publicado por João Pereira

Board Member, Chief Commercial Officer at Saphety (Linkedin)