by Nathan Shinn

Implement an agile monetization ecosystem or else

Feb 02, 2018
CRM SystemsDigital TransformationIT Leadership

Digital transformation means building your enterprise's agile monetization ecosystem.

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Credit: Thinkstock

One transformational aspect of modern technology is its ability to lower the barrier to entry for launching new products and services. Individuals and companies with clever business ideas can, with proper expertise, deliver new digital services in days or weeks, whereas similar solutions in years past might have taken months or longer to develop.

This is good news for progressive companies whose core systems are flexible, scalable and complement each other well. But what about companies whose core systems lack flexibility, are incapable of growth, and siloed? Can these companies launch services fast enough to capture market share and outmaneuver their competition? Probably not.

In this age of digital transformation, every CTO eventually will be approached by Sales or Marketing with a request to build, deliver and support a new service. It’s therefore incumbent on the CTO to be ready, and the question he or she must resolve is: do I have an agile monetization ecosystem?

The definition of agile monetization is the ability of a company to rapidly introduce, rollout and support new pricing models. An agile monetization ecosystem is a collection of interoperable systems whose purpose is supporting a company’s agile monetization agenda.

If the answer to whether your company has an agile monetization ecosystem is yes, your company has the ability to experiment with new service ideas quickly and inexpensively. If the answer is no, well, new service experiments will end up costing too much money or take too much time. And likely by then, your competitor has beaten you to the punch.

If your company falls into the “no” camp, here’s a list of systems that are involved and  may need to be updated in order for your company to have an agile modernization ecosystem:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM): A modern CRM system can help you figure out how to model pricing, how to train salespeople, how to structure the ordering process, how to upsell and cross sell, and how to deal with renewals, packaging and bundling.
  • Product delivery: The system where the service is delivered to the customer. If you are a telco, for example, this may be a switch or a bridge. If your are in logistics, this may be a YMS or Warehouse Management System. The ability to extract customer usage data from these systems in a flexible and timely manner impacts your ability to monetize it.
  • Front-end self-service: This is important for ordering, configuring, billing and managing the new service.
  • Rating: An updated rating system is going to help you handle new rate structures. It will help you deal more easily with things like tiers, minimums, prepayments, usage caps, flat rates with overages, subscriptions, related fees and charges, discounts, proration, chargebacks, incentive periods, uplift, product compatibility and taxation.
  • Service management: This is necessary for dealing with things like renewals, uplift, contract terms, penalties and fees, packaging and co-terms on complementary or add-on services, invoicing, payments and automated pre- and post-payments.
  • Accounting and revenue management: The modern accounting and revenue system will be helpful for dealing with things like revenue recognition, forecasting, GL assignment and integrations, as well as reporting across systems.
  • Marketing automation: This is necessary dealing with product performance, campaign performance, product development and price modeling.
  • Customer support: The modern system will ensure access to product usage data, service contracts, and billing and payment histories.

The point is: legacy systems weren’t designed for agile monetization. They won’t help you respond quickly to new opportunities. In fact, they’ll actively block you from pursuing them. In the meantime, your competition is grabbing what could have been your share of the market. The time to implement an agile monetization ecosystem is now. Get started today, before it’s too late.