Across industries, products and services are now being developed, priced, and billed in zillion different ways to provide maximum value to their customers. While sales and marketing teams innovate and launch new products and services with unique monetization flavors, it’s usually the finance team that bears the brunt trying to maintain a complex relationship with customers for many years down the road.
In launching ad-Orb (short for Advantage – Order, Revenue and Billing), we have two simple objectives:
a) ensure that accurate invoices are sent out month after month every month
b) make it easy to achieve (a)
Sounds simple. That’s what I thought until my world moved from a One Time Buy Model to Pay As You Use Model. In this model instead of purchasing a printer outright, customers prefer to pay every month based on the number of pages printed. Instead of going to your local store to buy a razor and use it when you need it, customers are now signing up to pay a fixed fee every month for razors to be shipped to their homes. Airlines are now charging a fixed fee every year for a traveler and eight companions to check two standard bags per flight for free. Companies across industries are innovating at a rapid pace to take part in this On-Demand economy. The price you pay for these “services” (term used to define products in the On-Demand economy) is not a fixed amount but a factor of how much you’ve consumed or likely to consume in future. The monetization models gets more complex as large companies with traditional business models try and transform themselves into Pay As You Use model.
Living in Silicon Valley, I am surrounded by technology buzz words like augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to name a few. Every time I hear one of those phrases, my instinct is to see how we can leverage these technologies to achieve our two simple objectives.
Imagine an On-Demand world where the billing system is intelligent enough to recognize patterns and errors without any human intervention; where a billing analyst is alerted of an issue that could occur in the future, so corrective action can be taken now. A world where one can monitor, orchestrate, and send millions of invoices amounting to billions of dollars, accurately and timely, using just a headset.
At ad-Orb, our engineers are hard at work trying to crack this problem using these advanced technologies. Only time will tell if we’ll succeed in our goal of achieving 100% accurate billing in zero seconds. But we’ll never regret not trying.
For more about different Pay As You Use monetization models, best practices adopted, and lessons learnt, attend Nishant’s session on Strategically Monetizing Your Business Model at biztechSF presented by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Oracle OpenWorld.
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