In the world of telecom, a bill shock is the surest way to lose your customers. You can do everything right, from creating the perfect plan to delivering your services as per expectations, but if your billing is not in place then you are in a world of trouble. Especially for small-scale MVNOs that thrive on supporting small customer bases, an inefficient billing system can sound the death knell for their business. The biggest reasons why many billing systems fail is due to the inefficiency of the OCS. Hence, it makes all the more sense to fix the problem at its source.
Why OCS is Critical for Telecom Billing?
OCS is the real-time beating heart of your Business Support System (BSS). It forms the vital link between your customer’s money and your very own pocket. Every customer interaction with your network infrastructure; be it from a mobile phone or laptop is captured in the real time charging system i.e. OCS, rated as per the pre-defined tariff rate and then captured in an invoice. This invoice is then sent to the customer who pays the bill happily, only when he is satisfied with the charges applied.
There are times when customers find mismatches between the sent bill and actual consumption of resources, which results in a complaint call to your call center department. This can lead to the following 4 situations:
- Customer is right and you are able to fix the problem
- Customer is right but you can’t find the source of the problem
- Customer is wrong and you are able to explain why he is wrong
- Customer is wrong and you are unable to explain why he is wrong
While the first and third can be resolved, the second and fourth are the ones that spell trouble for your business. Most of the times, it is easy to backtrack and find the error, when it is due to error in calculation or invoice printing, but if the error results from your OCS – you have no easy way to fix the problem. The only real solution in this case is to partner with a telecom software solution provider that is sensitive towards its OCS deployments and has the capability to deliver an OCS that is always accurate and meets your requirements.
5 Tips to Ensure You Never Go Wrong in Your OCS Selection
While absolute guarantee for anything is a myth, you can maximize your chances of getting your hands on the right OCS system by following these tips:
- An OCS that meets 3GPP requirements – Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is designed to implement correct telecom charging system architecture in day-to-day telecom transactions. Any failure to adhere to the model prescribed by 3GPP can result in revenue leakage and errors in billing. Therefore, whenever you decide to partner with an MVNE or telecom software provider for your next telecom solution, you should ensure that the OCS fits the 3GPP protocol without any deviation.
- Convergence and transparency in billing – With so many telecom offerings these days, customers can get confused if you bill them separately for each service and send different invoices (as was done previously when IN and offline billing systems were utilized). A cutting-edge OCS provides a better option in this case. An OCS not only charges and rates user interactions for all services on real-time basis, it also keeps record of the service delivered by updating entries in the billing database. As each and every detail is captured accurately by an OCS system, it becomes easy to transform those details into a convergent and itemized invoice by using an invoice generation tool.
- Ability to launch innovative plans on the fly – Flexibility and versatility of your OCS solution decides how fast you can bring your plans to the market. You don’t want to get stuck with an OCS that prevents you from stacking up different services as per your choice. The time that you have to spend altering or replacing your OCS can be the difference between profit and loss. Therefore, always partner with a telecom software provider that can understand your unique requirements and create a tailor-made solution, which lets you launch innovative plans at a moment’s notice.
- Scalability – The ability of an OCS to scale according to your online charging requirements is vital to the success of an evolving business model. If you are expecting growth and addition of new subscribers, you should always associate with a vendor that can scale the software as per your requirement.
- Complete security of account information – The online charging system architecture includes ABMF (Account Balance Management Function). This means that it has vitally important customer account information stored in it at all times. Therefore, you need an OCS vendor that can guarantee absolute security. Telgoo5 is a well-known OCS platform that excels at operational security and ensures customers’ information is never compromised.
Billing has always been the Achilles heel of the modern-day telecom operator. Due to a rise in the number of services, telecom operators that are not armed with reliable OCS systems are prone to making mistakes. This can lead to bill shocks, which can eventually result in customer attrition. To ensure accuracy, transparency and convergence in billing, you need to associate with an OCS provider that can offer a customized charging platform to meet your specific needs.
At Telgoo5, we offer a cutting-edge online charging system for MVNO and MNO that comes with 24×7 customer support, so you can conduct your day-to-day business with complete peace of mind and contact us whenever you have any query.