Technology Reseller - v23

01732 759725 22 COVER STORY it’s agnostic, you’re able to cherry pick the most attractive services from multiple suppliers and build the most competitive range of voice and data services.” Disneur is quick to point out that aBILLity’s application is not limited to comms. “We find many resellers in the IT space using multiple systems and methods for invoicing and generally spending far too much time and resource on their billing. If you’re reading this, then chances are you already bill service charges, maintenance and other types of contractual arrangements, such as software licences. aBILLity can combine all of this, along with charges for comms services, and consolidate these into a single bill for your customers. “Coherent, consolidated billing is a major selling point for customers and can be as important to them as cost savings. This also means you can achieve complete and continuous visibility of customer profitability, maximising your margins without the need for intensive manual analysis.” The right time According to Disneur, imminent and far reaching changes mean there’s never been a better time to break into the communications market. “The arrival of 5G; Openreach’s planned transition from copper to a full fibre network and the conversion of millions of ISDN lines to IP; the rise in popularity of subscription models and managed service plans – the list goes on and on. The next five years is going to get very interesting.” He adds: “If you’re not offering connectivity services to your customers, someone else will. Once established, communications services will generate resellers to diversify into communications. “Many resellers I’ve spoken to are ideally placed to supply comms services to their customers, but there’s a persistent belief that comms services, particularly VoIP and other types of voice product, require highly specialised skills. In reality, providing these services is no more technically challenging than the data networking that IT resellers already provide.” As a supplier of ICT billing solutions, Union Street is well placed to help IT resellers profitably introduce communications services into their market offering. “We’re the perfect partner for any reseller looking to get started,” says Disneur. “Our aBILLity billing platform is used to manage over £1billion per annum of retail billing for comms services. There’s not much we don’t know when it comes to delivering these services profitably and in full compliance with industry regulations. We’re proactive about sharing our expertise with our customer base to help achieve the best possible results.” Automated billing When it comes to billing for communications services, charges can rise rapidly to over £100,000 a month. Accuracy is critical and, due to the potentially large volumes of call traffic involved and the requirement to rate this traffic according to customer tariffs, billing can quickly become a time-consuming process. This, says Disneur, is why most communication providers use a billing platform, such as Union Street’s aBILLity, to automate the process. “Our aBILLity software takes much of the effort out of the billing process. Best of all, because Has there ever been a better time to offer communications? As underlying technologies increasingly converge, traditional barriers between communications and IT are eroding, creating enormous opportunities for IT resellers to break into the lucrative communications market. Vincent Disneur explains how Union Street Technologies, the UK’s leading supplier of billing solutions for the ICT channel, is helping savvy IT resellers to take the plunge For most companies, reliable communications and IT solutions working in harmony is essential to efficiency and success. It should come as no surprise, then, that when given the choice most companies prefer to deal with just one trusted supplier for every aspect of their IT, connectivity and voice infrastructure. “The IT industry is moving inexorably towards a converged marketplace for voice, data and IT services”, explains Vincent Disneur, Head of Sales and Marketing. “Dealing with one supplier significantly reduces admin for end- users and, by consolidating costs into one invoice, budgeting and cost analysis become simpler and more manageable. Best of all, if something goes wrong, there’s only ‘one throat to choke’. They won’t have to suffer with rival suppliers playing the blame-game because nothing can fall between the cracks.” Despite growing demand for a one- supplier approach, Disneur points out that there is still hesitancy amongst some IT Vincent Disneur