Ready, Set, QuickStart Go!

According to Simon Adams, Managing Director at PRD Technologies Ltd, a billing solution is the lifeblood of a business; it is mission critical to that business and has to be right for that business, but for most resellers billing should simply be a few clicks. 

Independently owned PRD traces its origins back to 1992, initially engaged with carrier-grade telecom operators. Whilst still retaining carrier-grade customers today, PRD’s primary focus is providing billing solutions to UK based resellers and service providers. These ranges from off-the-shelf applications to modulated or bespoke solutions, with self-managed systems or bureau options.

The PRD billing portfolio, which is entirely built and developed by the company, is simple to understand as Managing Director Simon Adams explains.

“QuickStart Billing is our mainstream billing product, interchangeable between two options for suitability and simplicity. QuickStart Go and QuickStart Pro. QuickStart Go is ideal for start-ups and core resellers looking for a clean compact billing solution, quick to set-up and easy to manage with most core billing functionalities as standard. QuickStart Pro can be customised to meet your exact billing requirements, hence tends to be more suitable for complex and larger resellers.

An exiting QS Pro reseller, with a multi group organisational structure has 20,000 end customers, some with complex call plans and multi hierarchical reseller levels. QuickStart is a truly cloud-based application, all you need is internet access from anywhere. But customer installed options are available if preferred.

We believe billing should be simple process for the reseller – ideally just a few clicks to get the results needed. Although contradicting often held traditional views, billing should no longer be a complex process requiring highly skilled billing staff. With automation where possible, and easy user interface, backed by customer support team of Billing Analysts, we genuinely have made billing as simple a process as possible and a self managed solution. Of course customers can still opt for a bureau service if preferred. We have definitely done something wrong if anyone thinks our products are complicated as they are designed to be used by anyone at any level. Of course, bespoke solutions can be sophisticated, but we are with our customers every step of the way.”

QuickStart Pro provides scale and can not only mange billing for bigger service providers but can and does provide service for national carriers. Typically we find that when our QuickStart Go users begin to approach billing values of around £25,000 per month they look to evolve and grow on to our Pro product.”

Adams acknowledges that every customer is different and welcomes this.

“There are so many variables available to resellers in tariffing alone that can be used to bundle services and attract customers that having a billing solution that can be as flexible as the resellers imagination is a great advantage.

With QuickStart Pro you just tell us want features you want and we will customise it for you. We can provide bespoke billing features at regular pricing and this is a key differentiator between PRD and our competitors. We now work with NTTE (worlds largest telecoms company), Airbus, ADP (one of only five US triple A credit rated organisations) and KPN for example, as well as a host of UK based SME resellers, which we regard as our core market and focus for QuickStart Billing.

Customisation is important in billing. It can lead to resellers being able to truly differentiate their own offerings. The fact that we are able to do this so quickly for our customers is not just down to the skills and experience of the team here at PRD but also due to the technology we use – very configurable 4GL (Fourth Generation Programming Language)”

Adams says that over recent years the market for billing solutions has changed significantly.

“Communications technology moves at an almost frenetic pace with new means and methods of communicating constantly being developed and evolved. Whilst this provides challenges for many we regard change as an opportunity for our service provider partners as we can help them to accurately bill these new services very quickly.

More resellers instead want solutions that fit their business needs and help them maximise their competitive edge and it is here that uniquely we can mould our solution quickly to meet those needs in a cost effective and efficient manner.

Whilst the applications for billing are growing the number of independent billing solution providers is shrinking. Why would resellers want to use a billing solution from a supplier whose parent company provides lines and minutes as a core element of their business?

Every week we get calls from service providers who express just those concerns.

A billing solution is the lifeblood of a business; it is mission critical to that business and has to be right for that business. PRD can make it right for business.”

Inclarity Reduce Costs by 70%

Hosted telephony provider Inclarity switched to PRD’s QuickStart Pro when their legacy billing system became too unwieldy and costly to manage.

Managing Director Enzo Viscito commented, “We had a team of six people just keeping our old billing system running! The maintenance and upgrade costs had also become prohibitive so we researched potential suppliers for a replacement solution and arrived at a short list of three products.

We had three principle applications and product to accurately bill; connectivity, call minutes and hosted telephony licenses. We wanted a product that could manage this for us as well as handle new product developments and reduce our costs. We wanted the advantages of new technology and to consume the product like our own offerings – as an Opex based deployment.”

Inclarity selected to go with PRD based upon the total cost of ownership, great reference sites, product flexibility and superior technology.

“Significantly we just loved the PRD ‘can do’ approach to business. Nothing was too much trouble for them so any special features we wanted were just delivered. We can now accurately bill customers and know exactly what our costs will be on a monthly basis just like our own market leading hosted telephony service. Most importantly, as a result of deploying PRD QuickStart Pro we have reduced our own cost of billing by a fantastic 70%!”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine