Digital transformation means change. Customers and their individual requirements regarding products and services are increasingly taking center stage. Every item, every device has to prove its usefulness more than ever before. Consequently, billing has to become even more customer centric, and SAP BRIM can help with that. This also includes managing payments for product and service portfolios and integrating partner settlements.
Furthermore, companies are increasingly becoming more digital and are transforming their core businesses from selling products to providing services.
New trends in business
A new trend is also emerging in business software. The era of traditional hardware installations and monolithic IT infrastructures has run its course – also in billing. Broker and sharing platforms as well as software as a service offers in the cloud are the new norm. This change accompanies the switch from products to services.
Consequently, providers have to offer customers suitable pricing and billing models. New conditions have to be adhered to, for example the number of users over a specific time period, extent and duration of usage as well as the size of transactions.
Providers are reaping the benefits. Subscriptions and scalable software packages mean more customer loyalty, resulting in regular long-term revenue and competitive advantages.
However, providers aren’t the only ones benefitting from flexible billing models. Customers have to invest less (for hardware and server capacity, for example), enjoy faster maintenance and troubleshooting, and their systems are always up to date on new releases. Providers and customers alike profit from higher transparency regarding current and future costs.
This trend is not limited to technology. Next to traditional services, like going to the doctor or to a restaurant, more and more manufacturing companies are venturing into the realm of product-accompanying services.
For example, they let other companies lease their equipment and machines or bill them based on sensor data on rotations, runtime or compressed air. They also sometimes offer consultancy services, training, maintenance services or retrofitting of older machines.
Recognizing customer preferences
There are companies who wouldn’t have been successful if not for this new trend towards providing services over products – or who would have been the ones to kickstart it. Platform providers like Deliveryhero use digital transformation to their advantage as they place their services between providers and customers.
For example, Deliveryhero provides a platform listing restaurants and food choices. If a customer places an order, Deliveryhero delivers their order to their front door. If a customer regularly uses the platform, they enjoy discounts, coupons or bonus points.
Another example is Outfittery. The online fashion platform analyzes customer preferences and subsequently creates a personalized digital profile. Based on the data, Outfittery generates individual outfits and styles. If customers decide not to keep the clothes, that decision triggers an uncomplicated and stress-free return process while the new data is saved in their profile.
Broker models and platforms with BRIM
Modern broker models more and more often leverage BRIM – one example are international online platforms where developers and customers meet. The developers come from many different countries, using the online platforms to sell their apps to customers. SAP BRIM ensures that the invoices reach the customers, that the payments reach the developers and that the developer commission reaches the broker model’s owner.
Another important aspect is tax processing, since both the developer’s and the customer’s home address have to be accounted for. If either one of them is located in the U.S. for example, then tax processing through jurisdiction code and an external tax system like Vertex are necessary.
More companies will bill their services based on bundles, usage or pay-per-use models. One can expect more different billing methods to emerge in the near future. An efficient, powerful IT system should be able to support and realize all of these ideas. Flexible universal solution BRIM is ideal for these use cases and supports users in the long term.
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