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Cross Pollination of Solutions across Industry Verticals


During a discussion at work, a friend and I got thinking about how solutions created for one industry can be leveraged in other industry verticals. I would like to share some thoughts around the same in this blog.

The typical evolution of COTS applications is as follows:


Most mature COTS packages are past the first two stages of evolution and are looking at maximizing their investment by expanding the applicability of their solutions across industry verticals.  

Let us look at how Billing Solutions that were created for the Telecom industry are relevant in other industries.

Subscription based services are at the heart of the Telecom industry. Subscription based model promotes customer retention and repeat business while enabling the customers with flexible and on-demand purchasing capabilities.  Other industries which use the subscription based model are: Utilities, Education, Digital, Media, Content and Information services to name a few.

A Telco fundamentally sells connectivity with value added services on top. Consumers buy mobile, broadband, TV services with limited or unlimited usage and get charged for the same on a periodic basis.  

All these services are driven by contracts with entitlements. The billing aspects include one-time charges(eg: installation), recurring charges (eg: Monthly fees, time based fees) and Usage based (eg: Data, Minutes, Texts etc).

The key capabilities required to manage the lifecycle of the subscription based service are listed below:

  • 'MACD' (Move, Add, Change, Delete) -  Unlike a one-time sale of a product, the solution needs to have the ability to handle moves (ie address changes), adds (ie adding new components to the services), changes (ie modification of the service attributes) and deletes (ie full or partial disconnects) of the services.
  • Upgrades/downgrades - These are special types of changes to the services. Upgrades are typically used to move the customer to the higher level of the service as a part of a promotion.
  • Flexible pricing, discounting and rating - Given the variety of subscription products, the solution needs to be capable of rating on any pricing unit eg: Time based, volume based, event driven, click driven etc.  
  • Contract management - Contracts and associated details such as entitlements, term, penalties etc need to be maintained in the solution. When a customer makes a change, depending on the applicable T&C's, the corresponding charges/penalties get applied.
  • Billing - In addition to the traditional pre-paid and periodic post-paid billing options, the solution needs to offer innovative options such as customer-timed billing, bill now, on-demand billing, bill on first usage etc.

Oracle's Monetization Cloud is an example of a solution that extensively leverages the learnings from the Telco industry and applies it to other related industries. It offers key functions around offer design, rating, billing and invoicing, revenue management, subscriber management and analytics. As a SaaS offering, it provides a quick time to market and offers ease of integration with the surrounding ecosystem, be it on-premise or other cloud based applications.

Oracle Monetization cloud solution is relevant for business that are already providing subscription based services and/or are in the process of transitioning to digital products and on-demand delivery models.

Solutions that provide opportunities to cross-pollinate ideas and best practices across industries, create a win-win situation for the solution provider and for the businesses that implement them. Such solutions are indeed the need of the hour.

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