SaaS-Based Billing Accelerates the X-as-a-Service Future for Enterprise
Taking a cue from the communications marketplace concerning customer touch and service personalization, businesses in every industry are improving the experience of their customers. They are doing this by placing mobility services into existing product lines, and by offering what were once considered “products” as subscription-based services. While the former has been a subject of other Stratecast reports2 in the recent past, and remains an essential element of the long-term evolution strategy for most companies, it is the latter—products delivered as subscription-based services—that are making headlines.
Within the transportation industry, for example, the traditional automobile purchase has evolved to leasing plans, car rentals, and most recently, Transportation-as-a-Service (TaaS)—an on-demand, by-the-minute service, for meeting short-term transportation needs. TaaS has been offered by several automobile manufacturers for more than three years. Unlike the popular Uber taxi service, TaaS provides use of a car similar to a car rental service, but at finer tuned increments (hours/minutes), and with guaranteed parking spaces in urban settings. Cars are available via customer programs including BMW DriveNow, Daimler car2go, and Ford GoDrive among others. These services are available in multiple cities across both Europe and North America. Microsoft Office is another example of a product turned service.
This week’s SPIE discusses how real-time, usage-based billing, born of the communications industry, and interwoven within a subscription agreement, in some cases, is changing how businesses are selling to their customers. The report discusses how SaaS-based billing systems are ideal for encouraging businesses to try new ways to support customer interaction, to meet competitive demands, and to encourage innovation—often at a cost and time investment less than traditional software solution projects. The report also explains how one supplier—Cerillion—delivers a SaaS-based billing solution that helps small and medium businesses, and even large enterprises, address the sales process with a new customer-engaging approach.