Migrating to a Single Stack Billing Platform

"Single-Stack" Back-Office Platforms

What Is a Single-Stack Solution?

Before we get into the benefits and consideration of single-stack back office software, let's define it. A single-stack solution is a unified set of software components designed to operate as a single solution. 

In a single stack solution, components are tightly integrated and generally delivered by a single vendor. Some components may be provided by different vendors, but they are pre-integrated to work as a single solution.

The number one reason companies look for a single-stack solution, is to eliminate the "swivel chair" problem. Some key points:

  • Migrating to a Single Stack Billing Platform
    Unified Set of Software Components to Facilitate Back Office Operations
  • Tightly Integrated
  • Single Vendor or Pre-Integrated 3rd Party
  • Typical Components include:
    • CRM
    • Quoting
    • Billing
    • Product Catalog
    • Usage Rating
    • Reporting
    • Payment Processing
    • Trouble Management
    • Workflow
    • Customer Portals
    • Collections Management

Benefits of "Single-Stack" Software Solutions

A key benefit to the single stack solution is that it naturally provides improved data access, reporting and analytics. The data in a single-stack solution is often stored in a common database. Where ad hoc reporting or a similar tool, will link data from different components, enabling you to generate reports on virtually "anything".

  • Eliminate the "Swivel Chair" / Data Duplication
  • Minimize Data Entry Error
  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
    • APIs, 3rd Parties, Quote to Cash
  • Improved Data Access/Reporting & Analytics
    • Common DB, Report on "Anything"
  • Single Vendor / Single Point of Contact
  • Unified Support Structure
    • Visibility & Insight
  • Streamlined External Integrations

Things to Consider When Selecting a Software Vendor

Vendor Considerations

Although this may not be one of your first concerns when evaluating a new software platform, security IS critical! CPNI, credit card and ACH data are all moving though this software. So the security policies should be as strong or stronger than industry standards. Vendors should also be audited for compliance on an annual basis.

  • Domestic Support?
  • Data / Report Access
  • Track Record
  • Product Growth & Releases
  • Infrastructure
  • Security
  • Ability to Implement Incrementally

Internal Issues to Consider When Moving to Single-Stack

Internal Considerations

Surprise, not everyone loves change!  I’m sure most of us can think of some common factors for resistance. Users have been following the same process for years, they may not have been involved in the vetting process, or they just might not agree with the system selection.

  • Employee Resistance
  • Data Accessibility
  • Implementation Resources
    • Internal - Incremental Conversion?
    • Vendor Resources
    • External Resources
  • Existing Network Infrastructure

Conclusion

A single-stack solution is a set of software components designed to operate as a single platform. This has many advantages, including improved efficiency, lower costs and greater access to data.
  • A Single-Stack Solution has Many Advantages
    • More Efficient
    • Lower Costs
    • Greater Access to Data
Executive presentation made at the Spring CSI Conference in Orlando, by TimelyBill's Chief Marketing Officer, Patrick LaJuett.


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