Calvi, the Netherlands-based EBP and TEM vendor, has announced the availability of its new Polaris release. Calvi Polaris aims to fix the long-standing challenge of sub-optimal telecoms bills by making it easier and less costly for CSPs to improve them.
According to Walter Neeft, Calvi’s Chief Commercial Officer, Calvi Polaris will drive a step-change in the way its customers deploy and maintain their EBP solution. “Polaris enables CSPs to transform their digital billing experience with limited impact on their legacy billing infrastructure,” he explains. “This allows them to respond to rapid business change and ultimately means CSPs can innovate their bills in line with their services – delivering a billing experience that’s fit for the digital era.”
But why is this needed now? Having spent billions of dollars rolling out new networks and innovating new services, bundles and price plans, CSPs risk falling at the last hurdle if their customers find their bills hard to use and difficult to understand. Neeft argues that a good billing experience is essential to support innovation, as it makes unfamiliar charges and products easier to understand and manage, giving customers more confidence to adopt new products and price plans. It also helps avoid the inevitable calls to the call centre from confused customers.
He says that as CSPs roll out new service offerings to monetise their 5G and full fibre networks, they need to ensure that the billing experience they provide reflects a similar level of innovation, helping customers navigate unfamiliar prices, packages and service charges. This is challenging for CSPs, because making changes to their legacy billing experience is usually difficult, slow and expensive.
According to Rick Leijten, Product Manager at Calvi, this was the problem Polaris was designed to solve: “We wanted to give CSPs the tools they need to innovate their customers’ billing experience faster and with greater agility. Polaris does just that – enabling CSPs to adjust their bill communication and presentment strategy rapidly.” Leijten says that while many CSPs want to improve the billing experience they deliver, they often discover that doing so is hard, expensive and slow, because legacy designs and applications are hard-coded and difficult to change. In contrast, Calvi Polaris empowers CSPs to respond to business change themselves by allowing them to easily make changes to their own bills and thereby avoid having to engage billing vendors or SIs in a six-figure project and lengthy change cycle.
It’s not really news that telecoms bills are a customer experience blackspot – it’s a long-standing and seemingly intractable problem for many service providers. The reasons are depressingly familiar. IT staff have so much to do that innovating bills are low on their list of priorities, while making changes to bills is difficult, time-consuming and expensive. If only CSPs added up the impact of poor billing across their business – the increases in call centre traffic, the negative effect on CX, the increase in churn and the reluctance of customers to buy more products from a CSP they don’t trust – doing something about bills would surely be a no-brainer.
Even getting the basics right can be hard, never mind the demand to make bills more relevant, personalised and easy to understand. And, as big a deal as this is in the consumer space, in the B2B market telecoms bills are a huge headache. They take up significant resources to ingest, process and pay, a situation only set to get worse as enterprises move to hybrid homeworking models, begin to work in complex ecosystems and start to utilize increasingly complex telecoms products.
Bills themselves often get overlooked because the focus is placed on bill calculation, with Calvi one of a small band of vendors focused on solving this perennial problem.
Polaris delivers on Omnisperience’s vision that digital bills will evolve to be the centre of customer communication, by freeing up CSPs to more easily evolve and innovate their bills themselves. This enables bills to begin to fulfil their true potential as not just a statement of charges, but as important commercial communications, tailored to customers’ needs. We believe that bills have a critical role to play in supporting the evolution of new CSP business models – particularly in the B2B market – and are vital to supporting both new customer expectations and emerging revenue streams. As such, we believe Polaris is a welcome addition to the billing landscape.