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Build Versus Buy Dilemma? Weighing Both Sides of the Solution

• Jun 23, 2021

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When an organization decides to switch from a legacy system to an intelligent billing platform, the first question that usually arises is: to build or buy a billing and revenue management solution?

While there may be few benefits around building an efficient billing platform, the option isn’t the most feasible for all businesses. Building one can take a lot of time and human effort to develop and would require a dedicated and talented in-house resourceful team. It could also potentially promote design risks. On the other hand, investing in an up and running system would save on development time and allow businesses to reduce mistakes made along the way by relying on experts in the field.

Weighing Both Sides of the Solutions Dilemma

The core competency of OTT streaming and media services lies in identifying competitive markets and consolidating a variety of packages for subscribers at an optimum/attractive rate/price-point. Developing billing solutions, building roadmaps, and investing in research and development on billing and revenue management solutions can be left to the solution providers who are experts in the field.

As a business gains success, billing becomes more frequent. Revenue and profitability management is a little more challenging. While you might consider a low in-house building budget, eventually a dedicated team is required to manage processes as recurring transactions are bound to happen frequently. Considering buying will also omit the risk of customer churn and allow the business to enhance its customer lifecycle management.

As a business owner, one of the long-term goals is to focus on growth through market expansion by identifying different tiers of subscribers. Expansion requires a readily available billing and revenue management solution with up-to-date features and optimum functionality.

By opting to build an in-house system, you are at risk of missing out on opportunities that would otherwise optimize the services your business provides. The time and revenue that was initially segregated to scaling the business might have to be reconsidered and reinvested towards building a system that will inevitably cause overall delays., more budget, and a high possibility of missing the Time-to-Market.

Developing features, fixing bugs, and delaying launch dates are also some added risks of choosing to build. Third-party, Billing and revenue management solutions are developed to be effective immediately and flexible as more functions are used.

Walking Down the Road Much-Traveled

Nearly a decade into the adoption of OTT and other trending video technologies, and consumers are in full control over when and where they watch content — meaning the ability to offer a variety of subscription packages and promotions that are tailor-made to consumers is crucial to the platform’s success.

When considering a geographical expansion, your focus is likely to understand local market conditions, local content aggregations, identifying subscribers and buyers persona in comparison to figuring out multi-currency, multi-language, and other localization features. With Evergent’s billing and revenue optimization solutions, the system allows you to define different billing areas based on geolocation and supports 150+ global currencies.

As a business scales up and recurring revenues take place, the attention must be on the business and subscriber numbers, and not diverted to billing systems and benchmarking. Billing management can be complex and challenging, but Evergent makes the process seamless. Evergent’s billing and revenue optimization platform are available to define daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly billing periods, as well as different billing cycles for each billing period. The subscription management, which is managed by the business, is crucial to compatibility, maximizing transaction rates, and as mentioned above, minimizing churn.

In terms of compliance and quality, globalization provides the opportunity for businesses to grow but also has challenges such as data and privacy issues, security breaches, etc. The idea of investing in a solutions provider such as Evergent will provide you with the necessary compliance to run the business as efficiently as possible.

Running a business requires an integrated system of flexibility. More than a billing and revenue management system is required to maintain customer loyalty and user lifecycle management. Updating plans, adding plans and upgrades, downgrades, pro-rating, coupons, and upsells are some variables the business must manage. By adopting Evergent’s services to manage the billing and revenue management solutions, businesses are able to pay attention to details such as heightened customer experiences and subscription management with value-added services.

The latter option, however, which mostly includes off-the-shelf systems, may or may not be feasible for businesses as it may have certain inflexibilities around billing and rating functionalities. On this note, let us show you some of the underlying factors that constitute the build vs buy debate.

Prioritizing the Constitutions of the Business

Depending on the factors and nature of the business, including time and money, future plans, contingency measures, and current business trajectory, there is no one strategy that fits all in terms of building or buying a billing and revenue management solution. The most important thing is to understand both options thoroughly before finally settling on one that would complement the nature of your business.

To find out more about how we’re able to assist in your business scaling, reach out to us and request a live demo with our engineer here.

satish garikipati
satish garikipati
satish.garikipati@evergent.com

Satish Garikipati is the VP of Customer Development, heading the Global Solutions function that solves complex business requirements with innovative solutions. Satish has been working with media and subscription services companies across the globe for more than 20 years, helping them adapting agility into their subscription business.