Creating facts material for datacenter billing could be a tiresome exercise. A common way of dealing with invoicing is to manually update a billing system for each billing period (e.g. each month). It is not unusual that reporting of provisioned servers is done though a spreadsheet, which is later manually inputted into a CRM- or billing system. This process often involve several functions, like datacenter management, service delivery teams and invoicing/controlling.

While there is nothing wrong with the above approach there is room for improvements that can increase efficiency significantly.

  • Automation can reduce the number of hours needed
  • Manual routines lead to errors
    • Errors leads to incorrect billing -> leads to unsatisfied customers -> leads to unnecessary high costs for customer service and correction
    • Lost billing is a lost profit
  • It is hard to follow up on customers’ actual usage (=margin)
  • A spreadsheet does not give customers any value add in itself
  • Manual routines are often unnecessarily dependent on certain people and the interaction between certain functions
  • The measuring periods are sometimes longer than desired. E.g. one might want to be able to track changes by the day or week, but time only allows monthly or quarterly billing
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vScope, which can be deployed in a few minutes, offer a way to improve this situation drastically. In its’ simplest form, vScope replaces the spreadsheet by automating the gathering and presentation of data, which is s real time-saver in the invoicing work to start with. The automatic classification feature help in tagging servers with the right customers, functions, service agreements etc – making the information richer and in context of business.

vScope is easily accessible to the people who need it, when they need it, so there is no longer required to involve several functions in gathering data and compiling reports each month. Since the discovery and gathering of data is an automated process, it can be performed more often and with more parameters. The result is richer data with higher granularity.

With the Table view, Reports or though the self-service web portal, billing- and accounting teams have access to correct data at any time! Creation of billing data has become so much easier!

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But vScope offers more advantages which can make your operations smarter and more efficient. Having easily accessible information about customer usage enables you to perform analysis such as following up on profitability of each customer from KPIs like consumed and provisioned storage, number of active servers etc. Service delivery managers also benefit from this, as they can get a clearer picture of their clients’ installations in seconds. Using the history browsing and delta view functions gives a whole new dimension of the analysis making it easy to see trends and changes. Which disk or customer is growing the most? When was a certain change actually delivered? Which new products has been installed during the past year?

A good understanding of a client’s actual situation, is a good “reason to call”, and a starting point for additional sales of both services and products!

This example shows how vScope creates and presents information for people working with billing. vScope also offers excellent possibilities to further automate the billing process by integrating directly with an invoicing system. The possibilities to analyze data for human analysis remains of course!

Read more in this whitepaper or browse pictures below to see what it could look like.

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