End-Customer Billing for the AWS Solution Provider Program
AWS started the Solution Provider Program for managed service providers (MSP), value-added resellers (VAR), system integrators and public sector partners to resell AWS services to end customers. The idea was to incentivize them further for their AWS expertise and ability to successfully drive new business, thereby allowing them to obtain more value from reselling AWS services. As more and more APN Consulting Partners are looking to apply to the AWS Solution Provider Program, AWS still doesn’t cater to a crucial component of the whole program – how to effortlessly, and in a custom manner, invoice the end customers.
AWS resellers repeatedly ask us how they can automate charging of their resource usage and managed services fee since AWS does not offer an easy solution for you to bill your customers. How then can you, without building your own billing software, create and send invoices to your customers? As a result of our experience with the Microsoft CSP billing ecosystem, we designed a dedicated AWS integration that allows you to quickly and conveniently bill your customers. In this blog, we show how CloudBilling solves some of the core billing problems faced by AWS solution providers.
1. Manage Multiple AWS Organizations from a Single Location
While talking to prospective customers we observed that it was very inconvenient as an MSP to login to separate AWS accounts to extract cost and billing information. The possibility of combining bills across different AWS Organizations is not supported through the AWS console.
How then can you blend the charges for a select number of linked accounts and bill them to a single customer, department or entity? Although organizational units allow you to group linked account together, they still don’t support grouped billing of those accounts.
CloudBilling allows you to do all the above, so you can combine multiple AWS organization charges into a single customer’s bill, or pick and choose certain linked accounts spread out across multiple AWS organizations and combine them into a single invoice. A whole world of combinations and relationships thus become possible through the CloudBilling user interface.
2. Manage Reservation Sharing
As an AWS VAR, you want to make maximum use of the Reserved Instances and Savings Plans that you purchased. AWS allows you to selectively share discounts across any master and corresponding linked accounts. What if you want sharing to happen freely, but billing be custom, based on who purchased the reservation? Just because you want to make the best use of bulk purchasing, shouldn’t mean you have to charge your customers in the exact same form.
CloudBilling empowers you to make intelligent use of your AWS reservations and bulk purchases through a single toggle.
- Bill your customer on discounted rates or on-demand rates based on your pricing model and contract terms with your customers.
- Setup default or custom markups on the AWS service charges so you can easily control your selling margins.
3. Manage Different Charge Types
As you know, AWS reports on separate charges based on the type of charge. As an MSP you may want to –
- Control the amount of credits you would like to pass on to your customer
- Get a report of Refunds being applied to various accounts but not pass them on to your customer.
- Get full benefits on Savings Plans and RIs but charge your customers on on-demand rates.
In addition to the above, CloudBilling extensively supports workflows for each charge type, to automate varied actions for different charges. Try it out for yourself!
4. Manage Customer Taxation
AWS charges tax on the products and services you have purchased but you may want to apply a different tax rate for your customer based on their region. Filter these taxes out from the invoices you send out with just a few clicks!
Setup your own tax clusters on CloudBilling with predefined rates and let the platform manage the rest for you.
5. Get Insights on Costs and Charges
Based on the customizations you chose that are offered by CloudBilling, the cost reports that you see on your AWS billing dashboards section might vary significantly from what you actually bill your customers. This is where the CloudBilling Business Intelligence Dashboard comes in extremely handy. More than 90% of our customers that resell AWS services opt for our BI dashboard.
Among others, you can –
- Tag resources as per your organizational needs and view your costs and revenues based on those tags.
- Get detailed insights on the AWS usage across all your customers based on account IDs, regions and service offerings.
- Report on Refunds and Credits – what is applied by AWS versus what you pass on to your customers.
- Setup detailed billing dashboards for your customers so they can dive deep into resource usage and spending.
Empower your customers to have full control of their AWS costs while empowering yourself with insights into your revenues across all AWS accounts from one place!
In conclusion, staying in control of your AWS service costs and invoices to your customers is critical to enhancing your service offerings and getting paid on time. Don’t let AWS environment best practices hinder you from custom billing your services to your customers.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to hear our AWS journey to understand how we can automate and improve your billing mechanisms for your AWS offerings, or book a consultation with one of our consultants.