What are the Billing Issues a Hybrid Cloud Reseller Faces?
The adoption of both public and private clouds has seen a significant rise in the past years. Nowadays, cloud resellers typically offer a combination of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS from a large number of (cloud) vendors. Most often they do this in the form of readymade licenses, and/or pure virtual machine infrastructure. These variations increase flexibility but also lead to a few operational challenges, such as billing your customers. In this blog we present the 5 biggest billing challenges you should be aware of when governing a hybrid cloud setup.
Combining Licenses and Pay-Per-Use Pricing
One of the biggest challenges of a hybrid cloud setup is the different forms of pricing. Software licenses are usually priced in the form of subscriptions. But IaaS resource usage is mostly pay-per-use pricing. The intricacies of combining these two are evident from the numerous situations we encounter assessing processes and solutions of new customers.
Cloud Vendors use Different Billing Formats
Also, the billing reports or reconciliation files that you receive from your vendors have different formats. Therefore, bringing these various forms together to one invoice for each of your customers is a monthly obstacle for many hybrid cloud resellers. Combine that with the resource-tag-based pricing schemes that most hybrid cloud resellers want to utilize and the complexity increases manifold. As a result many hybrid cloud resellers send multiple invoices, one for each vendor.
Your Customers Want to Know Their Consumption Details
To make the hybrid cloud billing challenge even trickier, customers want to be in control. They will demand drilled-down consumption information. So, if you cannot present this in a well-structured and clear way, questions about the consumption will still come in afterwards. And they will have to be answered. In addition to wasting human resources on answering these questions, this will also lead to delayed revenue capture.
Cloud Vendors use Varying Invoice Dates
Cloud vendors tend to publish billing reports and invoices on different days of the month. For that reason it is very difficult for hybrid cloud resellers to precisely setup processes to send out collated invoices to their customers. Correspondingly, this has negative consequences for expectations to be paid by a set date.
Optimize Your Costs
With a lack of readily available business intelligence tools, coupled with software and resources being used from across multiple cloud platforms, and a rush to utilise standard cloud services, it is not surprising that a substantial proportion of cloud spend is wasted.
There is a big profit for hybrid cloud resellers who can detect areas of improvement and effective utilisation of available discounts and resources. For instance, with standard Business Intelligence solutions, fit for the Cloud market and your business.