In January of 2021, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella announced that Microsoft’s 2nd quarter cloud commercial revenue grew more than 50% from the same time last year. As enterprises moved into largely digital territory, the demand for cloud services too peaked, and this is one of the key reasons for the jump in revenue reported by Microsoft. Even though we have our eyes set on the end of this pandemic, the digital economy will not be taking a back seat anytime soon.
Microsoft’s record growth rates were a testament to the massive fanfare that its cloud services garnered from businesses worldwide. Gartner forecasts that the global spending on cloud services will rise by a massive 23% in 2021. A lot of your customers would be interested in exploring possibilities in the cloud and Microsoft’s ever-increasing arsenal of services in their cloud ecosystem like Dynamics, Microsoft 365, etc., in naming a few.
You can be a Microsoft Indirect Reseller to remain committed to serving as the Cloud Solutions Provider to your end customers while all the complexities of building the infrastructure and facilities would be handled by an Indirect Provider that you would partner with. However, to fully leverage the capabilities of Microsoft’s products as an Indirect Reseller, you also need to be equipped to provide the best pricing and cost management for your customers. This is where Microsoft Indirect Resellers benefit from a subscription billing platform.
Let us see five ways in which a subscription billing platform can transform the pricing experience for customers of a Microsoft Indirect Reseller:
Pricing on your Terms
Indirect resellers work with licensed indirect providers or distributors who have established partnerships to leverage Microsoft’s services on the cloud. In this scenario, your customer-facing teams require flexible pricing and contract models that ensure profitability, growth, and ease of managing finances for your finance teams. The end customers demand simplicity and pricing schemes based on the value derived.
A flexible subscription billing platform can manage both facets of your business and handle the inner complexities of managing contract terms, refunds, credit lines, finance terms, and fee management policies independent of your terms with your distributor.
Focus on Customers and not Accounting
Your customers want the best cloud experience from Microsoft products deployed in their business. They don’t want to wait in the boardroom while you are auditing pages of complex invoicing and accounting paperwork. A modern subscription billing platform can derive the most precise revenue, accounting, and pricing data transparently based on your SLAs with distributors and handle billing and invoicing in the background for you.
As a customer partner, you are free to focus on setting up the best experience on Microsoft’s cloud for them and not worry about generating the accurate invoice as these platforms would do the job for you.
Improve Cost Efficiency
A subscription billing platform brings in a good deal of data-driven automation in your finance and accounting divisions. This will help in bringing down costs that would have been incurred otherwise in leveraging manual effort for revenue accounting either by hiring and managing more in-house financial consultants or by hiring professional accounting firms to do the job for you. Either way, there would have been significant costs and overheads involved in taking your financials to closure.
In a highly dynamic pricing environment that the market will demand from time to time, there would be further complications that your accounting process would have to incorporate. With a modern subscription billing platform, all of these accounting nightmares would be streamlined.
Deliver Self Service
Today, a good majority of customers would require self-service mechanisms for their billing and subscription management and would like to have the freedom to explore pricing, change in subscriptions, and invoicing based on their demand. A modern billing and subscription management platform can allow you to take a back seat and offer a comprehensive self-service portal for customers to track their usage, invoices, order history, and much more.
Additionally, you can even customize self-service portals with branding and visual themes representing your business for an even more personalized offering.
A lot of timely decisions can be made when your leadership has access to precise reports on the operational performance of your entire business. With a modern billing platform, it is possible to have complete control of your data and with advanced analytics to build custom reports that the leadership can leverage to make accurate forecasts and data-driven business decisions.
Microsoft Indirect Resellers can truly deliver a transformational experience for their customers by focusing more on the services and technology leveraged by Microsoft’s product lineup and not on operational aspects like billing and accounting.
A subscription billing platform can bring peace of mind and streamlined processes and workflows in your finance department and can ultimately help you plan and deliver more cost-effective services to end customers.