When the Result Isn’t Apples to Apples

Every successful organization will go through a digital transformation.

If not now, then very, very soon.

The pandemic has certainly goosed planning in this area, with most such corporate efforts well underway, according to research by Forrester and KPMG.

A big question for many at the end of these mammoth overhauls from longtime legacy systems to shiny new tech-fueled processes:  How can we properly measure the benefits of this change?

Because, let’s face it, in most every case the change is so drastic, the end result isn’t apples to apples.

 

Apples to Apple Pie

Take, for example, a common modernization transformation which upscales your company’s billing process from a series of spreadsheets pulling data from several sources into heavily hand-touched processes to an automated software platform that eliminates the need for all those manually entered spreadsheets.

Or consider another typical transformation to a purpose-built billing or revenue platform from a decades-old, no longer efficient system. Those old ways were established by in-house resources who can no longer continue rewiring the hamster wheel to meet the newest expectation or requirement because they themselves – not to mention their solutions – have reached the natural retirement age.

In these cases, establishing a before and after measure of the benefits can feel quite futile and non-informative because the differences between legacy behavior and current solution are quite radical.

 

What is the difference in the length of time for your period close process?

How many people are required to process an invoice before and after digitalization?

What is the internal cost in personnel, time and systems required for one single billing period for one single customer?

 

When the changes don’t really even exist on the same plane of existence, what can you learn from these comparisons?

Well, for one thing, you learn the increased importance of the data flowing through these processes.

In updating your billing and revenue processes, you’ll be required to take a deeper look into the bowels of these activities than has been done in quite some time – maybe the early aughts or *gasp* earlier – to the ultimate benefit of your organization.

Your activities have been on autopilot, offering a sense of comfort and seeming stability that a transformation will – and should – disrupt and cause you to re-visit and re-evaluate.

 

Welcome to the Datasphere

The advisory firm IDC, in its report, The Digitalization of the World from Edge to Core, from a few years back, predicted “that our global datasphere–the digital data we create, capture, replicate, and consume–will grow from approximately 40 zettabytes of data in 2019 to 175 zettabytes in 2025 (with one zettabyte equaling one trillion gigabytes).”

That statement was highlighted in a more recent paper produced by Deloitte on the data challenges for modernizing legacy technology platforms, illustrating the importance of harnessing the power of a company’s data in achieving excellence in your transformation effort.

The Deloitte paper demonstrates, through real-life examples, how the explosion of data in today’s digital age keeps senior management working through transformation challenges including the following to get to the other side:

  • Complex scale of operations
  • Technology issues
  • Organizational silos
  • Talent gaps
  • Depreciated infrastructure landscape

The end result is too valuable not to.

 

Brand New Looks

Take the case of Textainer, which oversees shipping containers across the globe. The company had an outdated billing system last updated for Y2K, contract complexity shedding little insight into the whereabouts of its worldwide container fleet and a cumbersome billing process of 40 unique reports and queries. 

RecVue – and our asset billing capabilities – was brought in to solve billing requirements Oracle and Microsoft products could not. Through this modernization effort, Textainer could apply multidimensional pricing factors including size, location and length of term and unique booking details per asset to bill for recurring charges of multi-year contracts for the company’s container fleet as well as one-time handling charges, damage collection and other assorted fees. Additionally, RecVue handled payment agreements for storage warehouse needs for unused containers. 

With RecVue’s help, Textainer has been able to automate its entire order-to-cash process, in the process enabling pricing and contract flexibility and eliminating revenue leakage. Please read our case study, to learn more about the Textainer success story.

Or consider ExteNet Systems, one of the world’s leading providers of communications infrastructure. The company was in the process of migrating to a new ERP solution for finance and operations and sought to automate revenue recognition and billing capabilities rather than burdening their IT staff with continued management of an internal solution that would only drain costs and bump up against complexity challenges.

The company selected RecVue for the solution’s ability to drive the expediency of their order-to-cash processes and recognize revenue more quickly as they secured new business amid the 5G revolution and growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). RecVue helped ExteNet meet requirements for handling staggered start dates for projects with multiple sites or locations within a consolidated invoice. The ability to handle contingent commission calculations where the price of an asset could vary based on use was also a big differentiator. Learn more about the ExteNet success story here.

In each of these cases, the end results were a decided upgrade to the previous solutions employed.

And in each scenario, the before and after activities were so drastically different as to make a fair comparison itself an ongoing challenge for those seeking ‘apples to apples’ equations.

The most critical end result is a business better aligned for long term growth.

As Joe Cummings, ExteNet’s VP of Information Technology, noted, “The ability to infuse flexibility into our financial operations, automate our billing and ensure it was on time and accurate was critical.”

Who’s up for a piece of apple pie?

Contact us today to learn how RecVue’s solutions helped global car rental leader Hertz integrate its billing and partner payment processes across 43k franchise offices, in total handling over 4.5M rental agreements each month. 

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