Electronic Bill Presentment

The following rundown highlights some hazards of deploying an electronic billing and payment system, such as not trying to introduce a new variable into a system just prior to launch.

Prior Planning:

  • What is it you are trying to achieve?
  • Before deploying e-billing systems, you need to clearly map out the steps of the billing process that you’re automating, and how it will need to integrate with other enterprise systems.

    Tell Your Vendor What To Do:

  • Have you specified what you want the vendor to deliver?
  • How do you know whether-—and when—you will get what you asked for?

    If you’re not clear, you may end up with either a damaged project—or firing your vendor. Avid Greenfield, e-billing analyst for Doculabs, says about one-third of all organizations deploying e-billing solutions switch vendors during the rollout. He says some vendors have “proven to be pretty difficult to work with.”

    Sizing Up the Job:

  • How much business do you expect to do online?
  • How many bills do you need to generate?
  • What are your growth expectations?
  • How much new technology do you expect to employ?

    This will determine the level of support and infrastructure you get. “The [vendors] who are basing their revenue models on the number of transactions are not giving the level of support to their customers if the customers aren’t seeing decent adoption rates,” says Greenfield. “The customers then aren’t willing to go out and market these solutions because they’re not bulletproof, so you get a downward spiral.”

    Testing, Testing

  • How much time are you allowing for testing?
  • Are you testing established versions of software?
  • Who is doing the testing? And when?

    Testing is key. Avon ran into trouble by trying to include a new, untested version of presentment software, just prior to rollout.