Automate Tasks to Simplify Workflows with Rev.io on Zapier

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Rev.io’s commitment to help service providers stay lean and grow revenue efficiently has greatly influenced our approach to integration options throughout 2018 and into 2019. We’re always looking for new ways to enhance our usage-rating and billing system. That is why we are extremely excited to announce our public launch on the Zapier platform. Zapier is a tool that allows you to automate tasks and save time by connecting apps you use every day. Using Zapier’s extensive platform, you can connect Rev.io to 1,000+ apps with the click of a button!

Now, you can save time and automate processes by using Zapier to connect Rev.io with 1,000+ apps.

What’s a Zap And How Do I Use It?

To automate workflows, you set up “Zaps” on Zapier’s platform that connect Rev.io with another available app, like Salesforce or ConnectWise Manage. A Zap is simply a series of steps that are configured to automate processes like adding a contact to a Customer Account in Rev.io when a contact is added to that Customer Account in Salesforce. You can also configure multi-step Zaps that allow you to link multiple apps together. Our app comes with pre-configured templates for “plug and play” ease of use!

What can I do with Rev.io’s Zaps?

What Does Rev.io’s App Do Today?

Today, Rev.io’s app will offer 4 Triggers, 1 Search, and 2 Actions. Triggers, Searches, and Actions (TSAs) are Zapier’s terms for the work the platform performs. From the Zapier Terminology guide, “A Trigger is the event that starts a Zap… An Action is an event a Zap performs…” and search is a search performed inside the Rev.io app. We’re expecting to expand Rev.io’s list of Zaps throughout this year, but you can always access the most updated list of TSAs on the Rev.io app.

Currently, Rev.io’s Zapier app will offer:

Triggers

  • New Customer
  • Request Status Changed
  • New Payment
  • Customer Profile Updated

Search(es)

  • Find Customer

Actions

  • Add Note to Customer
  • Add Contact to Customer

Where Can I Learn More About Zapier And Rev.io’s Zaps?

If you need more help with a Zap, take a look at our on-demand webinar recording, or check out the multitude of Zapier related resources:

You can get started today by logging into Rev.io and navigating to the user menu in the top right where you will see our newly embedded Zapier Widget or going straight to Zapier’s website to setup a Zap! That’s right, you can access our Zapier Widget directly from Rev.io’s usage-rating and billing system.

Access Zapier through Rev.io’s usage-rating and billing system.

Ready to get started? Check out our on-demand webinar recording for a tour of Rev.io’s zaps and functionality. Not a client or partner yet? Get in touch with us to learn more about Rev.io’s usage-rating and billing engine with integrated customer management, tax calculation, workflow processes, device inventory, custom quoting!

Part 2: Launching and Supporting an Effective Telecom Resale Channel

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Whether you’re managing an established telecom resale channel and looking to sharpen your sword or if you’re just contemplating adding a partnership program to your business, we’re here to help. The channel landscape has changed drastically due to the rise of SaaS, cloud, IoT, and usage-based offerings. In addition, new types of partner relationships are emerging to complement any offering and any industry. Building, piloting, and managing a resale channel is more important than ever.

In the first part of our Telecom Resale Channel blog post series, we discussed 4 Factors for Launching a Successful Resale Channel.

In the prequel, we answered these questions:

  1. Why build a resale channel?
  2. How to validate the market to be sure an indirect model will be a well-received resale strategy?
  3. What is a partnership proposition and why do I need to do this?
  4. Is my company ready for a resale channel?

(If you haven’t read the post yet, I’d encourage you to read it before you’re too far into Part 2.)

Now that we’re all caught up, we’ll dive into steps 5-8 in Part 2: Launching and Supporting an Effective Telecom Resale Channel.

Here are the key steps you should take to launch a partner program and improve ongoing channel management:

5. Product messaging and readiness

What good is an indirect resale strategy if your partners cannot clearly and concisely explain your product and how it fits into part of a comprehensive solution? If they can’t effectively communicate the benefits and features, then they can’t effectively sell it.

For new and existing products that you’re offering, ensure your team has gathered relevant information and packaged this up for your future partners.

Key elements of this package include:

  • Clear product messaging and scripts
  • Awareness of existing and emerging markets (with data)
  • Easy accessibility of product information
  • Competitive analysis and pricing
  • Your onboarding and ongoing support strategy

6. selecting your curated list of strategic partners

Now that you have your ducks in a row to deliver partners with the tools for success, let’s take a breath before we open the strategic partner floodgates. A critical success factor for your telecom resale channel model is picking the right types of partners. When you select this group of partners, you’ll want to be sure to fully vet these companies.

Make sure the partner is aligned with your company’s:

  • Culture
  • Values
  • Service level agreements
  • Vision for future initiatives

If they pass all of these initial tests, they’re a winner! Now let’s build a program that not only attracts new partnerships but also rewards partners for working with you. Defining your channel model for that particular partner should include a deep understanding of their sales models, what matters most to them, and how they are funded. Understanding your partner’s business will help you structure a customized, business proposition that’s too good to turn down.

7. training & ongoing channel management

Once you’ve established the need and your organization’s readiness to support a channel and put the various tools in place to support your partnerships, it’s time to create a strategy for new partner onboarding and build the ongoing management plan.

Structured Enablement

There should be an organized onboarding program for each new partner. This should begin the moment the partnership is finalized until they’re fully proficient and bringing you regular business. Depending on the complexity of your offering, this enablement program could be a month, a quarter, or a year.

Keep track of their enablement progress through key metrics.

These could be:

  • Number of trainings completed
  • New referrals
  • Signed mutual clients
  • Implementing a lead gen program
  • Participating in a co-branded webinar

Lastly, let them know when they’ve “graduated” from the program!

Ongoing Management

Like any relationship, communication is key. Proactively communicate with your telecom resale channel and establishing a regular cadence of meetings, emails, newsletters, annual reviews, etc. This should be predictable so that partners understand when, how, and where to go for information.

Provide these partners with additional resources in a variety of formats like videos, collateral, and lunch and learns that can be easily consumed. Many vendors will consolidate and streamline partner management with a partner portal.

Look for a partner portal that has critical components, such as:

  • Information center / file sharing
  • Visibility into new orders / support
  • Automated commissions
  • Accessibility to view mutual client usage, history, and payments

If you’re thinking that a system like this would benefit your business, check out Rev.io’s Agent Portal. We’d love to set up some time to share how your business could benefit from our platform.

Once you have your partner program up and running, think about promoting your partners in your marketing initiatives. Rev.io supports partners by adding them to our Partner Marketplace (on our website), joining up or co-boothing at tradeshows, participating in co-branded webinars, and inviting them to sponsor our client events.

Lastly, make sure you and the partner have a mutual understand of each others’ preferred methodology of referrals (who should these go to, what info is needed, etc.) and diligently track referrals sent to / received from each partner.

8. measure the channel effectiveness

The channel landscape can add incredible value to your business. Even after your telecom resale program is in place, channel leaders should consistently learn and evolve to need the changing needs of their partners and their market. An often overlooked factor of success is measurement. Rev.io’s Agent Portal can help you measure, engage, and support your agent relationships. Once the partner marketplace is launched, take a proactive approach to measuring, monitoring, and supporting your partners. Now that you’re ready to tackle an indirect sales channel, be sure you’re ready to bill your customers for their usage-based and recurring revenue offerings. Or, if you’re not sure about billing, stay in touch. We’ll send tips and resources directly to your inbox to help you improve your business and billing strategies. Of if you’re interested in joining the Rev.io Partner Marketplace, check out our Become a Partner page. We’d love to hear from you!

 

Thank You For 2018: A Note From Our CEO To The Rev.io Team

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Team,

In 2018, our theme of Promoting Partnership drove us to achieve countless accomplishments and improve the Rev.io Communications billing and usage-rating experience for our clients. It was a fantastic year and the results reflect it. I want to congratulate and thank our team for achieving extraordinary results in 2018.

The end of the year is an opportunity for us to reflect on all that we accomplished. In 2018 we had record sales bookings of our Communications billing system, sold our largest client, and sold the most revenue ever. A number of these new customers were referred to us through our partnerships which reflects the success of our focus on Promoting Partnership.

Marketing promoted our brand awareness and broke the Marketing-Sourced bookings record, continued raising the bar by making 2018’s annual Client Summit our best ever with record sponsorship, and hosted the most co-branded, partner webinars in our company history.

We built a new Communications billing onboarding process to support our growth and two-phased transition approach. Training and Enablement helped clients have a better and more focused onboarding experience. Client Success continues to fuel the company with exceptional talent while the team hit a new record of solving 90% of our tickets in 3 days! In addition, the Client Success Team (along with other departments) launched the Premier Success Program for our Communications billing customers. As we continue to push upmarket, these new innovations are critical as we train, onboard, and support enterprise clients.  

On the Platform Team, we overachieved our REST API adoption goal. We established a new Product Team and this group led new initiatives –  including the API accelerator program, a structure for new product launches, and improved our product documentation. Both our Development and Product Teams together incorporated client feedback into our roadmap to enhance Rev.io Sync, our automated switch reconciliation, and build our Webhooks and Zapier integrations.

The OLT took on their most impactful projects this year that aligned perfectly with our focus on partnerships. Thanks to their hard work, we launched the Partner Marketplace and have created a Rev.io Client Community (which will be public in early 2019) to accompany our Communications billing system. This online forum that will allow clients to connect with each other and partner together on new initiatives. They did all of this while leading our passion and privilege of giving back.

This year we learned valuable lessons and the growth we experienced presented challenges. In particular, stretching certain employees outside of their core responsibilities. I’m proud of the Rev.io Team for facing these issues head-on. The team’s commitment to innovation and relentless drive to achieve extraordinary results allowed new leaders to emerge. Watching our team members grow and earn promotions is incredibly rewarding. Today, I believe we have the most dedicated and brightest employees in our company history.

As we look forward to 2019, we will structure our goals and initiatives around the new theme, Specialize. In the coming months, we look to expand our Senior Leadership Team, hire new team members in every department, and provide additional clarity into roles. By redefining each role, we’ll allow Rev.io employees to reach their full potential, provide clients with an even better experience, and help clients grow revenue efficiently. Thank you for another great year.

I look forward to an exciting road ahead in 2019.  

Happy Holidays,

Brent

Top Considerations for Adopting Usage-Based Pricing, Rating, & Billing

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Billing a customer based on how much they use might sound simple, but there are many complexities to usage-based pricing. Before adopting a rating engine and billing system, many service providers rely on pulling data from monitored systems into spreadsheets, reformat the data, and then load the customer usage data into a billing system once (or sometimes more) per billing cycle. This manual and tedious approach to creating end-customer invoices may work for low volume businesses, but as you scale your business, the billing process can slow you down exponentially.

Before we consider usage and rating, let’s cover the basics:

1. What is usage?

Usage is the ability to bill a customer for what they have used over a given period. Customers pay for what they use based on the service usage which could take the form of commission, discounts, licenses, messages sent, GB, MB, bandwidth, etc.

2. What is rating?

Rating is the charge or price for a particular event.

3. What is rating usage?

Rating usage is a process of converting the quantity of service during a period of time into monetary value for a customer. For example, the price of a 10 minutes call is $4 at the rate of $0.40 per minute. Usage metering framework tracks the use of any unit type and calculates the charges for the end-customer’s invoice.

When it comes to rating usage and usage-based pricing, there are several business impacts to consider before going “all-in.”

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Usage data collection – Think about how you’re going to gather the customer’s usage data and strategies for parsing it out by customer. Often this can be done with unique identifiers for each customer.
  • Pricing – With pricing, you have lots of options to choose from, including standard, tiered, flat-rate, volume-tiered, pay-as-you-go, and many more. Ensure scalability by selecting a billing system that can accommodate complex pricing models.
  • Multi-location customers – Consider ways that usage could be pulled across multi-location accounts and divided into different groups, based on your end-customer’s needs.

When the threshold for usage is crossed, overage charges or payments can apply mid-billing cycle. In order to accurately bill customers, use a flexible billing system that automates processes for calculating bills and generating invoices.

There are five stages of the usage lifecycle:

1. Acquisition – This is the process of acquiring usage data from the various source systems.

2. Transformation – Reformat the data for further processing.

3. Pricing/ Rating – Using your selected pricing models, this is how you monetize your offering.

4. Pooling – Usage data is pooled across resellers, company departments, or other attributed that impact the charged price.

5. Thresholding – Customer satisfaction is more important than ever. Will they be alerted when their usage crosses certain limits?

At Rev.io, our telecom billing platform will help you monetize and grow your billing business by managing offers, financial processes and customer accounts. For more information on usage and rating, please read our ATL Communications Automates Consumption-Based Billing post where we discuss a case study. If you want to know how to leverage our new REST API, please read our REST API Integration for Usage-Based Billing post. Reach out to us using our Contact Us form and let us help you grow your subscription business.

Leverage Rev.io’s New Webhook Framework to Streamline and Enhance Integration

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Rev.io’s commitment to help service providers stay lean and grow revenue efficiently has influenced our theme of Promoting Partnership this year. As part of our Promoting Partnership theme, we’re focused on making it easy for clients to build new integrations. That’s why we’re excited to announce the latest enhancement to our REST API platform – webhooks! Now you might be asking: what is a webhook?

A webhook is a feature that allows external users to subscribe to “events” that occur in Rev.io’s billing software, so users can be notified of that event and take action. You can think of it like setting a timer when you bake – instead of constantly having to check the bread in the oven periodically (a traditional API integration where one system “polls” another constantly) the timer goes off notifying you that the bread is ready for you to take the next step!

Rev.io announces the newest enhancement to their usage-based billing system and REST API platform – webhooks!

Already in 2018, we have been thrilled with the adoption rate of our REST API and we know that adding webhooks will help drive deeper, more robust integrations across various platforms. Now, clients using our communications billing software can utilize our REST API platform to build new integrations and save time.

CARING FOR EMPLOYEES, CLIENTS, AND THE COMMUNITY DELIVERS NEW FEATURES

After releasing our REST API and new developer portal earlier in 2018, Rev.io recruited a number of clients to participate on our first ever API “Accelerator Program.” Throughout the program (which took place in Q2 2018), we worked with clients to help them get new integration projects up and running while gathering their feedback about future enhancements.

Throughout the quarter-long accelerator program we heard extensively from our clients about the desire for a webhook framework to ease integration, reduce resource consumption, and deepen integration experiences – and we listened! Not only did we prioritize the webhooks feature because of client feedback, but we also began the third quarter project by surveying accelerator program participants, along with a number of other clients, to help us determine what key webhook events would help them most.

current and future webhooks enhancements

Now, you might want to know, what’s available at launch and what features are upcoming in the future? Well we’re excited to say we have 8 webhook events available today!

Here’s the list of webhook events currently available to Rev.io clients:

  • Bill Created
  • Charge Created
  • Credit Created
  • Monthly Recurring Charges (MRCs) Posted
  • Order Created
  • Order Status Changed
  • Payment Created
  • Rating Completed

Not only that, but Rev.io exists to help our communications and IoT clients grow revenue efficiently. So as you can imagine, we’re not stopping here! Now that the webhook framework is in place with our initial launch events, we are looking for additional feedback and ideas on new webhook events that we can add to help your integration needs. You can share feedback and suggestions on new webhook events using the Rev.io Ideas forum with the REST API Idea category.

Not a client or partner yet? Contact Rev.io to learn more about our rating engine, usage-based billing, workflow processes, device inventory, and customer management platform!

Embracing Transparency with Status.Rev.io

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Rev.io has partnered with Statuspage.io to embrace transparency during downtimes and more effectively communicate with our clients. Here at Rev.io, we’re very proud of our 99.99% uptime. But when incidents do occur, we want our clients to be the first to know!

Status.rev.io is our new incident communication tool that clients can use to check the status of our billing platform in real-time. We believe in proactive support, so clients who subscribe via email and/ or SMS will receive important alerts, like status changes, as well as a post-mortem update and an explanation of what occurred. We’ll even provide the steps we will take to mitigate future issues.

This modern platform is yet another addition to our suite of client services, but clients must opt in to take full advantage. In a recent Q & A with Matthew Robison, VP of Client Success, he provided insight into the importance of this tool and why you should opt in!

Q: Why is this tool important?

A: Status.rev.io provides clients with more transparency when there is an issue in the platform. It gives clients real-time updates on the status of Rev.io’s billing platform. From Rev.io Enterprise Portal to Agent Portal, your customers and agents rely on Rev.io! We take our responsibility seriously and want to provide the best set of tools that help you understand how your business is being impacted by downtime incidents and upcoming maintenance.

Q: How often are these metrics updated?

A: If there are any issues, the display statuses of independent functions will update in real-time. In addition, Rev.io employees will use the incident log to communicate the latest changes until the issue is resolved.

Q: How does this help clients?

A: Using Atlassian’s Status Page platform gives clients more transparency when they are having issues with our software and it also allows our clients to know if other Rev.io users are experiencing similar problems. We want to be as honest and upfront as possible with our clients.

Q: Do other companies provide this level of detail?

A: Some do, some don’t. Every company has varying levels of comfort with what they share. Here at Rev.io, we would prefer to overshare which is consistent with our value of Transparent Leadership. It’s each company’s choice to decide how to manage their operation and how they’d like to provide their services. Rev.io strives to provide extraordinary service to clients. This is just one example of how Rev.io’s Client Success Team goes above and beyond!

Q: Why did we create it?

A: One of our core values at Rev.io is Transparent Leadership.  If for some reason Rev.io is experiencing issues by our own fault or for other reasons, our ultimate responsibility is to serve our customers. This platform shows clients what’s happening in the platform in real-time and gives us versatility on how we communicate these issues (via text, email, RSS feed, etc.).

Q: Why should I opt in?

A: So you can be in the know! When you opt in, you can choose how you’d like to be notified if Rev.io experiences any platform downtime. With a 99.99% uptime, platform issues are rare, but being transparent offers our clients 24/7 peace of mind and assurance, knowing that our trusted staff is working quickly and effectively to resolve any issue.

Here’s a recent example of a real incident that many clients experienced on status.rev.io that includes a postmortem explaining what happened afterward. For more information, or to see how Rev.io can help you with our telecom billing platform, contact Rev.io today!

4 Factors for Launching a Successful Resale Channel

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Whether you’re considering adopting a resale channel or your partner program just hasn’t taken off the way you’ve expected, we’re here to help! As one of the best IoT and telecom billing solutions in the industry, we’re excited to share how partnerships have helped Rev.io grow its business. But, before you go “all-in” on a resale strategy, it’s important to evaluate your market and company for some critical success factors.

In this two-part blog series, we’ll dive into the key steps you should take to assess the market, prepare your business, and build partner relationships that last. For Part 1, we’re sharing 4 considerations for your channel partner strategy that will help in launching a successful resale channel.

1. what is your reason for building a resale channel?

Typically, companies adopt an indirect strategy when adding more direct sales resources is not a practical option. However, there are other scenarios where your company could benefit from forming a business partnership:

1. Your product or service is not a stand-alone offering or it complement another offering

Ask yourself, “does my offering require other products, services, or companies to deliver a more complete solution?” If your answer is yes, then this is a perfect opportunity to partner with other businesses and provide customers with a combined solution. Look for companies that are selling their services to the same target market. A partnership here (or better, a partnership AND integration here) improves the experience for your mutual customers.

At Rev.io, we understand that our clients benefit from our partnerships with communications tax and compliance experts, GSA and Wolters Kluwer. In addition to creating a better end-customer experience, we’ve been able to send referrals to each other. It’s a win-win!

2. Your growth strategies include new geographies or new verticals

According to the Quick Start to Building a Channel Strategy from CompTIA, indirect business models are used by 80% of the IT industry. Hiring and managing a direct sales team in remote geographies is complex and expensive. Instead, consider leveraging a resale channel as a more cost-effective way to grow sales in a new region or to enter into new markets.

While Rev.io is already an established name in the Communications industry (as one of the best billing softwares in the market), we recently ventured into IoT billing. Before expanding into this vertical,  we relied on partners like AT&T Partner Exchange, Cisco Jasper, and KORE to help us get an initial foothold in the space. In addition to speeding up time-to-market, these partners helped Rev.io develop our new suite of IoT features and avoid some potential pitfalls.

2. validate the market opportunity

Now that we know why we’re building a resale channel, the next step is to validate the market to ensure the indirect model will be a well-received strategy. There are four key steps to validate your market opportunity:

1. Do market research

Determine if there is enough market demand to support a direct and indirect strategy. By researching the market and related studies, you’ll further your understanding of the market. Once you’ve confirmed that the market demand is there, your research will help you craft your partner business propositions and improve your channel credibility.  

2. Craft Your Customer Value Proposition

Develop a clear and compelling customer value proposition to quickly build your resale channel. Define the solution you offer and the benefits to your end-customer in this statement. Your customer value proposition should include your benefits and competitive advantage.

3. Create Your Client Profiles

Client profiles are important for a channel model. Before you approach your first potential partner, you should be able to clearly articulate your target customer profile. This will help you educate your partners and assist them with their marketing and selling efforts. Elements of a customer profile include geography, customer size, vertical, department, buyer, and number of employees.  

Clients using Rev.io’s billing and back-office platform can leverage our customer management and business intelligence reporting to gather relevant data and flush out these client profiles. Not a client yet? Contact us to learn more about our platform. We’re rated among the best billing softwares for usage-based and recurring revenue models.  

4. Understand Your Top Competitors

Zero in on your top three competitors and then look for your competitive advantage over these competitors. Knowing your competition and their market, product messages, go-to-market business model, and several target clients, will help you as you approach new partnerships. Ultimately, having these competitor strategies defined will validate your business and help you select the right partner type.

3. develop a partnership proposition

It’s imperative to validate the partner opportunity to make sure there are compelling reasons for both businesses to join the partnership. Partner business propositions are different from the customer value proposition and they will be different from partner to partner. These channel partner strategy proposals should address the key reasons the relationship is beneficial to the two companies. A successful partnership is formed when your goals and strategies align.

 

A partner proposition should be created for each potential partner and address the following questions:

  • How will this relationship affect their business?
  • How will this relationship improve their end-customer experience?
  • What are the financial benefits for the partner and which services would they be able to wrap around the partnership?
  • How would this relationship help the prospective partner differentiate from their competition?

4. is your company ready?

Several internal aspects need to be addressed to ensure your company is ready to engage with the channel. Before launching the channel partner strategy, here are some considerations to help ensure your success:

1. Executive Alignment & Support

Each leader in your organization must be in alignment with the channel strategy as an effective go-to-market model. If a single department head is not in alignment, it will upset the entire initiative.

2. Build a Channel Team

A key ingredient to your company’s readiness is having various methods of support for your channel partners. For most companies, this means hiring a new Sales Team role, such as a Channel Manager. In addition, one critical success factor is defining this role, the expectations, and their short and long term goals.

3. Channel Tools and Resources

Partner training and enablement is critical to building a successful relationship. Prepare for new partner onboarding with tools and resources, including product documentation, technical sales knowledge, industry application for your product, sales collateral, and product demonstrations. Building a mutually beneficial channel relationship requires both parties to be knowledgeable about each others’ products and services.

A partner enablement tool, like Rev.io Agent Portal, gives you the technology to improve agent relationships. Our all-in-one solution was designed to help streamline communication with agents, improve end-customer satisfaction, provide agents with their customer information, and share sales collateral and training resources from one, consolidated place.

4. Channel Escalation Paths

Before launching a partner strategy, a clear escalation path needs to be defined to capture missteps and address issues that arise with mutual customers. Think through these escalation paths and prepare for potential issues that could occur during the sale, as customers transition, and with ongoing support.

Now that you’ve established partnerships, it’s important to nurture this relationship. When serving your mutual customers, your partnership should appear as a united front and should never point fingers back and forth. Established channel escalation paths make it easy to work directly with a partner and solve issues on behalf of the customer – and, both of the companies and the customer win!

Now that you understand the initial factors for evaluating a resale channel model and the preparation steps for your business, stay in touch to receive Part 2 of this blog series! We’ll send other tips and resources to help you improve your business and billing strategies, directly to your inbox. Or, contact us if you think Rev.io is a potential partner for you! As one of the best billing softwares for usage-based offerings, we’re always looking for new partnership opportunities.

Don’t think you’re a partner? Well, you can always evaluate our billing platform, Bill-on-Behalf-of solution, and Agent Portal to alleviate your back-office and customer management challenges. Clients using Rev.io have grown by more than two times the industry average for four consecutive years. Get in touch today!

4 Ways to Build a Great Company Culture

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Looking to improve your company’s culture? According to Forbes, 92% of companies said that improving their company’s culture would improve the value of the company. That’s right, in addition to boosting overall employee morale, culture can also increase revenue. Rev.io has had a fantastic culture since we started in 2002. As a leading provider of IoT and telecom billing software with several Best Places to Work and Top Workplaces awards under our belt, we’re sharing the secret sauce to cultivating culture the Rev.io way.

Companies often struggle with which department should lead the charge towards a strong company culture. The truth is, it begins with your leadership team and prioritizing business initiatives around your most important asset, your employees.

As a growing provider of billing software over the past 15 years, we’ve learned to develop an outstanding culture that promotes growth. Here are four ways you can start building a great company culture:

1. Culture BEGINS With ESTABLISHING A Mission & Values

At Rev.io, we believe that developing a strong culture begins with defining your mission and company values. Our mission—to be the best billing software and back-office company in the world by providing innovative solutions and extraordinary service to our clients and end-users—drives our goals and strategic initiatives. However, the culture of our company (which drives the direction of our billing software) is really defined by our ACT TOP values:

  • Achieving Extraordinary Results
  • Caring for Employees, Clients, and the Community
  • Take Responsibility and Act Like an Owner
  • Transparent Leadership
  • Opportunity to Make a Positive Difference
  • Passion for Innovation

That being said, it’s not enough to stop there. Once you’ve created your mission and values, you’ll have to find ways to weave these into your daily meetings, calls, presentations, and employees’ lives.

Here are a few ways we promote our mission and values internally:

  • We begin each meeting by reviewing the mission and values
  • We share our values with prospective billing software clients during our first sales call
  • We structure our monthly employee award around our values and ask our team to nominate peers who embody our values
  • We develop strategic initiatives and goals around our mission and values
  • We showcase our mission and values around our office (in conference rooms, in the lobby, and in the break room)

2. Foster Team Building While Giving Back

The Rev.io team devotes an entire day to community service as part of our commitment to the “Caring for Employees, Clients, and Community” value. On May 17th, all of our employees volunteered at MedShare, a local organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in underserved communities by sourcing and delivering surplus medical supplies and equipment to countries in need around the world. By taking time away from the business, Rev.io contributed to a great cause and fostered team building

Not sure what organization to get involved with? Sending a quick survey to your employees to find out if there are any groups or associations they’re passionate about is a great way strategy and gets others involved in the planning process!

3. Invest In Your Employees With Ongoing Training & Leadership Development

The future success of your organization depends on developing the next generation of leadership. Some of Rev.io’s rising leaders are selected to be a part of the Operational Leadership Team “OLT.”  This team strengthens our ACT TOP values, collaborates cross-functionally to overcome challenges, and executes strategic initiatives.

In case you missed our Q&A with Rev.io’s Operational Leadership Team, it’s a great read! Establishing a group of up-and-coming individuals, similar to Rev.io’s OLT, gives your employees a chance to further their career, tackle new challenges, and grow their skill set.

Another idea for investing in your employees is establishing a cadence of leadership training. Every other Thursday morning Rev.io employees have a chance to get together to listen to a TED Talk or leadership podcast, discuss the content, share examples from their roles, and see how it applies to the business. In addition to taking the hour to listen to leadership practices, this also gives our team a chance to network with leaders in the organization and other departments. This time is invaluable to the Rev.io Team, and is something that can be easily replicated at other companies!

Rev.io’s leaders understand the importance of developing our people and we set aside a percentage of our budget for local networking events. Pay for your employees to attend training conferences and allow them to participate in opportunities to grow their career. Not only will your business benefit from investing in your employees’ experiences, you’ll also build a culture of loyalty and reduce turnover.

4. Build A Culture That You Would Want To Join

The last point here is the most simple but often overlooked. In the words of Kevin Elko, our 2017 Client Summit keynote speaker, “this is about people.” We get it, your company has lofty goals, limited resources, and revenue targets to meet. We do too! That being said, the employees’ expectations of a company are changing and it’s important that your company adapts to those changes. It’s one word – flexibility. Providing your employees with flexibility around schedule, office environment, and work from home days will create a more loyal and productive workforce.

We’ve made it easy for our employees to work remotely and after-hours with video-conferencing applications and collaboration tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Slack. In the technology world we live in today,  most of your employees can work anywhere with internet access. Having a flexible work environment shows compassion for your employees, some of who may have long commutes, young kids getting out of school early, or spouses with crazy schedules. When your employees feel valued, they feel a sense of self-accountability and go above and beyond for the company.

Equally as important as flexibility, is designing an office environment that represents the culture. Walking into an office and instantly feeling the energy of the organization helps with recruiting, sales meetings, and even investors.

Here are several no-cost or low-cost office ideas, taken directly from Rev.io’s HQ:

  • Dress-down code – leave that suit and tie at home folks (you can even wear shorts and flip-flops)!
  • Ping-pong table – cross-department tournaments anyone?
  • Standing desk room – turn a conference room or empty office into a “quiet room” of standing desks and you’ll be shocked by how many people use it!
  • Lounge room – create a room where employees can get away from their desk and get their creative ideas flowing.
  • Communal library – bring in those books that you love but you’ve already read and share them with the team!
  • Book club – read a book together and meet once a week (during a BYO-lunch meeting) to discuss each chapter.

Creating a great culture is all about establishing an organizational focus (mission and values), embodying your values, investing in your people, embracing flexibility, and aligning your office space to your culture.

Ready to join our fast-growing company? Get in touch to learn more about Rev.io’s billing software! Or, check out our culture page for more employee benefits and our jobs page for open positions. We’d love to hear from you!

Rev.io Maintains Highest Level of Security Standards by Deprecating Support for TLS Protocol Versions 1.0 and 1.1

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Rev.io clients use HTTPS to securely connect with Rev.io’s IoT and telecommunications billing system, API, Agent Portal, and Customer Portal (or BillCenter).

We use the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol to encrypt these connections. To ensure the security of our systems, and maintain our compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for safeguarding payment data, Rev.io is updating its product suite to require a minimum of version 1.2 of TLS for all HTTPS connections.

Support for TLS versions 1.0 and 1.1 is being deprecated on June 14, 2018.

As a result, anyone attempting to connect to Rev.io products using unsupported browser versions will be unable to do so.

To continue using Rev.io products, you will need to upgrade to a more modern browser with support for TLS 1.2 or later. For applications integrating with Rev.io products, all HTTPS and API connections will require a minimum connection strength of TLS 1.2 or later.

To help our clients and end-users prepare for this change, we’ve come up with some FAQs and we’re excited to share these with you here!

1. what does this mean?

Rev.io will stop accepting TLS based HTTPS connections made using TLS versions 1.0 and 1.1 beginning June 14, 2018. As a result, clients and applications attempting to connect with older versions of TLS will not be able to establish a secure connection and will be unable to access Rev.io products.

After deprecation, Rev.io will no longer address bugs and minor issues specific to connections supporting TLS versions 1.0 and 1.1. We will continue to resolve any major breakage in functionality until the deprecation date. After deprecation, Rev.io will also no longer provide support for connections supporting TLS versions 1.0 and 1.1.

After the deprecation date, if you are connecting using TLS versions 1.0 and 1.1, you will fail to establish a connection and will be unable to access Rev.io products.

2. which rev.io products will be impacted?

This change applies to Rev.io’s IoT and telecommunications billing system, API, Agent Portal, and Customer Portal (or BillCenter).

3. why is rev.io removing this?

The PCI Council has mandated that support for version 1.0 of the TLS cryptographic standard should be deprecated by June 30, 2018 for companies to stay compliant with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Rev.io’s mission is to keep clients ahead of their competition and grow revenue efficiently. As part of this promise, we’re maintaining the latest security standards for our usage-rating and telecommunications billing system with this TLS change.

4. am i affected?

All Rev.io products are impacted by this change, including Rev.io’s IoT and telecommunications billing system, API, Agent Portal, and Customer Portal (or BillCenter).

Additional information about specific products is below:

Rev.io’s IoT & Telecommunications Billing Platform

  • Your Rev.io site (clidentcode.rev.io) will no longer be accessible from any browser or device that does not support TLS 1.2 or higher after the cutoff date. This means you will not be able to access your full suite of Rev.io functionality including billing, ticketing, and/ or reporting.

API

  • For applications integrating with Rev.io, all API connections will require a minimum connection strength of TLS 1.2 or later. If your API connection is not updated to meet this minimum security standard, the connection will not succeed and your application will not be able to connect to Rev.io.

Agent Portal

  • After the cutoff date, your Agent Portal site (clientcode.agentclick.com) will no longer be accessible from any browser or device that does not support TLS 1.2 or higher. This means that your agents will not be able to access any Agent Portal functionality if their browser or device does not meet the minimum security requirements.
  • We recommend reaching out to your Agents directly to communicate this change as well as posting a news item or alert to the Agent Portal from your Rev.io site. If you need assistance completing this, please feel free to contact our Client Success Team!

Customer Portal (or BillCenter)

  • After the cutoff date, your Customer Portal site (clientcode.billcenter.net) will no longer be accessible from any browser or device that does not support TLS 1.2 or higher. This means that your customers will not be able to access any Customer Portal functionality if their browser or device does not meet the minimum security requirements.
  • We recommend you reach out to your Customers directly to communicate this change as well as posting a news item or alert to the Customer Portal from your Rev.io site. If you need assistance completing this, please feel free to contact our Client Success Team!

5. What do I need to do?

For you: be sure that you are running on a modern browser, such as Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 27, Google Chrome 30, or Apple Safari 7 or newer. If you are not using one of these browser versions or newer, you will need to update to at least one of these versions.

For your agents: be sure that they are running on a modern browser, such as Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 27, Google Chrome 30, or Apple Safari 7 or newer. If any of your agents are not using one of these browser versions or newer, they will need to update to at least one of these versions.

For your customers: know that they will be able unable to connect to Rev.io if they are using older browsers. To continue to use the products, they will need to be using a modern browser, such as Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 27, Google Chrome 30, or Apple Safari 7 or newer. Mobile versions of Rev.io products will also fail to connect securely on Android OS version 4.1 and below, or the Android Browser on Android 4.4.4 and below. Customers with iOS devices prior to iOS 5.1 will also be unable to connect to Rev.io securely after the deprecation date. Customers should update the version of mobile operating systems to gain support for TLS 1.2 or use a more modern browser with support for TLS 1.2.

6. what browsers can i use?

The minimum browser versions include browsers such as Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 27, Google Chrome 30 or Apple Safari 7. iOS 5.1 and Android 5 Lollipop or later will be required to connect to the mobile web versions of the products.

7. What happens if I don’t migrate before the removal date?

You will be unable to securely access the Rev.io products beginning June 14, 2018.

8. WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I NEED HELP OR HAVE QUESTIONS?

For more information about Rev.io or if you have specific questions about how this change will impact our IoT and telecommunications billing system, please contact our Client Success Team!

Leverage Rev.io’s New REST API & Streamline Usage-Based Billing

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What is the API? We’re glad you asked! Our API lets you interact with Rev.io’s usage-based billing platform and data without knowing how we store it or having access to our database.

usage-based billing system

As part of our commitment to keeping our Communications and IoT clients ahead of the competition, Rev.io is constantly developing new tools and features, with our new REST API the latest (and possibly largest) enhancement to our usage-based billing platform.

And, we didn’t create the REST API just for our clients and partners, but for ourselves too! We’re moving towards an API-first architecture, building Rev.io itself on top of our REST API. That means consistent behavior whether you’re using our web interface or making an API call, and you can count on us to keep the API up to date.

our passion for innovation keeps clients ahead

As telecom and fleet management service providers, streamlining internal processes and managing usage rating are crucial to your success. That’s why we’re focused on making it easy to integrate with Rev.io. Using our REST API, clients and partners can connect Rev.io directly to third-party systems, eliminating manual errors and saving you time.

Since we already have a SOAP API, you may be wondering why Rev.io spent the time and resources to build a brand new REST API. For us, the decision was simple.

Our REST API provides significant benefits over the SOAP API:

  • Standard HTTP methods – Well-known web methods like GET and POST mean you spend less time learning how to talk to our API.
  • More data formats – Supporting many data formats (including XML, plain text, HTML, and JSON) makes it easier for you to work with us.
  • Cache memory/ stateless client – We get to keep track of less data, and you get faster API access and easier recovery from errors.
  • Increased visibility & reliability – We’ll be making the same API calls you are, so we’ll see issues and make enhancements sooner.
  • Easy implementations – All these benefits make using our API faster and easier!

In addition to designing and building our REST API, we’ve also released our Developer Portal, a centralized place for REST API documentation, FAQs, and sample requests and responses, where you can make real API calls and get questions answered fast!

SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK & GET IN TOUCH

Already using the REST API? Clients can share feedback and suggestions using the Rev.io Ideas forum and the REST API Idea category. Your feedback helps us shape the future of Rev.io’s REST API and usage-based billing system. New to Rev.io’s REST API?  You can learn more by watching our Live Demo of Rev.io’s REST API & Developer Portal webinar or by reading our REST API information sheet.

Not a client or partner yet? Get in touch with us to learn more about our rating engine, usage-based billing, workflow processes, device inventory, and customer management platform! You’ll learn more about our telecom billing system and how we can help your business get to the next level. 

This blog post is the first of a two-part series about our REST API – subscribe to Rev.io to hear about future API enhancements.

 

4 Plans for Monetizing IoT

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The IoT industry isn’t new. After all, we’ve been using connected devices for quite some time now to capture information and monitor statuses. But, despite forecasts from Bain Capital of annual revenues of $470 billion by 2020, many organizations who have invested in an IoT project have yet to capture any significant revenue from their solution. So how can you go about monetizing IoT? We’re glad you asked!

The current market for Internet of Things (IoT) reflects a growing focus on driving results using sensor-based data with the ultimate goal of solving complex logistics, manufacturing, services, and supply chain challenges. However, organizations will fail to see results if they continue without a clear strategy to generate revenue from their devices, services or data.

Here are our 4 plans for IoT monetization and IoT billing management:

iot household & consumer devices

Companies such as Nest have become household names for monitoring home security, managing energy consumption, and replacing “dumb” devices (think doorbell and smoke alarms) with “smart” ones.

Selling these devices at a premium, one-time charge and supplying the consumer with a better, app-enabled mouse-trap has made houses more secure, more sustainable, and safer. What’s even better, the end-user can adjust settings and monitor devices from anywhere.

The IoT monetization model here is a software-as-a-service model paired with physical products. The benefit to offering this type of pricing model is the scalability and one-time customer acquisition cost. That being said, a recurring revenue or subscription-based business is more predictable and profitable than flat-rate billing.

subscription & flat-rate iot billing

Subscription and flat-rate pricing models have become more popular among both B2B SaaS companies and consumer products. Subscription billing is common for consumers, easy to manage for providers, and allows companies to better predict revenue. However, flat-rate billing doesn’t take into account the fluctuation in end-customer usage.

Most businesses offer a few one-size-fits-all plans and rely on the customer to mold themselves into their desired choice. Whereas, a pay-as-you-go plan gives customers what they want – potentially increasing sales and decreasing revenue leakage.

That being said, connecting billions of devices and managing usage-rating, taxation, and inventory can be a lofty task. Fortunately, adopting a technology like Rev.io can alleviate these IoT monetization problems, automate usage-based billing, and collect payments.

usage-based iot billing & rating

Billing for a usage-based offering is not an easily achievable task but there are several companies disrupting the market and fully embracing consumption-based pricing. A recent study found that Generations Y and Z are more financially conservative than the Baby Boomers – these younger generations have developed spending habits that reflect those of the Great Depression (or the Silent Generation).

The fiscally conscious generations will not pay for what they don’t need and many will discontinue a service if they aren’t being billed fairly. Service providers must take note – the time is now to adopt a usage-based billing model and the infrastructure to support it.

The service providers that offer pay-as-you-go services will have a significant competitive advantage in the market. In the coming years, usage-based revenue models will overcome the Communications, cable, music subscriptions, GPS trackers, energy providers, and eventually transportation.

If this is your first time monetizing IoT or offering a new pricing model, prepare yourself for the change with our 4 Considerations of Consumption-Based Pricing blog post.

capturing & sharing customer & device data

Another way IoT companies can monetize their offering is through their data. Measuring and analyzing customer or device data will become a staple for IoT monetization offerings.

We’re predicting insurance companies, healthcare facilities, and car manufacturers to be big buyers for scenarios like tracking good drivers versus bad drivers, monitoring patients after a physical therapy session or checkup, and evaluating future opportunities for automobile design and manufacturing.

In order to capture and share data with key stakeholders, companies also need to track the amount of money they’re spending on data usage. This will help your organization’s IoT monetization strategy in developing a profitable price point and generate revenue from your data.

The good news? Rev.io does the heavy lifting on usage-rating and IoT billing operations, so you can spend time scaling your business. With existing integrations in place to seamlessly manage new orders, service usage, tax calculation, and support, Rev.io alleviates IoT billing and customer management pain. The proof is in the platform – Rev.io clients grow by more than double the industry average. Contact Rev.io to get in touch with our team of experts today to see what our subscription billing platform can do for you.

 

5 Signs Your Business is Suffering From Revenue Leakage

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Could your business be losing money from revenue leakage? According to experts, the Communications industry saw estimated losses of $953 million due to revenue leakage. Don’t let your business suffer from this growing epidemic.Take a look at the following five signs of revenue leakage and see if any of these apply to your business.

1. lack of integrated usage-rating

Whether you’re charging a flat rate or billing for consumption, it’s imperative that you can view and manage customer usage in (near) real-time. A best-in-class billing platform automates usage-rating, giving you a pulse on your business and better visibility into your customers.

If you’re thinking about adopting a usage-based pricing model, take a look at our 4 Considerations for Consumption-Based Pricing blog post.   

2. spending time on manual processes

Communications and IoT service providers have experienced unprecedented growth rates in the last few years. The scalability of your business depends on the effectiveness of your internal processes. Whether you’re spending time calculating taxation, creating invoices, or managing payments, you’re losing hours that could be dedicated to growth.

Fortunately, a telecom billing or IoT monetization engine, like Rev.io, automates billing and improves customer service – so you can get back to building your business.

3. bill-run flexibility

Not all billing platforms are created equally. It’s important to know that the Billing-as-a-Service provider is evolving alongside your business. Before you trust any company with your revenue, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your billing platform enhancing their software with +1,600 releases each year?
  • Can you make last minute changes on the spot, create ad-hoc bills, reverse charges, and run bill cycles on your own?
  • Does your billing system provide an open API to support new integrations?
  • Are there programs in place for ongoing training or unlimited access to support teams and resources?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your business may have outgrown your billing system.

Telecom Billing System

In 2017, Rev.io enhanced their usage-based billing platform with 1,845 new development releases.

4. Built-in and CUSTOMIZABLE REPORTING

Very few businesses can prosper without proper business intelligence. At a bare minimum, your billing platform should come with backed-in reports for managing un-billable calls, past-due balances, and at-risk customers. However, a growing company looking to stay lean, add new offerings, and beat their competition will also need advanced functionality, like Rev.io’s robust report builder.  

5. limited customer experience tools

Regardless of your industry, superior customer experience is the number one separating factor for top-notch brands. Look for a telecom billing or IoT monetization engine that helps you improve customer satisfaction and revenue retention. Rev.io’s integrated customer and agent portals reduce support hours, elevate user experience, and streamline internal operations.

Rev.io exists to help our clients grow revenue efficiently. With a consultative approach to providing IoT telecom billing solutions, we see your customers as our customers. As a leader in usage-based billing, Rev.io’s company values and mission drive our organization. Whether you’re a large, enterprise evaluating new billing systems or just starting out in the Communications and IoT space, Rev.io can help. Contact Rev.io to get in touch with our team of experts today to see what we can do for you.

A Note from Rev.io’s CEO – Our Results & Achievements in 2017

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Team,

I want to personally thank each of you for your hard work in 2017. I also want to congratulate you for the countless accomplishments this past year. It truly was the best year in Rev.io’s history, and the records reflect it.

In 2017 we sold the most new clients in a year, activated our 100th client, and on-boarded more clients than any previous year. Our service was more consistent than past years, and we built our RESTful API, which will prove to be the most significant and valuable change to Rev.io as it expands and is adopted internally and externally.

We also launched new departments and created new roles whose contributions helped make all this happen. Rebranding (yes that was completed this year) and Marketing’s focus on building awareness increased new opportunities in our target market and IoT, helping us fulfill a record year for sales. Enablement’s involvement in the on-boarding process and assisting our current clients contributed significantly to our record on-boarding year and client retention goal. For Platform, we reorganized the development teams, changed the planning process and added new roles to support learning and manage the team’s priorities. This resulted in a better learning environment, consistent service to clients, and structure to focus on our roadmap. The mark of a great team is its ability to achieve extraordinary results!

Our successes and records did not come without challenge. For that, I am so proud of all of you. At the halfway point in the year, our progress towards our annual goals was off-pace. This meant we needed to evolve and make changes that impacted everyone. Thank you for embracing change. I want to especially recognize the OLT for quickly understanding why changes were needed, for helping provide valuable feedback into the best approach, and ultimately executing.

I want to thank all of you for trusting the SLT. They set the tone for what had to happen, but it’s your trust in them that made our success possible this year. Through all of this, no one lost sight of the need to care for our clients and to listen to our clients’ input, which proved to be the catalyst for moving to billing-first on-boarding. When I reflect on the past six months, I clearly see each of our ACT TOP values in play. That’s special!

It’s the culture at Rev.io that makes success happen, and although the records and results were incredible, I am personally most proud of the development of our people and how you grew as professionals and leaders this past year. I see leaders across the company at all levels and tenure.

When we developed our theme of Empower & Evolve, Empower implied providing opportunities for team members to step up, lead, and make a difference. Empowering employees will carry forward into 2018 and remain a mainstay of our culture as we continue to grow. Culture wins!

As we look forward into 2018, we have a lot to be excited about.  As with previous years, we will build on our theme of Empower & Evolve by Empowering you to help. Rev.io promotes partnerships.  We exist to help clients grow revenue efficiently.  In 2018, we will fulfill this by strengthening and expanding our partner base to complement Rev.io’s platform, team, and clients.  Focusing on partners will drive us to assist with API adoption, improve our product management, launch Rev.io payments, and maintain over 100% revenue retention.

Lastly, we will be more intentional about our community involvement both networking and creating local partnerships, as well as increasing our commitment to making a difference in the community through volunteerism. Thank you again for such a great year.  I look forward to a fantastic journey together in 2018. I wish you and your families a Happy New Year.

All the best,

Brent Maropis

Rev.io CEO

Rev.io and employees are passionate about helping clients grow effectively. We’re privileged to work alongside with leaders in the Communication and IoT industry to prepare for the future. If you have questions about how Rev.io’s telecom billing platform can help you stay ahead of the curve, get in touch with us.

How To Develop The Next Generation of Leaders – A Q&A With Rev.io’s Operational Leadership Team

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Rev.io challenges the status quo. Through the years, we’ve done this by following our mission – to be the best billing and back-office software company in the world by providing innovative solutions and extraordinary service to our clients and end-users – and embodying our ACT TOP values.

Rev.io Billing system

At Rev.io, we’re committed to helping clients grow. For the last three years, our clients, aided by our billing system, have grown by more than double the industry average. To keep clients ahead of the changing market, we’re constantly evolving our platform and company.

In order to maintain excellent customer service, we’ve expanded our team each year. As our team grows, so does our commitment to our core values. Two years ago, our company established the Operational Leadership Team “OLT” – a group of Rev.io’s rising leaders – to strengthen our ACT TOP culture, collaborate cross-functionally to overcome challenges, and drive and execute strategic initiatives.

Rev.io

For any modern company, investing in the next generation of leaders is an investment in your company’s future. With a new year approaching, now is the perfect time to develop a plan for preparing and coaching your company’s rising individuals.

Here’s our “How To Develop Your Next Generation of Leaders” Q&A with Rev.io’s OLT:

1. How did the Senior leadership team (“SLT”) choose the individuals on the OLT?

“That’s a good question. I think they saw individuals on each team that showed leadership potential and could help create a stronger culture in the company. It was definitely important to choose a diverse set of individuals – we each bring a different set of strengths and weaknesses to the group.” – Seth Adkins

“Originally OLT members were chosen by the SLT, but that process has evolved since the group was created. In order to define what the OLT goals are and drive our focus, we’ve created a team expectations document. Expectations of each team member include embodying our ACT TOP values, having a positive attitude, demonstrating leadership qualities, and showing a desire to take on additional responsibilities. It’s important that we keep the group cross-functional, so we look for new team members that meet the OLT expectations and someone that can provide a new viewpoint or perspective.” – Olivia Sekerak

2. were you at all hesitant about joining the olt?

“I wasn’t at all because I’m looking for opportunities to grow and become a better leader. I knew it would be a lot more work and responsibility, but I was excited about taking on that challenge.” – Ryan Koontz

“No, not at all. I knew it would be a natural next step for where I wanted to go career-wise. Being on the OLT has given me additional responsibilities and requires us to work through challenges, but it’s been a welcome change and I think we’ve risen to the occasion.” – Mark Holloway

3. tell me a little bit about the disc assessment – did it have an impact on the team or helped you interact with other olt members?

“The DISC assessment helps identify how you work – it’s almost a work personality test. For me, it’s provided context when working with others, made it easier to address conflict and find better ways to collaborate with OLT members. Knowing my DISC profile and the profiles of other OLT members has made me more aware of my natural reactions and those of others, too.” – Catherine Johnson

“It really helped me understand my natural tendencies and also how I can work better with others.” – Leslie Ingram

4. how has being on the olt helped you grow in your career and as a leader at rev.io?

“Being in Sales, has helped me find ways to make a difference across the whole organization, rather than just being focused on bringing in new revenue. I have really enjoyed being involved in the initiatives and strategic goals for the company – I like helping drive Rev.io’s direction.” – Ryan Koontz

“I would say that it’s helped me reach out to other departments and be more involved with the company as a whole (and not just the Platform Team). It’s also given me a chance to understand the business better and learn more about our clients and their needs.” – Seth Adkins

5. In your eyes, what are the top 2 biggest accomplishments that the olt has played a role in over the last 2 years?

“Rebranding!!!  The other item is that I think we became a voice for all employees.  We all have strong relationships with different team members and through these relationships, we have a good idea of what goes on day to day.  When something creeps up, it doesn’t have to grow into a problem.  We know what’s going on and we can address any concerns or needs or make sure they get escalated when we cannot control or change a situation.” – Leslie Ingram

“One is the rebranding initiative. Rebranding a company is always a hard thing to do and we definitely had a big part in driving that change – both with clients and our team internally. The other one is something that we continue to do as an OLT team; we bring to light successes and challenges within the company and convey those to the SLT.” – Seth Adkins

6. do you think being on the olt gives you a greater sense of ownership or has made you more loyal to the company?

“Both. I feel more connected with the company than ever. I am very passionate about the company’s success and constantly find new ways to make a difference. I want people who come in and interview to be excited about working here – to see the culture, platform itself, and internal processes. We’re growing like crazy so we’re constantly trying to stay ahead of ourselves.” – Ryan Koontz

“Our company is super transparent – even outside of OLT – but it’s helped me build relationships with people in other departments. The OLT has also become a sounding board for me. When I’m dealing with an escalation or specific concern, I’ll bring it to the group and it’s great hearing different viewpoints on the issues we discuss.” – Mark Holloway

7. tell our readers about the training or coaching you’ve received while on the olt.

The leadership and management training is one of the biggest benefits of being on the OLT. Our executives have brought in a team of outside leadership consultants to meet with us about once a quarter – it’s been a great opportunity for me to learn more about my personality type, the key characteristics of a successful team, and best tactics for resolving conflict and tackling challenges together. Beyond the leadership training, we’ve also participated in management training – I’m using these management principles almost daily now with my [marketing] team. And, lastly (but certainly not least), we’re also almost a trusted group of advisors for the SLT. The OLT acts as a liaison between the SLT and the company – that accessibility to our executives gives me more insight into the company, and that is definitely something I didn’t have before joining the OLT.– Olivia Sekerak

“The DISC assessment was fantastic.  Also working the the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team as a group and meeting regularly with a consultant to discuss the findings for our team.  We are working through each item in the book and completing exercises to strengthen our team.” – Leslie Ingram

8. is there anything else that you’d like to share with other companies that are interested in developing their next generation of leaders?

“One area where Rev.io excels is in empowering younger team members. I think it’s really important to remember that age and experience aren’t necessarily a factor in leadership. People can demonstrate leadership principles at any stage of their career. I think it’s crucial for companies to NOT discount the ideas of younger employees, especially those looking to grow their team.” – Catherine Johnson

“You don’t have to be a leader to lead at Rev.io. One thing Rev.io does extremely well is empowering their employees. The natural leaders seem to organically take on more responsibility and eventually we all became “Team Leads.” I’ve worked in other companies where this mentality wasn’t present and I applaud Rev.io for building an environment that encourages young leaders.” – Mark Holloway

“I think it is essential to growing the next level of leaders and management in your organization. You are forced to handle difficult situations, work in a setting of peers outside of your functional area and build relationships with those team members to create a stronger organization. You learn how to share successes and challenges and work together to address those challenges. It creates a level of trusted team members that have relationships throughout the organization. You will have the pulse of the organization with this conduit in place.” – Leslie Ingram


If you’re a communications service provider interested in our telecommunications billing software or an IoT company looking for an IoT billing engine, contact Rev.io today – we’d love to show you a guided tour of our solutions.  We’re helping service providers, like you, save time, reduce billing errors, and grow revenue fast.

Or, if you’re on the hunt for a new job opportunity and would like to join a leading B2B software company, you’ve come to the right place! Rev.io invests time and money into developing the future of the organization. Take a look at our culture page to learn more about the benefits of working here!

3 Characteristics of an Intelligent Billing Platform

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Why is it important to have an intelligent cloud based billing platform? Particularly for Communications and IoT service providers, operating without an automated billing, usage-rating, and customer/ device management solution can inhibit growth.

In our most recent survey, The Current State of Communications and IoT, 73% of companies said they’re seeing at least a 20% annual growth rate. If you’ve found the financial health of your business suffering from revenue leakage, billing errors, or high employee overhead, it’s time to consider other options.

Communications Billing System

When evaluating billing platforms, there are several ways to separate the duds from the game-changers. Look for a cloud based billing platform that meets the following characteristics:

1. customizable platform with scalability

Adopting a new technology consumes one of your biggest resources – time. Before you make an investment, be sure to think about where your company is headed. Will you be adding a new offering? Expanding into a new market? Moving from an inside sales to an agent model? Be sure to consider the scalability of the new software and your future company initiatives.

 An intelligent cloud based billing platform should eliminate manual processes and make it easier to grow.  Look for a customizable IoT and Communications billing platform with built-in inventory management, integrated tax calculation, and workflow automation capabilities. The leading Billing-as-a-Service platforms allow you to consolidate multiple systems and provides a clear picture into your revenue and customers.

A good platform will not only meet your company’s needs but will also empower your customers. Complement your offering with a robust self-service customer portal for tracking usage, support tickets, locations, and new orders. At Rev.io, we think of ourselves as your billing partner – rather than just another software – and we’ve developed additional tools to help clients improve satisfaction and reduce churn. By coupling our intelligent telecom billing platform with self-enablement portals, our clients build lasting relationships with customers and agents.

2. intelligent billing & integrated usage-rating

Subscription and pay-as-you-go pricing models have changed the way modern consumers and businesses interact. In order to stay current, Communications and IoT service providers must incorporate usage-based offerings into their services. With the right technology, consumption-based billing becomes simple. Look for an IoT and Communications billing platform with an established network of strategic partners and integrations; this will streamline manual processes by populating usage-rating and automating new orders, service suspensions, and disconnects. For additional usage-based billing tips, check out our 4 Considerations of Consumption-Based Pricing blog post!

In addition to facilitating usage-based pricing structures, you can identify a top-notch billing system by evaluating your billing partner’s development roadmap, ease of integration, and internal team. Here are some questions to ask while your searching for potential billing partners:

  • What percentage of your revenue do you reinvest into R&D for platform enhancements?
  • Are your software engineers?
  • Do you have a REST API or other method to build new integrations? (Check out Rev.io’s REST API design documentation here)
  • What methods are in place for clients to share their ideas or influence your development roadmap?
  • How many enhancements were made to the platform last year?
  • How many integrations have you built to third-party platforms?
  • BONUS QUESTION: How can I create custom proposals in the billing platform to quote potential new customers or orders?

3. established onboarding and ongoing training programs

After spending the time to thoroughly vet a new software and deciding to implement the technology, the last thing you want is to fall on your face during the onboarding or training phase. Inquiring about the onboarding process can save you time and money (and possibly a huge headache). The best billing platforms have created a detailed implementation model and have knowledgeable, in-house onboarding and training teams.

When evaluating a billing partner, here are the best questions to ask about onboarding:

  • Can you share with me the full onboarding plan and detailed documentation about the process?
  • Will our company have an assigned, main point of contact that works with us during the entire implementation?
  • Do you have technical experts to help with migrating data from our old platform?
  • How will I be notified as we move through different onboarding stages?
  • Who will be training our team on how to use the platform and what’s the process for the getting additional training afterwards?
  • Will any of our training sessions be in person?
  • BONUS QUESTION: Can I speak to two references who recently went through onboarding your platform?

Whether you’re just ensuring you’re in good hands with your current IoT or Communications billing system or already evaluating new back-office technologies, we can help! And the good news is, adopting a new platform doesn’t have to be daunting. Subscribe to receive industry news and tips to help you grow, delivered straight to your inbox. Or, request a demo to see how Rev.io can help you achieve revenue goals.

4 Considerations of Consumption-Based Pricing

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Is a pay-as-you-go pricing model and billing strategy the next big industry trend?

As subscription and IoT service providers, you can’t afford to fall behind your competition or ignore key changes in the market. That’s why we’ve decided to take a closer look at consumption-based pricing and what it takes to successfully support a usage-based service.

Subscription-based billing models have become the go-to strategy for many industries. In 2000, Salesforce.com was among the first in the software industry to charge a per-user, per-month price. Today, industry leaders are looking further than a simple subscription model to adopting consumption-based offerings instead. In fact, a growing number of subscription and IoT companies are shifting from flat-rate monthly fees to pay-as-you-go pricing. If you’re looking to disrupt your market with a usage-based service, take a look at our 4 “gotchas” and avoid some of the potential pitfalls.

1. managing usage

One key element to offering a  pay-per-use model is advanced billing capabilities. In order to successfully create a consumption-based business, you’ll need to be an expert in managing customers, calculating usage, and billing operations. Rather than throwing people at a broken problem, look for a usage-based billing system that can take your back-office to the next level. Carefully evaluate each vendor’s ease of integration, existing carrier provisioning, and development roadmap for enhancements. It’s important to find a partner that will evolve with your business.

2. forecasting revenue

Subscription services are predictable – making it easy to forecast long-term revenue. When offering a pay-per-use service, one thing to consider is standardizing your revenue with a monthly minimum charge. Even a small monthly minimum fee will help you forecast and provide a baseline for the financial health of your organization.

3. avoiding bill shock

Alleviate the possibility of higher-than-anticipated bills by providing your end-customers with a self-service portal for viewing usage, creating support tickets, and monitoring new orders. The best types of customer portals come with built-in reports and the ability to create custom reports. In addition to avoiding bill shock, customer-facing portals increase satisfaction and retention.

4. consumption based technologies

Your success hinges on your technologies. Consumption-based pricing solutions require different technologies and processes than traditional flat-rate pricing models. When you’re looking for new or improved billing and back-office software, be sure your platform has functionality for real-time usage reporting, automated rating, built-in tax calculation, improving customer visibility, and billing flexibility. An intelligent usage-based billing system will complement your service offering – and make it easier for you to monetize any pricing model.

Don’t let a flat-rate flat-line your revenue, check out our full Capturing Recurring Revenue with Usage-Based Pricing eBook for more information!

LEARN MORE

Don’t leave your success to chance. Partner with the right technology providers to ensure successful pay-as-you-go pricing adoption. Rev.io’s all-in-one-solution can tackle billing, customer management, tax calculation, reporting, order and service tracking, and more. We would love to help you disrupt your market! Our usage-based billing platform is perfect for subscription and IoT service providers looking to scale – let Rev.io take your team to the next level! Contact Rev.io by filling out a quick form or giving us a call at 866-470-5502 and learn more today!

The Current State of Communications & IoT

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The communications and IoT industry is constantly evolving. In order to keep up with competition, service providers must remain in-tune with new technologies, opportunities to expand, and differentiating strategies. That’s why we decided to launch our first “State of Communications and IoT” report. Rev.io, in conjunction with Altaworx, surveyed Communications and IoT leaders nationwide to explore:

  • Communications providers’ interest in expanding into IoT
  • The current technology landscape for Communications and IoT companies
  • Plans for growth and challenges facing the market

By surveying companies in the space, we hope to provide you with a pulse on the industry. Here are the key findings from our report:

iot expansion is a priority

The growing IoT buzz has caused a majority of service providers to pursue ways to complement their existing offering with an IoT service. However, not many in the Communications space have breached the gap to IoT. With plenty of green space in the field, we believe that those able to get to market fastest will be most successful.

IoT billing

differentiate with self-service technology

Communications and IoT providers are lagging behind other industries in the customer experience movement. With this movement, customers now expect service excellence and user enablement as part of all products and services. Unfortunately, our industry has been slow to react to this change. For service providers looking to grow revenue, we recommend differentiating from the norm by leaning into the user experience movement. We’re predicting that the service providers with the most customer enablement and self-service technology will win more deals and grow revenue, faster.

While the Communications and IoT markets are growing their portfolio of offerings, enabling customers through self-service portals and support technologies has not been a priority.

Telecom Billing

growth plans in place

Growth is stable across the board – a large majority reported annual growth rates of 20% or more –  and one-third of companies surveyed said they’re considering a merger or acquisition in the next three years. As companies prepare for an M&A in the internet of things future, it’s important to have clear visibility into operating margins and accurate BI reports. Rev.io recommends maximizing your valuation by putting technology in place today to manage financial, customer, billing, and tax data.

IoT Billing

Companies surveyed are preparing for growth through investing in new service offerings and improving customer experience to reduce churn. The team at Rev.io predicts many of those new service offerings to be in the IoT segment. Along with the migration towards pay-as-you-go pricing models, it makes sense for customer retention strategies to be top-of-mind. When managing a recurring revenue business, improving customer experience and reducing churn is important for predicting revenue growth for the internet of things future.

IoT Billing

manual processes & outdated technologies are hindering growth

Manual processes was selected by surveyors as the most common challenge in managing a recurring revenue business model. In addition, our report found that the lack of scalable billing and back-office solutions was the greatest hurdle for reaching business objectives this year.

IoT billing

Check out the full State of Communications and IoT infographic.

The good news? Rev.io does the heavy lifting on usage-rating and billing operations, so you can spend time scaling your business. With existing integrations in place to seamlessly manage new orders, service usage, taxation calculation, and support, Rev.io alleviates billing and customer management pain. The proof is in the platform – Rev.io clients grow by more than double the industry average. Click here to learn more about the Rev.io platform.

 

The Diary of an SDR for IoT and Communications Billing Software

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Straight out of college, I knew that I wanted to be in B2B sales. With no prior sales experience, except a retail job, I followed the path of many aspiring sales executives and accepted a job from Rev.io as a Sales Development Representative (SDR). For those of you unfamiliar with the role, my job is to set up initial meetings with decision makers to entertain switching out their telecom billing software. For Communications Service Providers, replacing their IoT billing and back-office software platform can be stressful and time-consuming. Luckily, Rev.io is the best billing and back-office software company in the Communications and IoT industry.

Since I started at Rev.io in mid-February, I’ve made 8,935 calls. There was definitely a learning curve for this role and a lot of awkward moments in the process. A failed brunch joke comes to mind as well as a CEO angrily quizzing my geographical knowledge of Pennsylvania. Despite this, the moments that stick out are the wins. It feels great to set an appointment with a decision maker after they claim – within the first 30 seconds –  that they are not interested. It feels even better getting past a gatekeeper to speak to the founder of a $100+ million dollar company and setting an appointment.

I remember my first week I was scared I wouldn’t be successful because I didn’t set an appointment. I stuck with it and kept using the tools and people around me at Rev.io to coach me on prospecting and cold calling more effectively. I learned how to succeed in this role and, after 7 months, I finally hit my quota of qualified opportunities sourced and pipeline sourced in a quarter.

While a lot of people’s anxiety rises at even hearing the phrase “cold-call,” I am glad that I took this position as I have learned a lot in the process. Some advice to the newly-appointed SDRs, you need to have a good attitude to succeed in this position; you’re more than likely going to sound horrible your first few calls; and lastly, there is a learning curve to cold-calling.

key takeaways:

1. Be naturally curious – hang in there and ask as many questions as possible on the call. I’ve had calls that I didn’t think would go anywhere, yet after 15 minutes, I found enough value to set an appointment. I make it my goal to always try to find something new about the company on each call that is relevant to what we do. You haven’t done your job as an SDR if you haven’t yielded any new information. You have just wasted your time.

2. Have confidence in your calls – if you act like an appointment is an elusive unicorn, then you won’t ever set them. I have definitely set appointments just on my attitude and confidence. If you are nervous about setting an appointment, what does that say about your product? While my product knowledge and sales ability increased over time, the catalyst to sourcing more opportunities was my increase in confidence.

3. Show them that you know them – it’s what separates you from telemarketers. It makes your pitch warmer if you tighten the aperture in your call. What sounds better?

A. We provide a communications billing software to telecom service providers.

B. We provide a sophisticated IoT billing and customer management solutions to VoIP and internet providers in Massachusetts – we’re actually working with (client name in state) in your area to help them improve their billing operations.

It isn’t that difficult to leverage that little bit of information, but it shows that you have put in the effort and done your research. A prospect is much more inclined to listen to someone who knows them than listening to someone despondently recite the same canned line for the 70th time that day. If you have relevant information from a previous call, be sure to leverage that information.

4. Qualify your appointments – there is no point in setting appointments if they don’t make sense. My first few appointments were not qualified at all; not only did I waste the prospect’s time, but I also wasted our Account Executive’s time. Before you even call, you need to make sure that the company is an ideal fit. If they are not in the industry that you are catered to then why would you call them? While on the call, you need to make sure that you have a legitimate reason for the company to meet with us, you need to know who is meeting with us and who else will be involved in the decision-making process. If they can afford the product, and if making the decision to buy your product aligns with their initiatives and the timelines they have in place. This enables your sales team to be better prepared for the initial appointment and furthers your chance of sourcing a deal. After all, the whole purpose of an SDR is to source deals.

5. Have a schedule in place – to be a successful SDR, you need to be disciplined and have a schedule set in place. I would block off my first hour each day adding leads, doing research on Linkedin for new contacts within an organization and research on company websites to find relevant information for my calls. Then I would spend the next 2-3 hours cold-calling until lunch time: I had a goal set of making at least 30 calls before I ate lunch. After lunch, I would sit in on an AE’s call or listen to material to help me hone my sales skills and product knowledge. After that, I would keep calling until the end of the day. I made sure that I would hit at least 70 calls a day.

Being an SDR for an industry leading Communications billing software is exciting and rewarding. The SDR role with Rev.io has been a fantastic learning experience and I’d encourage any recent graduate, who’s interested in Sales, to pursue similar positions. For more information about career opportunities at Rev.io or our sophisticated billing and customer management solutions, contact Rev.io today! We’re here to help!

 

6 Tips for Conducting Better On-Site Sales Meetings

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The Software-as-a-Service (Saas) industry has revolutionized B2B sales teams and the selling process. Today, more than ever, opportunities are being sold – from start to finish – remotely and sales reps are leveraging new technology to facilitate virtual meetings (such as webinar and video conferencing). By eliminating the time and cost of travel, salespeople are able to reach significantly more prospects in a shorter period of time – leading to greater revenues at lower costs.

That said, oftentimes your largest potential customers will still request a face-to-face meeting; particularly if you’re selling complex solutions. We run into this a lot with our telecom billing platform – imagine replacing your system for managing customers, collecting revenue, tax calculation, ticketing, and automating workflows. At Rev.io, we’ve found that on-site meetings can be a critical component of moving large opportunities to closure. And, if done correctly, on-site meetings can become a powerful tool for a sales rep.

Before you take the time and expense (and ask your prospect to invest their time) to travel to an on-site sales meeting, it’s important to plan for the interaction. Here are some planning tips for conducting effective on-site sales meetings:

1. HOLD AN INITIAL MEETING REMOTELY

Before committing your company resources to travel to the potential customer, hold an initial discovery call to learn about your prospect’s business and qualify the opportunity. The qualifying meeting can help you gauge the prospect’s interest, identify if there is a need, and quantify the value associated with your solution. In addition, ask your executive contact/ sponsor to champion you holding interview calls with the key stakeholders in the project – you’ll want to gain their perspective prior to an on-site meeting as well.

2. PROPOSE A MEETING AGENDA IN ADVANCE

The most effective sales meetings have a clearly outlined agenda and topics to be communicated. When traveling to a prospect’s office, you should create a meeting agenda, share the written schedule with your prospect, and discuss the proposed topics in advance. Getting feedback before the meeting will help you cater the meeting to the potential customer’s specific concerns or questions, allow you to schedule outside resources to call into parts of the meeting (such as a technical sales engineer or onboarding expert), and show that you’re confident the meeting will be worth their time. Bring hard copies of the agenda to the meeting and hand these out to each of the attendees. This sets the tone of the meeting early on and sets the audience’s expectations of the topics and timeline.

2017_ON_SITE_AGENDA_Template

3. keep presentations focused on business initiatives

Use the intelligence gained from initial remote meetings to craft the message of your on-site presentation.  All presentations and product demonstrations should show how your solution will directly impact your prospect’s revenue growth, expense reduction, competitive advantage, or risk mitigation. If the content you’re sharing doesn’t tie back to one of those business initiatives, leave it out!

When you’re in the prospect’s office it can be easy to relinquish control of the meeting, but it’s imperative that you stick to the plan.

4. ask for feedback

On-site meetings with potential customers will typically involve stakeholders from multiple functional areas. Keep in mind, each person will have their own agenda and frame of reference when evaluating your solution. Near the end of the meeting, ask each attendee to write down at least one area of your solution that could benefit their functional department and at least one concern they have about your solution. Prior to concluding the presentation, go around the room and ask each individual to share those thoughts. It’s a beneficial exercise for you and for your audience.

5. SET ASIDE TIME WITH EXECUTIVE DECISION MAKERS

Don’t be alarmed if your executive decision makers don’t attend the entire on-site meeting. It’s very common for top executives to skip out on the detailed product demonstration or a deep-dive on implementation processes. While it’s okay for your executives to be absent for the detailed discussions, it is vital to set aside time with them to review business terms. When discussing the relationship between your two companies with an executive decision maker, bring in members of your executive team, whenever possible, so you can create executive alignment.

6. FOLLOW UP

Follow up your on-site meeting with a personal touch. Where most companies (and probably your competitors) will follow up with an email, stand out from the crowd by sending a handwritten thank you note to each attendee. For an even bigger impact, make the note personal by addressing a question they asked or specific use case they brought up – the extra time you spend on these notes will go a long way.  Lastly, send the notes with a small, branded gift from your marketing department, like a branded notebook or mug. Not only will you stand out from the competition, but you’ll also leave behind a little reminder of your solution.


Now that you know the 6 best practices to facilitate better on-site sales meetings, you’re ready to go out and start selling your UCaaS solution! We hope our effective sales meeting tips will help you improve close ratios and make a great impression on your prospects. Good luck!  For more information about the sales process or our IoT & telecom billing platform, please Contact Rev.io for more information about the sales process or our IoT & telecom billing platform. We’re here to chat.

 

eBook: Top Tips to Increase the Value of Your Communications Company

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What is the value of your communications company? 

While the answer to that question depends on numerous factors, it is crucial to keep in mind throughout every stage of growth in your business. Even if you are not quite ready to sell, a sound exit strategy can help any business owner achieve peace of mind and lead to a successful future sale.

Communications is a crowded space. The businesses in this market are constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves and stand out from their competition. Rather than constantly chasing “the next big thing,” we want to help Voice, Data, and IoT service providers by outlining the top factors that impact valuation and actionable steps you can take today to increase the value of your communications company.


In this free eBook, we provide tips to increase the value of your company. You’ll learn:

  • The current state of Technology, Media & Telecommunication (TMT), which accounted for $698.2 billion in M&A activity, spread across 3,021 total deals in 2106 alone.
  • The top seven factors impacting valuations in this space (like growth rate, adoption of emerging technology, compliance, data and reporting capabilities, margins, ARPU and retention).
  • The top seven steps you can take today to increase the value of your communications company.

 

Whether you’re looking to raise money for growth or maximize valuation for exit, the power is in your hands to increase the value of your communications business. Download our free eBook below to get started.

Download Now

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