We spoke with Donald Lewis, Billing Manager at CallTower, about the impact of Rev.io’s API automation, enterprise customer reporting tools, and data and product teams on the company’s billing expansion during its recent business acquisitions.
A Leading UCaaS Provider Grows
CallTower, a leading enterprise-class Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) provider based in South Jordan, Utah, equips growing global organizations with cloud-based communication and collaboration systems. Founded in 2002, the business integrates mobile applications, email hosting, integrated VoIP service, web and audio conferencing, and additional functions in a single platform to enhance customers’ operational communication capabilities.
CallTower’s centralized technology incorporates the following best-of-breed applications for its customers:
- Microsoft® Teams Direct Routing
- Native Skype for Business
- Cisco® HCS
- CT Cloud
- CT Cloud Boost
- Office 365
- Zoom Video Communications
Highlighted by CallTower’s 2016 merger with another well respected UCaaS provider in SoundConnect, the company’s list of featured services and solutions continues growing. Two other notable additions on this front came in March 2018, when CallTower acquired Appia Communications and BroadRiver Communications Corp. respectively.
Speaking to the Appia acquisition specifically, CallTower CEO Bret England called the move an exciting opportunity for the company’s customers, partners, and shareholders. “In addition to expanding product offerings and market position, this is a strategic transaction for our customers and partners. We believe this combination will give our customers greater product choices, expanded support, and more resources.”
Evolution in Billing Responsibility
Tied to the company’s merger with SoundConnect and its expanding list of acquisitions, CallTower experienced a substantial spike in its billing responsibility. This boost called for the support of a configurable system with automated functionality and growth-oriented capability. Rev.io, a leading billing and back-office software company based in Atlanta, GA, fit as the right partner to support this notable volume increase.
Donald Lewis, Billing Manager at CallTower, said he thinks the company wouldn’t have been able to handle the expanded billing workload that these acquisitions required without the automation and API support of Rev.io’s technology. “We would’ve had to increase the size of the billing department in order to make that happen. Because of that API automation, we were able to bring on BroadRiver and Appia into Rev.io.”
What Makes Rev.io Different
Reflecting on CallTower’s previous billing platform, Lewis said that the system’s excessive requirements in terms of manual operation ultimately caused problems that limited full ownership of the enterprise-class customer management experience. “The ability for us to actually own that process and get the bills out, see the reporting, see all of the information, get the invoices over to the print vendor, get them back, and have control over when all of that goes out… it makes my life considerably easier than it was. There’s less stress with it working that way because the unknowns decrease.”
Beyond the extra manual work it required, the company’s previous billing platform would sometimes generate unnecessary errors and produce longer wait times to complete processing. Without the change to Rev.io, these issues may have impacted CallTower’s acquisition flexibility and limited its capacity to brace any unknowns associated with major business changes. “The ability to use Rev.io’s API calls and automate a vast, vast majority of our processes from a billing standpoint in our legacy CallTower world gave us the ability to bring on (companies like) Appia Communications & BroadRiver Communications Corp.,” Lewis said.
Product and Data Team Support
Significant business moves require extensive support from a devoted team of experienced professionals. Collaborating closely with the team at CallTower during the company’s recent expansion period, Rev.io remained proactive with its devotion to customer service as a direct complement to its quote-to-cash platform.
Lewis said that Rev.io team members, regardless of position or level, proved responsive and prepared to address any escalations that came up during the latest CallTower acquisitions. “It wasn’t just one or two people at Rev.io that helped with our processing of the Appia Communications and Broadriver acquisitions into our instance of Rev.io. It was all the way up to the CEO and CTO.”
Specifically, Rev.io product and data management teams went above and beyond to accommodate CallTower’s sudden boom in billing operations. “They were willing to come on-site whenever we needed them… The data management (team) and project managers are great,” Lewis noted.
Tailored Enterprise Customer Reporting
For CallTower, a company serving major organizations, enhanced visibility into reporting takes on a high level of importance. Lewis said that the automated functionality of Rev.io’s billing system, which allows these important clients to easily pull reports from different customer locations and platforms, is extremely helpful from a management perspective. “Customers can go in and see (every) invoice that they’ve ever billed with Rev.io and see the month-over-month changes in every product and service that we’re providing to them. For larger customers, it gives them the ability to see where changes are being made in their billing. It (also) gives them the ability to report on that themselves.”
CallTower’s team also directly benefits from the transparency of Rev.io’s versatile billing platform. Lewis said that the system’s functions give both the company’s account management team and its executives an ability to speak to certain billing items easier based on how clear the billing is laid out.
Automated Invoice Processing
Rev.io’s API automation, directly synced with CallTower Connect, takes only a minute or two to transfer and register changes in enterprise customer accounts. As a result, these billing updates immediately flow into Rev.io and settle into a respective customer’s account quickly. “I think being able to see those changes and understand where their bill changes are coming from and the changes within their organization reflected on their bill gives (enterprise clients) the ability to forecast their own stuff. (As a result), finances become a little bit easier because of that functionality,” Lewis said.
Even during times of the year when business delays are expected, Rev.io’s automated billing software keeps CallTower’s invoice processing up and running. “Holidays really screwed up how we processed billing simply because there was no one there to do it. With Rev.io…. everything is ready to go and I just hit the process key,” Lewis said.
Saving Money, Time & Energy
CallTower directly benefits from Rev.io’s billing software in another key area – savings. “Just having a single platform with everything billing on the same schedule and same dollar amounts for services that Rev.io provides saves us money.” Lewis added that the all-in-one platform, which doesn’t require outside channels and multiple vendors, even preserves time and energy as a result of the system’s consolidation.
Lewis said the fact that Rev.io doesn’t implement extra costs for small action items is another element that CallTower appreciates. With previous vendors, Lewis noted that addressing these issues, regardless of the size or scope, could result in a $1,200 charge as just a starting point.
“With Rev.io, we aren’t ‘nickel and dimed’ that way… Rev.io has really partnered with us to make sure that (they’re) working for CallTower the way that CallTower needs them to work, which is extremely beneficial because we didn’t have that level of support before,” Lewis said.
Closing Advice for Onboarding Rev.io Clients
Lewis closed the conversation with advice to onboarding clients who are following in CallTower’s footsteps. Lewis said to openly lean on Rev.io’s team of experts, who will outline the flaws in your current billing system and compare this process to billing functionality within Rev.io’s instance, as part of this migration experience. “They really know their stuff. They know how to pull that information. They know how to get into the nitty gritty of the old billing system and break that down so you can review it.”
By closely following the implementation timeline, staying on top of the materials Rev.io will need, and having a deep understanding of your company’s system, Lewis said this transition to Rev.io’s billing platform will run smoothly for your business.
Rev.io provides sophisticated billing-as-a-service (BaaS) to communications and IoT companies. Rev.io enables clients managing sophisticated subscription billing models with the industry’s most complete quote-to-cash financial processing experience to effectively manage end customers’ subscriptions, usage, taxation, billing, and payment processing.
CallTower exists to enable people to easily connect to transact business communications. Since its inception in 2002, CallTower has become a leading provider of cloud-based, enterprise-class Unified Communications solutions for growing organizations worldwide. CallTower provides, integrates and supports industry-leading, cloud-based, Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions.
For more information, visit https://www.calltower.com/ and contact CallTower at 800-347-5444.