How are you planning on executing your IoT monetization strategy in 2018?
Great ideas are critical to strategic planning, but only execution translates those ideas into IoT business revenue. Successful strategies for businesses in the Internet of Things require a billing solution that scales and adapts with the business model itself. No single solution can achieve that for every business in a plug-and-play style.
Our team at LogiSense designed the EngageIP platform to let enterprises monetize the IoT’s flow of data for your specific revenue model, integrating via API to create a billing structure made for your IoT business. As enterprises grow, they expect their back office system to handle the workloads and usage that come with a larger volume of customers, data, and transactions.
Make Real-Time Connections Between Operations and Financial Goals
Executing any strategy with an enterprise built for the Internet of Things begins with connecting operational outcomes to financial goals. To accomplish that, companies need to connect the various brands and branches under a single roof.
Every organization has its own hierarchy, roles, and subscription types. We’ve designed the EngageIP platform from the ground-up to give IoT enterprises the ability to draw insights between those elements through big data analysis. We’ve accomplished this by setting up accounts in the platform according to the enterprise’s unique operational structure, including regional branches, sister brands, and partners in the IoT value chain (for “bill on behalf” services, for instance).
Parent organizations receive their own parent accounts, and each one can instate a set of roles unique to those organizations. Those internal roles receive their own permissions settings. Each role in a given organization can be added as simply as filling out a contact form in Gmail. Start by assigning them:
- Enabled or disabled statuses
- Organizational role (or a customer role)
- Primary languages
- First and last names
- Time zone
This brings together every user, branch, organization, parent company, and partnered brand under a single roof to address the complex billing challenges presented by the Internet of Things.
Monetize Millions of Connected Devices Across Organizations and Regions
Gartner expects the world to see nearly 20 billion connected devices by 2020. That number will grow year-over-year, raising the potential revenue that enterprises can earn with a billing system built for the Internet of Things.
Our product development team overcame this challenge by letting enterprises set up product catalogues and usage ratings, all of which can be spliced into packages, marketing promotions, and regional billing filters (such as currency and tax specifications).
EngageIP lets enterprises assign packages, invoices numbers, and prices for everything with these building blocks:
- Services: basic revenue streams for specific value rendered, like a data plan.
- Price plans: customized pricing for your organization’s revenue model (tiers or usage billing, for example).
- Extensions: additional functionality to the EngageIP platform for enterprise developers to create their own tools to tackle IoT billing challenges.
- Packages: combinations of services, price plans, and extensions with unique pricing applied through promotions, discounts, or customer service exceptions.
This system lets organizations charge customers in specific contexts at scale. EngageIP also lets users override billing plans for specific customers, letting customer service representatives and their managers accommodate for marketing promotions, service interruptions, device upgrades, and any other kind of circumstance you can imagine in the billing cycle.
For example, a B2B energy provider for the IoT market could set usage billing with tiers that correspond to how many sensors the customer buys (following the product-as-a-service model that has become synonymous with the IoT).
Every service, package, price plan, and extension can be adjusted according to regional settings and scaled. It’s also quite possible to apply different currencies and even different tax settings within set regions to scale IoT business models in both the B2C and B2B verticals. Implementing this system at any point—at the outset or retroactively—allows the B2B energy provider to offer competitive pricing without the need for account managers or CSRs to do it all manually.
Take Your Revenue Model Beyond the SKU With Commercial Flexibility
Traditional SKUs and rigid service tiers simply don’t align with customer expectations, or the kind of personalized billing structures that technology allows enterprises to implement.
Usage billing has gained ground because nobody wants to pay for what they don’t use. That applies to both consumers and businesses, all of whom want to save money. Usage billing is the natural extension for IoT businesses that help customers optimize their output, as with home energy or car mileage.
It represents the kind of commercial flexibility that IoT businesses require to offer competitive pricing in a connected world.
Our team designed EngageIP specifically to let enterprises implement that kind of personalized billing to scale with device penetration, growing as the market matures alongside new infrastructures built for the IoT.
It automates the service-oriented tasks previously considered cost centers, which lets enterprises drive customer growth and maintain their life cycles while investing minimal time, energy, and money. The system itself automatically detects potential “revenue leaks” (such as service disruptions) with a smart operations support system, indicating when a customer account exhibits irregular behavior.
This lets enterprises gather, analyze, and convert user behavioral data all in one place—immediately providing the insights necessary to develop new products, services, processes, and shifting ROI from a single corporate hub.
Following the SKU-free strategy will ultimately help IoT enterprises increase their market share by combining their vast resources with a financially agile infrastructure that traditional service providers and even cloud-based SaaS platforms can’t match.
Use a Billing Structure That Fits Your Enterprise, Not the Other Way Around
Don’t sacrifice your enterprise’s operational structure just to leverage a certain piece of bookkeeping software. Leverage a billing structure built specifically for IoT revenue models instead.
This lets you incorporate unique billing practices into your business that might not be found outside of your industry or organization. For example, the budding industry for the connected car is projected to adopt the practice of “bill on first use,” in which mobile carriers will only bill auto manufacturers once the vehicle leaves the factory and makes its way to a dealership. In turn, this will reduce costs for both the mobile carrier and the auto manufacturer.
The best part is that EngageIP can track exactly when that “bill on first use” begins for specific vehicles, making the practice scalable for tens of millions of units across the world.
From that point onward, enterprise teams can dive into EngageIP’s Developer suite to tweak the platform for layout, action bars, list items, and an entire set of features that runs too long for a blog post to cover.
What does your strategy look like for the Internet of Things?
Read our report on driving profitability in the connected economy to identify how you can execute that strategy.