Everyone benefits from billing innovations

Zürich, 22.11.2009 – Reference telenet

As the leading cable network operator in Belgium, Telenet constantly endeavors to offer the best possible service to its customers. This applies not only to the wide range of services which it provides but also to the subsequent billing. TelcoBill from Ergon enables Telenet to meet the highest standards for bill presentment, bill analysis and bill management.

Telenet was established as a cable network operator in 1996. The firm originally focused on supplying cable television to the Flemish-speaking region of Belgium, but it has long since gone on to develop other business segments. The tremendous technological advances of recent years in the broadband sector have enabled Telenet to expand its range of services on a systematic and continuous basis. Cable TV was initially followed by broadband Internet and then telephony. Nowadays, Telenet is a full-scale Triple Play provider for private and business customers.

Telenet’s wide range of services calls for a large proportion of working steps and processes to be automated. This also applies to the billing operations. In the past, Telenet customers received their billing statements in printed form. For business customers in particular, the “paper mountain” created by the constant expansion of services never stopped growing, and it was not unusual for customers to receive hundreds of pages of printout. At Telenet, this expansion was paralleled by an exponential increase in administrative outlay on billing operations as a whole, driving costs ever higher. TelcoBill from Ergon will remedy the situation.

Nothing but benefits for both sides

Up-to-date communication media such as the Internet enable cable network operators to integrate their customer into the value chain. This is why more and more providers are acting to transfer certain tasks to the customer with the help of Customer Self Care and Electronic Bill Presentment (EBP) – and both sides benefit from this development. The customer is able to “serve himself” via the Internet independently, at any given time. And the service provider gains competitive edge thanks to improved service, while cutting the costs of bill production and reducing the workload for customer service.

It was precisely this challenge that confronted Telenet. As the Belgians set about evaluating suitable solutions, they discovered Ergon because of the close links that they maintain with companies in Switzerland. Toon Devroye, Manager IT Development at Telenet, explains the evaluation process: “In the run-up to this project, we took a close look at several potential solutions, and then we drew up an appropriate requirements profile”. Telenet then issued an international invitation to tender on the basis of this careful analysis and clarification of the requirements.

Performance – an unbeatable argument

Ergon emerged from the tendering process as the clear winner, even though there were certain reservations regarding the geographical distance between the two companies – given that the timescale of three months was extremely ambitious. Toon Devroye, who managed the entire project, cites these reasons for the decision to back Ergon: “What we found most convincing was the performance of the Ergon solution, which is also very mature. Another key factor was Ergon’s many years of experience in this sector; this reassured us that we were not letting ourselves in for any experiments. And it goes without saying that the cost-to-benefit ratio was extremely good.”

The cooperation between Telenet and Ergon was very professional and productive. Hardly any problems whatsoever surfaced throughout the entire implementation phase, so the lack of geographical proximity was not an issue. “When the project was launched, I made a bet with my boss inside the firm that we would be able to go operational within three months. Unlike some others, I was convinced that we could make the deadline – and now I have a superb magnum of champagne sitting at home”, Toon Devroye adds with satisfaction.

Introducing TelcoBill has now made it possible for Telenet to provide an extensive range of services to its business customers via the Internet, thereby offering them genuine value added. The solution comprises bill presentment, real-time bill analysis and cost management for convergent service billing. The business customer first outlines the structure of her enterprise in TelcoBill, and grants the appropriate access rights to the users. During the billing process the fees are then distributed automatically to the cost centres configured.

Customers’ reactions to the innovations have been equally positive. Toon Devroye comments in conclusion: «TelcoBill is a total success for us. Our customers are very satisfied with the new options, and handling of all our billing operations has been made far simpler and more cost-efficient – a classic win-win situation!»