Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion
H ow long have we been talking about the Cloud? More and more people are understanding the Cloud as a technology concept and not just a natural occurrence. Even here in Missoula, Montana, our softball team is named the SaaS Kickers and people know what that means.
However, while the terms are becoming more and more common, we still see a lot of confusion in the marketplace.
This is particularly true in ATG’s space, Quote to Cash, or Q2C. Q2C is the general term we use to describe how customer acquisition, sales, fulfillment, billing/collections, customer care, and revenue recognition are managed for our service provider clients.
In CRM and Sales Force Automation, there is general consensus on the dominance of Cloud tools to support customer acquisition processes. As the process moves to quoting, contracting, ordering, and billing the landscape gets a little fuzzier. In particular, the functional domains of Configure/Price/Quote (CPQ), Order Management (OM), and Billing deployment options for consideration.
Remember the famous alley brawl scene from Anchorman, where Will Ferrell and the Channel 4 News Team square off against San Diego’s other news stations? Same thing in CPQ and Billing. Coming from one alley, we have the massive tried and true gang from On-Premise full-suite providers, like Oracle, Amdocs, Ericcson, and SAP. They’re bringing sledgehammers to the fight.
From another direction, we have smaller on-premise providers that focus on particular industry verticals, among them MetraTech, Cerillion, and Cycle30. They’re likely wielding a pickax.
Then the SaaS guys come around the corner, some just out of diapers, others going through puberty, and some ready to graduate (think Zuora, Aria, Vindicia, Transverse, and many others). I imagine them with all kinds of cool weapons, with varying degrees of understanding of how to use them. Oh yeah, and some of them come with marketing teams behind them writing press releases about the upcoming victory.
Finally, a rogue band of open source guys come crashing in, from companies like jBilling and AgileBill. They’ll have a whole bunch of stuff in a toolbox that they are hastily trying to assemble into a functioning weapon.
As these gangs close in, trying to win your business, you remember that ATG is talking to clients every day that are trying to transform their business and how they operate their Q2C environments with more efficiency and agility. You realize that ATG is made up of experts in the CPQ and Billing space, and have been helping their clients choose, and implement, and run, these critical applications – both on premise and in the cloud.
Is your company needing to make a similar transformation? Are speed, agility, and scale important to your customer and revenue processes? Are you confused by the range of options available in this space? Are you confused why ATG has drawn parallels to billing and Will Farrell movies?
Before your situation escalates quickly, pick up the phone, or the News Team Horn – “Q2C Team…Assemble!” – and speak with one of our Q2C consultants. At ATG, we work to understand the unique needs of our clients, and help them identify the right people, process, and technology approach for meeting their corporate goals.
So, when you find yourself in a situation where you’re surrounded by gangs of vendors, each wielding their own special brand of benefits, look to ATG to step in the middle and help you make the right decision for your business’ distinct needs.
We’ve got your back. And best of all, nobody gets hurt.
ATG – Staying Classy in Q2C since 1999.
Tom Stergios is ATG's SVP of Strategy and Corporate Development, and the General Manager of the Missoula Solution Center. Tom was born and raised in Missoula and returned in the midst of a very successful technology consulting career to raise his family with his wife Mary Lou.