As many Managed Service Providers (MSPs) will tell you, the administration involved in customer billing and licence management can be a largely laborious task if you don’t use an automated revenue tool.
This is especially true when it comes to adding new tenants onto a Software as a Services (SaaS) contract and managing quarterly billing.
What if a client undergoes a merger, suddenly requiring several new licences? Or one of your engineers has to upgrade a client PC with a new M365 licence?
How can you ensure you don’t forget to recharge the client? You need to remember to charge the correct amount to your client during your agreed billing cycle. And not short-change yourself in the process. This is where an automated revenue tool comes in.
How an Automated Revenue Tool Can Help
Instead of trying to keeping a spreadsheet up to date, or remembering to reconcile your invoices to each customer, you could use an automated revenue tool.
An automated revenue or billing tool integrated with a professional service automation (PSA) tool, allows MSPs to keep track of their subscriptions, bills and licences. This means that when one of your engineers applies a new licence to one of your clients, the automated billing tool will pick this up and apply the cost to the client’s next invoice.
This is incredibly useful because sometimes the individual billing of licences can be quite complex.
Take Microsoft’s NCE licence costs as an example. Depending on which billing cycle you adopt, or agree on with your clients, the amount they pay month to month may vary as and when their older contracts phase out, and the new NCE contracts take over.
One such automated revenue tool on the market at the moment, is Zomentum Connect.
Zomentum Connect, formerly Goolash, is specifically designed to streamline billing reconciliation. It allows users to synchronise the SaaS licences bought by individual clients with their PSA tool. This means that the billing is seamless, which prevents revenue leakage.
To put it another way, Zomentum Connect helps you to connect the dots between what you’re selling through your sales platform, and what you’re charging in your PSA.
And it’s not just software. Zomentum Connect also allows you to programme consumption data rates too.
The platform allows you to manage your software licences, which you purchase either directly from a vendor or through a distributor. For example, in the case of Microsoft365 licences, the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) account supplies this information directly using Microsoft Partner APIs.
If your vendors or distributors do not use APIs, you can also import contracts into the system using an import function that uses comma separated value (.csv) files. The files need to have their columns mapped to certain fields, but once done, the system remembers the mapping for the next time.
Linking Licences to Autotask
Once your licences are set up under the contracts, the clients can be added and linked to an Autotask account. To enable synchronous automation, the billing cycle, contract length and start date should be the same as the licence agreement.
Each contract might allow for different stock keeping units (SKUs) for different licence types. This depends on the type of software licences the vendor provides.
In the example of Microsoft NCE licence billing, licences may be invoiced:
- Month by month
- Over three years
- As annual contracts with monthly billing
Where you have lots of individual charges, such as telecoms, you have the ability to roll them up into a single consolidated charge.
The platform allows you to apply the costs in bulk and choose the date they come into effect. Furthermore, there’s an option to apply a blanket percentage uplift. For example, if the licences have been increased by 2.4% since last year.
For further automation, you can configure it to automatically receive an update files via email. New updates will import automatically once the import fields have been mapped into the correct format.
There are many other configurable options, particularly the ability to apply trial and bundle discounts for each client, or conversely, ignore or exclude licences.
Once the setup is done for clients and vendors for the first time, the automation takes care of the rest.
To put it another way: set it, and forget it.
For more about the Zomentum Connect, and how it works, take a look at the product tour video with Richard Tubb and Ben Spector below:
Zomentum Connect Demo and Product Tour Video
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Zomentum Connect a stand alone product or do you need to have the Zomentum Sales Platform PSA tool?
A. No. Zomentum Connect will incorporate other PSA tools as well, such as those from distributors including Giacom and Pax8.
Q. Can you connect multiple vendors to a single contract?
A. Yes. A single contract can be connected to a multiple vendors. Thereby putting your licences together in one place for clearer visibility.
Getting Started with Zomentum Connect
Zomentum Connect is available in four monthly subscription plans. One of these is the free-forever plan.
The free-forever plan includes three accounts and one integration, whereas monthly subscriptions start at $49 per month for ten accounts and one integration.
You can find out more about the plans Zomentum offer and schedule a demo here.
The point of an Automated Revenue Tool is to save yourself time, and prevent loss of income.
Having access to a schedule of your licences, and where they are allocated, makes managing your resources easier.
Linking directly to a PSA like Autodesk shows all the billable information for a client in one place, which makes invoicing more accurate.
Have you experienced a loss of revenue due to mismanaged SaaS licences? Could an automated revenue tool have helped you manage your licences better? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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- Tubbservatory Round-Up #3 – March 2022
- TubbTalk 108: How to Build an Effective MSP Sales and Revenue Platform
- Webinar: What are the Most Powerful Next-Gen Cloud Tools for MSPs?