Intelligent Monetization - What it Means, and Why You Should Care (Part 1)
In business, we need to be thinking about the future all the time.
The world is shifting rapidly, so much so that we’re seeing established businesses and newcomers alike, quickly rethinking how they can and should deliver their unique offerings to the market. Today's leaders must find ways to create something from nothing – constantly re-imagining a future that is different than what is available, or what they're offering, today.
Consider these recent examples of unexpected or interesting shifts:
e-commerce-focused Amazon branched into businesses as varied as groceries (Whole Foods), vacuums/household hardware (iRobot), and healthcare (One Medical)
Marketplaces like Airbnb and Upwork have introduced entirely new approaches to buying and selling goods and services.
Early Metaverse adopters, such as law offices, personal training companies and real estate agencies, are quickly monetizing their services in an environment most of us still aren’t paying attention to
What do these companies have in common? They all introduced new methods of monetization - led through ideation and imagination – and didn’t let their existing operational systems and processes dictate their approach to business growth.
Before you shrug your shoulders and assume you too can quickly innovate, react to emerging changes and/or imagine a new market altogether, think about what it would take.
Today, right now, would you be able to adopt a new strategic direction – launch an entirely new product or service line – or rework pricing, selling, delivery, billing, and payment on the fly for your current offerings without installing new systems, or rewiring your old ones?
The answer is likely no.
For most businesses a major shift in strategy would also require a major change to existing systems and processes that would realistically take months (if not years) to complete. This is a particularly significant when the systems and processes that need to be changed relate to pricing and billing.
But should underlying systems (CPQ, billing, Q2C, etc.) dictate business strategy?
Most definitely not.
The More Things Change the More They…Keep Changing
I think we can all agree that businesses want, and need, to be innovative to stay relevant. The business world is littered with well-known brands who thought they could keep doing things the way they always had only to find themselves bankrupt and out of business because they failed to innovate (Remember Blockbuster, Kodak and Blackberry?).
As we have come to learn, there are two constants in technology - change and the ever-increasing speed with which it occurs. Consider this: the first iPhone hit the market in 2007 and we are now on version 14. How many versions have you bought or upgraded since you got your first? Who talked about the Internet of Things 10 years ago? Now, virtually all of us has some sort of IoT device, whether alarm systems, doorbell cameras, Fitbits or Oura rings. And remember when our personal financial information was too precious for banks to have cloud-based offerings? It wasn’t that long ago. Similarly, perpetually-licensed on-premise software was the “standard” for 20 years. In the last 15 years, we’ve moved to managed services, SaaS & subscriptions and now we’re beginning to see a shift to usage or consumption-based models.
So, what we can say with confidence is this: what seems far-fetched or futuristic today will be obsolete or old-school in 5 years - that’s the inevitability of innovation.
As B2B delivery models continue to evolve ever more rapidly, the need for platforms that can support the technology and business model changes necessary to support those shifts and drive business growth, is critical. Rigid systems that box your business into an operational model need to be replaced with systems that can more quickly and easily adapt.
That said, the challenge remains that financial leaders can’t just throw caution to the wind and operate without real insight into what these changes could potentially mean for their business. They need to forecast revenue, work with predictable models and consider the implication of a change without having to rework millions of lines of code to envision what that would look like.
Enter Intelligent Monetization.
Future-proof your business with Intelligent Monetization
Intelligent Monetization enables a company’s operational systems to support a yet-to-be defined vision for the future, not hold it back. It enhances revenue realization and closes the revenue leakage gap. And it does it quickly, flexibly and transparently, creating more selling opportunities while simultaneously building trust with customers.
With Intelligent Monetization you can handle the complexities of any revenue model, on demand and at scale. This includes, but is not limited to, usage-based, hybrid, or any yet-to-be-defined complex model.
So how does it do all that? With a few fundamental operational principles:
Make the complex simple though data visualization. No matter how impressive the system is, if it isn’t easy to use it will have limited value to internal stakeholders. Your finance team, your sales team, your legal team want an operations-first platform that enables them to easily visualize, understand, and manipulate operational data – not a platform that requires developer-led code development and maneuvering.
Rely on plug-and-play components, built on a no-code architecture that can be adapted, on the fly, to changing business requirements or conditions. No-code circumvents the traditional software delivery model, saving countless hours of custom development and significant cost. The all-too-common status quo, going back and recoding the entire model isn’t efficient, practical, or timely.
Absorb complexity at enterprise scale – managing not one scenario, or 10 scenarios – but potentially 100s to 1000s. Scale is about more than size, it is also about business complexity. There are many monetization companies out there, and most of them are very good at managing a handful of smaller, custom requirements with limited variables. But they can’t do this at scale. Intelligence in this context means being able to support any scenario – of any size – with the same level of easy, agility and sophistication.
Handle many service dimensions at once. Companies play various roles in today’s world – sometimes they are the seller, sometimes they are the buyer, and other times they are the intermediary. For the largest companies, there are also multi-sided or multi-party contracts that must be accounted for. Contracts may vary depending on the relationship between two parties. The ability to immediately assess and assign roles based on systems data is critical at scale.
Demonstrate accuracy. It’s not enough to believe or hope that your systems are accurate, you need to be able to see it, even at a granular level. Dynamic reporting, with line-item depth and insights, offers trust in the systems, the models and the outcomes.
By looking at the entire lifecycle – from quote to cash – and optimizing across the journey, you’ll get better results with less effort. Revenue goes up, predictability goes up and customer satisfaction goes up. No matter what the economic climate.
Some additional good news? Intelligent Monetization doesn’t require an all-or-nothing investment. Intelligent Monetization platforms can work standalone or as an adjunct to current legacy systems. So, even if you’re not ready to fully rip-and-replace, the potential benefits will still apply.
So right about now you are probably thinking, “sounds pretty good, but I wouldn’t have a clue where to start”. It’s not nearly as hard as it might seem. We’ll share some tips to help you get started in next weeks post!