At Ubersmith, we spend a lot of time understanding our customer and prospect needs, as well as understanding their alternatives, whether they include in-house development, outsourced development, integration of various 3rd party systems, or selecting a software-based approach.
With our team’s experience, we have put together a top 10 list of considerations we would use ourselves if we were evaluating a subscription billing system for our organization:
1. Subscription Billing – Ensure all types of billing you need (e.g., quarterly, bill in arrears, prepay) are supported for usage-based billing and/or fixed billing, including the ability to do specialized billing if relevant for your organization. Are these available out of the box? How much setup time and cost will they require if not?
2. Related Functionality – Verify key types of related functionality are provided (directly or via integrations) for areas adjacent to billing such as payment processing, client management, product catalog, sales quoting, provisioning, ticketing, and accounting. How well integrated are the systems within the UI?
3. Scalability – Make sure the system can handle high volumes of usage and complex invoicing to enable you to grow from a startup to a large public company. Migrating platforms takes time and money. Being able to stay on one platform maintains your business’ hard-earned stability and reliability.
4. Security – Ask about standard security features like multi-factor authentication and PCI Compliance. These should be requirements for any billing system you use given how critical it is to safeguard your customer, financial and related information.
5. Flexibility – Determine whether a system offers your organization the ability to customize easily within the interface for your employees or via a portal for your customers. How easily will it flex to accommodate unpredictable future needs from across your organization?
6. Openness – Spend time test-driving a system’s API and any other extensibility functionality that may be offered. Review the documentation offered and ensure there aren’t insurmountable limits on what your team can do now or in the future.
7. Ease of Use – Evaluate how intuitive and usable a system is – not just for IT and finance executives but also for developers, product, sales, support, operations, and any other potential groups of users. A business software needs to be successful cross-functionally for the highest adoption and productivity.
8. Global Capabilities – Be sure the system can accommodate multi-currency, localization, regional payment processors, and similar requirements as you grow your business into new areas of the world.
9. Support and Training – Evaluate the availability, quality and responsiveness of pre-sales implementation, training, technical support, and consulting services as well as any education resources such as videos, tutorials and documentation to make sure your team can quickly get up to speed – and stay up to speed.
10. Economics – Analyze which approach and system(s) provide the best economics for your organization and your unique needs. Usage-based subscription models can enable low upfront costs and grow with you in a logical way over time, and they are often more flexible in pricing than flat-rate subscription software.
What do you consider when choosing a business software? Let us know in the comments.