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“I had just landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport in May of 2012, after returning from a J & Beyond conference about open-source technology. When I switched on my phone I had numerous urgent messages from the IT team of Golan Telecom – a leading Israeli mobile operator. This would be the official beginning of a snowball effect, which would result eventually in the phenomenon known today as BillRun.

Two years later, in October 2014 we signed the MT contract - our first international client - and expanded our workforce to 10 employees, including developers and project managers. In addition to replacing MT’s billing and CRM systems, we provided guidance on open-source ESB Apache ServiceMix, as well as consulting on Joomla CMS. In May 2015 we launched our first open-source landline and internet system - in MT - and in November we replaced the remaining 2Play for mobile and VOD. The transition to a unified billing system enabled MT to offer its customers more diverse, comprehensive plans.

Ariel Halperin – recruited recently as BillRun’s development and QA manager – shares his insights on how ‘Scrum’ – a term deriving from rugby – helps instill an esprit de corps to build teams that operate effectively as one force in the dynamic cloud and IoT environments.

Tel Aviv, September 21, 2016. Installed at Pelephone, the new system – the only one of its kind in Israel – enables instantaneous usage computation, and the management of both prepaid and post-paid customers, while also supporting IoT services. The estimated cost of the entire project is 500,000 euro.

Pelephone has upgraded its billing system for Prepaid mobile subscribers, to an advanced, state-of-the-art open-source system developed by BillRun Technologies – based also Israel. In the near future, Pelephone plans to expand the system’s capabilities, to enable real-time calculation of data usage of all the company’s subscribers. The system, designed to handle a vast number of access points, will support IoT devices, with the expansion of coverage of IoT infrastructure.

The new billing system is part of the company’s implementation of an entire infrastructure designed to meet the growing demand for online charging systems (OCS). Notably, online charging requires the assessment and processing  of all components of the transaction, including data usage computation - in real time. The same technology will serve as a framework for billing for IoT services, as well as charging postpaid customers and other areas of billing.

With BillRun Cloud, MVNEs/MVNOs, VoIP providers, and digital SMBs gain a complete, flexible cloud-based billing solution, enabling them to streamline their billing and offer new services . BillRun Cloud is available for beta testing by carriers until the end of September 2016, with a soft launch preview release scheduled for early October.

 

 

Suitable for a variety of environments and services which require persistent, usage-based billing, BillRun Cloud simplifies the management of all billing operations that telecom communications service providers need, including: Handling subscriber accounts and payment plans; managing product pricing; tracking consumption data; computing charges and billing; invoicing and payment; debt collection; and credit card clearing.

Designed for the processing of big data, and utilizing an advanced rule-based open-source architecture, BillRun Cloud’s robust scale-out capabilities and sophisticated features provide a competitive edge – at affordable cost - for young, early-stage businesses.

With the massive wave of IoT devices and sensors spread about everywhere, IoT and M2M have become an increasingly popular topic of discussion. Many predict that this hottest new trend will create new markets and new opportunities, and increase business efficiency. However, technology thought leaders still face the perpetual dilemma of how to monetize all these devices.

 

 

We’ve begun to witness early adopters riding the IoT wave, in such industries as healthcare, transportation, utilities, and others. One such example is smart cities that are already using IoT sensors to monitor street lights, traffic, water supply and parking lots.  

However, considerable investment is still required in this technology until it can provide consumers with significant value for which they would be willing to pay. Given the extent of investment required - starting from the individual device level, to communication infrastructure, through data collection and analytics - there is a key dilemma which must be resolved before reaping the gains of this new space: What will be the rate of return on such investment?

At this early stage, in the absence of proven business models or best practices for this market, it is essential for companies entering this arena to have an affordable, flexible billing solution that will enable easy and quick adaption to future business models.

The decision, in July, by the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) to make high-frequency bandwidth spectrum available for 5G technology, was greeted by the U.S telecom industry with great delight, placing the U.S. on the path to lead global deployment of 5G. 

There has been a lot of talk recently about 5G wireless technology - which will likely be available for consumers sometime around 2020. The underlying agility and elastic nature of 5G will significantly increase transmission speed and capacity of all consumer devices, resulting in devices that will run 10 or even 100 times faster.

Adapting in real-time to changes in end-user applications, 5G technology will support vast amounts of IoT devices and connected vehicles using cellular networks, while smart-city energy grids, water systems, and immersive education and entertainment will become a daily reality. Transitioning to this technology will naturally make cable-based infrastructure - superfluous.

Mobile subscribers across Africa have reached over half a billion - presenting a new frontier with vast opportunities for MNOs. This certainly explains the current hype around the AfricaCom conference scheduled for mid-November in Cape Town, South Africa. BillRun, of course, will be there too. Will you?

Lower smartphone prices are driving a digital revolution in Africa. According to a recent report, there are over half a billion smartphone users across the continent – a number expected to reach 725 million by 2020. This poses a huge opportunity in the next few years for mobile data services, as mobile internet access reaches unprecedented levels.

In fact, Africa is the fastest growing market worldwide in adopting new mobile technologies - a result, mainly, of lack of fixed-line Internet connectivity. Notably, mobile technology is already contributing to Africa’s economic growth and productivity, as telcos develop new products to boost their user base. Services in such areas as health, agriculture, education, energy and water management are being transformed entirely. Mobile internet connectivity is unlocking vast opportunities for consumers, increasing employment; enhancing financial services and businesses; and powering entrepreneurship.

BillRun Cloud Billing-as-a-Service, launching in August 2016, provides per-subscription billing, rather than per transaction, providing cost savings and maximizing customer LTV (lifetime value)

Running a business poses unceasing challenges, such as: managing and growing your customer base; ensuring that your employees stay motivated; keeping your suppliers and partners on their toes to support your business; and making sure your shareholders are happy.

Yet, early stage businesses, in addition to all these struggles, must also justify their bare existence; gain the trust of initial customers; and establish a platform for success. This is quite a mission to handle!

Here is some good news for new businesses:

BillRun provides billing for international roaming, ensuring seamless implementation of intricate calling and data plans for both postpaid and prepaid subscribers.

Roaming abroad billing - as easy as one-two-three

Supporting even the most complex plans, BillRun enables mobile service providers to bill all subscribers who are travelling abroad and using a foreign network for calling or data usage. Examples of such plans may include: A fixed price for a specific date range in selected countries; or: A predefined data package size, defined for use in two specific countries, within certain dates, for a fixed price per day.

In addition to many roaming plans that are often based on a predefined duration abroad, here is an example of an innovative annual plan uniquely supported by BillRun: Free text messages and calls to any number in the home country, plus data usage abroad for a predefined number of days from the beginning of the year; usage exceeding that number of days is charged at normal rates.

Embraced as a popular software delivery method by a growing number of businesses, SaaS (Software as a Service) has reshaped the entire software industry.   

A service delivery model easily adoptable by practically any type of business application, SaaS is typically accessed through a web browser by users who subscribe to a service, and is often based on a centrally-hosted software.

Over the past few decades, several global software enterprise giants such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and others, following in the footsteps of companies as Salesforce and Workday who are already dominating this market, have shifted their strategies, incorporating SaaS-based cloud products and services in their offerings. This trend has resulted in the emergence of SaaS into an eco-system with a market value expected to reach $33 Billion by the end of 2016, and double within the next decade.

When examining the key drivers that have prompted this significant shift to SaaS-based cloud services, there are several different factors which should be considered..

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