A Day Well Spent


I’ve spent almost two decades working in the enterprise monetization space. In that time, I’ve seen what was once a fairly simple and static operation – managing a sale from quote-to-cash – morph into something much more dynamic and complex.

New business models, accelerating competition, and the need to deliver services and processes at scale have created a whole new set of challenges – and opened up opportunities for a new generation of suppliers. All of which was underscored again last week at the MGI Research Monetization Summit in San Francisco.

MGI (aka Margin Growth Indicator) Research is an independent analyst firm that focuses on disruptive trends in the industry. Their in-depth coverage of billing systems solutions includes comprehensive supplier research and ratings, which provide an important set of data points to make informed purchasing decisions.

Their Monetization Summit brings together vendors and enterprises to share experiences, impart insights, and discuss the future of the industry. It provided an opportunity for me to network and catch up on the state of the industry.

The day began with MGI’s overview of their extensive research into the state of agile monetization. There’s opportunity aplenty for vendors and enterprises going forward.

Among the key findings:

  • The total addressable market for agile monetization software is $102 billion over the next five years
  • The three largest categories within the agile monetization market opportunity are Customer Service ($45.8B), Agile Billing ($14.9B), and ecommerce ($14.2B).
  • Over 80% of that opportunity will come from large organizations (>$1B in revenues)
  • Most of the opportunity lies with cloud based (SaaS) providers

Those last two bullets illustrate a significant shift in the way the enterprise market looks at SaaS offerings. Five years ago, SaaS was almost a bad word in the enterprise (I know this from personal experience). Today it’s often the first alternative considered, especially in support of new product lines and new lines of business.

So why buy monetization solutions from cloud providers?

Well, for one thing, they’re much more interested in being the world’s leading expert in their own competitive space than in becoming experts in billing and monetization systems. Developer resources are directed towards product development, not back office systems. As cloud providers, they know that the cloud can provide the level of reliability and security they need to run their business.

While they couldn’t provide details on this same stage in the previous year, their project lead reported that they’ve been working with Aria, which has met the bulk of their monetization and billing requirements while giving them the ability to change as markets change.

MGI’s research highlighted go-to-market speed and agility as a means to create competitive advantage. Not surprisingly, it was a recurring theme throughout much of the day, regardless of who was presenting. All of the success stories factored in speed – speed in solution deployment, speed in responding to customer needs, speed in resolving payment issues, speed in getting to market with new offerings, etc. I think for me that might be the key takeaway.

The Monetization Summit had something for everyone – from vendor CEO’s discussing how new payment technology could add 2% or more to the bottom line without the need to increase sales, to a Finance VP and Controller talking about navigating through the pain points in deploying new systems to monetize IoT, to an integration specialist laying out the most likely points of failure in an enterprise monetization initiative (think product definition and product catalog).

MGI holds this one-day event twice a year. For me, and for just about everyone else in attendance, it was a day well spent.