Integration Isn’t Sexy, But It Makes Everything Possible

Doug Blog ImageThough I am new to Aria, I have been involved in the recurring revenue billing industry for over 16 years. One of the many reasons I joined Aria is, unlike other companies that announce new customers when they sign the sales contract, we announce when our customers’ new recurring revenue management systems goes live.

A short story will demonstrate why this is such an important difference:

Several years ago, my then employer was involved in the task of installing a new billing system in connection with the launch of a new product for our customer:  a very large, high-profile technology business that’s a household brand at home and work.

At the operations training kickoff with about 75 people in attendance, the operations manager stood up and asked “How many people have seen a new system go live in under three years?”

A few hands went up in the room.

He then asked: “How many have seen a new system go live in under two years?”

Even fewer hands went up.

The he asked if any had seen a new system go up in under one year.

No hands went up.

He then surprised everyone in the room by telling them that the new billing system, four months into the deployment phase, would “go live within a month.”

“How was that possible,” the workers buzzed, “given the long lead times seen in so many other projects?”

He explained that a quick roll out would be possible because all of the key integration points with fifteen legacy systems were already in place.  Each integration point simply required a new value for the product about to launch.

It’s a lesson I’ve learned time and time again. You lower the risks, not to mention the time required and the costs involved in installing a new system, by being able to “plug and play” with the existing business systems in place.

It’s like me speaking English while trying to do business in twelve countries while insisting everyone speaks English. It’s not always possible nor convenient for the customers. Similarly, Aria is able to connect to disparate systems and “speak” the correct language.

Another way I think about integrating into a company ecosystem is using the home renovation analogy.  For instance, if you go to renovate your kitchen, because of how the kitchen was originally built, you might find yourself tracking a problem into another part of the house if you are not careful. For example, the plumbing wasn’t installed correctly in the kitchen, so now you find that your contractor wants to re-plumb all the way back to the water heater in the garage.

So the renovation – itself a significant undertaking – now threatens to consume the entire house, opening the kitchen remodeling project to more complications with added costs, time, and the increased risk of not getting the work done on schedule.

At Aria, when we help our customers integrate our recurring revenue management system into their business, we believe that the fewer moving parts our customers have to deal with, the fewer systems that need to be changed, the better off our customers are; the happier all involved, really.

In fact, we designed our solution to get customers up and running as quickly as possible, often weeks and months, not months and years. This can only occur because we easily and completely integrate with a much larger variety of legacy systems than our competitors. We do this because we know our clients need to get to market quickly – not twelve months from now. In fact, we measure our success by how fast our clients get to market and start deriving business benefits.

The not-so-sexy truth is that once you’ve locked in your revenue management functionality, it’s all about integration. 

Doug McLeod, Aria Systems

Disrupt Your Market Without Disrupting Your Business - Learn Why the Right Recurring Revenue Management System Should Support Existing Systems and Processes.

To learn how you can take full advantage of your company’s existing systems when adding recurring revenue, download the latest ePaper titled Recurring Revenue: Why Integrating with Existing Systems is Key to Success.