As Cloud Solution Providers ( CSPs) move from a set-up to a scale up phase, leveraging a CSP automation platform comes as a reflex. While the natural solution to the gaps left by manual processing is automation, which platform to choose for this transformation is critical to automation success. Simply going with the first platform you see on Google search or the one that gives you the best deal might look attractive at first but may come with serious repercussions later. Here is a 5-point checklist to make an informed choice before committing to a CSP automation platform.
Quick & Easy Set-up
Your main objective of moving to a CSP automation platform is to remove friction and reduce administrative work. However, if the transition and set-up isn’t seamless, you may want to rethink your choice. Your CSP automation platform must be highly intuitive and shouldn’t require you to install any external products. A quick and easy set-up must entail complete transition of all your customer records, details, and other information in a short span of time, thanks to the cloud. In short, you should be able to start leveraging the benefits of your automation platform from the first day, and not a week later.
Seamless User Experience
An intuitive and seamless user experience is a must for any CSP automation platform you choose to go with if you want to eliminate the chances of user frustration. The more the platform is user friendly, the more your team will be open to embrace it and serve your customers better. The best way to gauge the level of user experience is by testing every possible business scenario and challenge that you can think of, before making a final commitment.
Billing Accuracy and Automated Invoicing
As a CSP, billing accuracy is critical to customer experience as well as business growth. Most CSPs move to an automation platform to break free from the hassles of long spreadsheets and eliminate inaccuracies in billing due to loss of revenue. Therefore, you must choose a platform that ensures accurate billing for all customer subscriptions, irrespective of the duration or start date. At the same time, it should eliminate the need to wait for partner centers for usage reconciliation and should be able to generate itemized invoices automatically for license and usage-based services, based on predefined margins. This involves managing multiple billing scenarios in case a user signs up for a subscription mid-month.
Multiple Payment Gateways
As a CSP, you may have a particular gateway that you use. It is extremely important that your automation platform has multiple options for you to choose from. For instance, if you have been using Stripe to collect payments, and your CSP automation platform only has the option of using EziDebit, it is likely to add a lot of administrative workloads to set up a new payment gateway. Therefore, look for offering multiple gateways for online payments including Authorize.Net, Stripe, EziDebit, CyberSource etc. to avoid unnecessary work add on.
Privacy and Security
Additionally, platforms that leverage AAD and MFA for authentication are credible. On the other side, you must undertake due diligence to understand the team behind the platform. While an attractive website might be lucrative, it is important to know whether those running the show are equally invested to provide you with the right support and service and be an active participant in your growth journey.
One Check at a Time Towards Success
In your journey to scale up, your choice of CSP automation platform will determine success to a large extent. The best way to make the right choice is to start with a checklist of all your requirements and compare the various platforms available in the marketplace. Once you narrow down the list to the top 5, put them to a stress test on these 5 parameters and the one that scores the best is your go-to automation platform.