It’s no secret that there’s huge scope for challenge and change in energy retail, as any business working in the current market can tell you. An increasingly open energy ecosystem, powered by growing demand for renewable energy sources and regulatory changes, is constantly raising the bar for retailers worldwide. Surviving – and thriving – in this environment requires constant innovation. It can be tough to keep up with the need to create new products if your current systems are struggling to cope with the status quo.
That’s where Tally Group's Abstracted Billing comes in. Abstracted Billing is a game-changer for energy retailers who want to innovate and experiment without the hassle of completely overhauling their current core billing solution. Sound good? Here’s how it works.
In simple terms, Abstracted Billing allows product experimentation outside the usual billing platform. It enables real world validation of new products without having to create a brand-new billing method to support them.
Abstracted Billing facilitates faster speed to market and more flexibility than experimenting through a billing platform. It allows businesses to quickly implement and refine new products with a digital-led customer experience, then iterate and run multiple A/B test lines based on customer interaction and feedback. Customer bills can be reconciled through a simple adjustment line.
Let’s say you’re a Tier 1 or 2 retailer who wants to trial a new product or service for your customers, to harness new energy sources or change up your usual offering. Fully customising an existing billing platform for this kind of experiment would be expensive, not to mention disruptive, so you’re not sure how to continue.
Abstract Billing supplies a way for energy retailers to try out new products quickly because it requires minimal customisation to their core billing solution. All the existing billing system needs to be able to do is receive the additional line items from Tally’s Abstracted Billing system and calculate the bill accordingly.
As a real-life example, we’re currently using this product to enable a client to offer their customers two hours’ free energy use during a nominated time. All we needed to make it happen was the customers’ usage and rates, via some form of integration with the client’s systems. That information enables us to cost their energy usage in parallel with the billing system, calculate what the free part would be for each customer and supply an adjustment to the client’s billing system for the free usage.
Using Abstracted Billing to do this means the existing billing system can function as usual, without needing to know whether the customers are using any special product or on any different rates. Abstracted Billing will cost all the energy usage at the right rate - and the adjustment it supplies will cancel out the usage they should be getting for free by providing a credit adjustment for that usage.
We also supply a user interface where the customer can go in and adjust the time of day they wish to receive usage for. It’s simple, seamless and no-stress to either our client or their customers.
Abstracted Billing gives you the ability to experiment with a new product to see if it works for your customers. If it proves popular – and profitable – you can use it to trial other innovative products. In a world where speed to market is key, we think it makes sense to use a tool that makes it quicker to test and learn what works.
At Tally Group, our vision is to be the world’s leading provider of intuitive energy and services technology. If you want to find out how our products, experience and smarts can help your business, get in touch.