Spark Wholesale, a division of Spark New Zealand, has accelerated growth in its Wholesale SIP Trunking (VoIP) proposition by taking billing hassles away from its telecommunications reseller channel, says Andrew Healey, Senior Product and Marketing Manager, Spark New Zealand.
“Many of Spark Wholesale’s resellers come from a background of selling IT systems, PABX systems and telephone handsets. These were generally one-off sales. Adding voice calling and network connectivity as part of their solution enables them to build an annuity (or monthly) revenue stream – one that provides ‘customer stickiness’.
“This is an attractive proposition to our resellers, but voice calls are extremely complex to rate and bill,” Healey says.
“The biggest telecommunications providers have their own billing systems. Anyone who doesn’t have that infrastructure needs Datagate.”
Call data includes time of day, call distance, whether a call is local or international, and call duration. Once a reseller has provided consent, Datagate pulls usage data out of Spark’s systems many times each day, deciphering codes and making sense of the complex data stream.
These Call Detail Records (CDRs) include all of the information required to rate, bill and provide analytics to the end customer. Customers can analyze calls to suit their own performance indicators. Common metrics include analysis by cost center, who makes the most calls and which numbers are called most often.
“We partnered with Datagate to build the prototype. Now we say to our resellers: ‘Buy the minutes off us. Go to Datagate to rate, price and bill the minutes’,” says Healey.
“We have Datagate on our sales collateral as a key benefit for resellers. We say, ‘billing is solved’.”
Andrew Healey, Senior Product and Marketing Manager, Spark New Zealand
Resellers can present a bill as an emailed PDF, a hard copy, or via an online portal. Everything is white labeled, so it all carries the reseller’s own branding.
“Datagate has been a critical success factor for Spark Wholesale’s VoIP (SIP Trunking) proposition. We have a number of future services on our roadmap and Datagate will be able to pull these services into that single bill,” Healey says.
“Resellers can also add any other usage-based services, such as electricity, to their bill. The world’s your oyster with regard to what you put through there.”
By taking the hassle out of providing calling, Spark Wholesale adds ‘substantial’ value to its telecommunications partners, Healey says.
“Datagate is a strategic partnership for my value proposition. It’s been key to our success and our partnership has grown over time. We have Datagate on our sales collateral as a key benefit. We say, ‘billing is solved’. That is enabled through Datagate. Datagate brings meaning to complex data.
“We recommend Datagate to all resellers that require a billing, rating or presentation system. Datagate is our chosen partner to provide that element to our resellers. If we didn’t have Datagate a lot of our resellers would be struggling.”
About Spark New Zealand
Spark New Zealand is New Zealand’s largest digital services company delivering mobile, fixed and IT products and services to millions of New Zealand consumers and businesses. Fully privatized since 1990, Spark New Zealand is listed on the NZX and ASX stock exchanges. Spark is a multi-brand business, with specialist and flanking brands include Skinny (consumer mobile), Revera, CCL and Appserv (data hosting services), Lightbox (internet TV), Qrious (data analytics), and Bigpipe (consumer broadband). In-house incubator, Spark Ventures, is responsible for developing other new business opportunities.