BT moves to Amdocs’s Brite:Bill for consumer and mobile billing

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Brite:Bill unit signs up BT retail including EE and Plusnet for consumer-friendly billing system

BT is about to adopt a system that will deliver bills that make sense and to its retail customers – and provoke fewer enquiries to the call centre.

Amdocs subsidiary Brite:Bill has sold its billing platform to the UK company for use in its mobile business, EE, its consumer fixed line business and its Plusnet internet service provider operation.

The new bills will “enhance one-to-one customer relationships”, said Alan Coleman, the founder of Brite:Bill in 2010 and now the head of the Brite:Bill business unit within Amdocs, which bought it in September 2016.

BT is the first major European operator to sign up with the company, but it follows Comcast, Rogers, Sprint and others in North America. “One of our North American customers was spending close to half a billion dollars a year” on answering billing questions from consumers via its call centres, said Coleman.

Calls were costing $10 a time and he estimates that 40% of all calls were about bills. “The distribution of bills wasn’t a problem but the efficacy was poor. No one had put enough effort into designing bills.” When customers were unhappy, “they didn’t want to make the calls and phone companies didn’t want to receive them”, he said.

Even he was baffled by his phone bills, he added. As soon as anyone called the call centre, “the person at the other end would provide the information you needed – so why not put that on the bill?” Brite:Bill says that its bills are “engaging and transparent”, and can be used as part of companies’ marketing functions. Customers receiving well-thought-out bills “are receptive to new offers”.

Brite:Bill did not say how much BT is paying to use its system. BT’s wholesale operation “is not included as of yet” and that and its enterprise business are “a matter for further discussion with BT”.

Dublin-based Brite:Bill has a number of Irish customers, including Eircom, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone Ireland, and Tele2 Netherlands also uses its system.

An operator “typically takes six to nine months” to implement the new system, “depending on what else is going on”, said Coleman, adding that BT should be using its platform “within 12 months”.

Amdocs gave no price for its acquisition of Brite:Bill a year ago, when it bought it and two other separate companies for a total of $260 million. However Ireland’s Sunday Business Post indicated at the time that the deal was worth “about €70 million”.