Westcoast distributes some of the best-known global IT brands to VARs (Value Added Resellers) in the UK, Republic of Ireland and mainland Europe. It is one of the leading distributors of major names such as HP, HPE, Microsoft, Lenovo, and Apple.

Renowned for their innovative energy, Westcoast diversified into cloud enablement, as well as IT fulfilment, configuration, enhanced logistics, merchandising and marketing of a huge range of products.

This multibillion-pound IT distributor is consistently ranked in The Sunday Times 100 Largest Privately-owned UK Companies, and is the largest privately held business in the Thames Valley region.

PRD Technologies’ pioneering ‘Intelligent Billing’ software, with its unique technological capabilities, collects, processes, analyses and reports on data for Westcoast Cloud to bill to their 700 VARs to the tune of circa £80 million pounds per annum.

VAR billing system

An ‘Intelligent Billing’ solution for Westcoast Cloud’s VARs

Distributors of cloud-based products, such as Microsoft Azure or other Platforms as a Service (PaaS), will appreciate just what a challenge it can be to juggle such an assorted and complex volume of data. Without sophisticated billing software, it can take up several days of man hours and requires significant investment in IT.

As Westcoast grew and expanded in the cloud services space, they asked us to develop a CSP (cloud solution provider) billing platform for their VARs. They wanted us to find an automated way for their VARs to analyse and process large volumes of data to onward-bill their end clients for cloud consumption services.

Their main drivers – and their brief to us – was for a system design that would save time, reduce manual data processing, and result in more accurate analysis of data consumption for clear, fast and easy billing.

PRD Technologies has developed functionality at Westcoast Cloud’s request to enable their VARs to easily and accurately process and bill cloud services, licences and cloud usage by designing them a billing platform with the following capabilities, on time and within budget:

  • Automated daily collection and processing of data
  • Customer and subscription information can be imported directly from Marketplace
  • End user rates can be applied directly from Marketplace, or entered manually
  • Integrations with a variety of other systems including direct integration into the VARs accounting and banking systems
  • Flexibility to add additional processing streams
  • Scope to add other provider (distributor) data streams
  • Modern and user-friendly portal with management dashboard
  • End customer portal – customers can see and download their monthly invoices and reports
  • Multiple currencies and multi-lingual
  • Instant reporting including customer and product performance, and gross margin and reconciliation reports
  • Converged CSP and telecoms billing capabilities

Key benefits of the Intelligent Billing converged platform

Equipped with a new, improved and fully converged billing system, Westcoast Cloud and their VARs can now enjoy the following benefits:

  • VARs can bill end-customers using simplified automated data processing
  • Reduction of time spent on manual data analysis and processing by up to 95%
  • Man hours spent on data processing have decreased from numerous days to minutes, saving money on human resource
  • Automated import of data reduces the probability of incorrect data entry and need for extra reference data maintenance
  • Fewer billing mistakes mean more satisfied VARs and a better experience for end-users
  • Reporting allows sharper insight to help serve long-term business strategy

Handling millions of pounds of billing data with confidence and ease

Westcoast Cloud are now working in conjunction with PRD Technologies to roll this offering out to their VARs.

Mark Davies, MD of Westcoast Cloud commented, “The Intelligent Billing system has enabled us to substantially grow our business over the last four years, from £18 million to £80 million per annum in billing.”

Mark went on to say, “We are so confident in the system and its capabilities we are now planning to introduce it to our network on a resale basis. I can’t recommend Intelligent Billing highly enough.”

This project has been another testament to PRD Technologies’ ability to develop bespoke billing solutions that are both fit for purpose and delivered on time, in full, within budget.

Simon Adams, MD of PRD Technologies stated, “It’s been fantastic to witness the positive impact we’ve been able to make on Westcoast Cloud’s business. Adding game-changing value to billing processes is what we commit to and thrive on.

An increasing number of our telecoms customers are diversifying into Microsoft Azure and cloud consumption services. Our converged platform enables resellers to deliver one bill from a single platform.

Our competitors don’t offer this functionality and we’re proud of our unique ability to design a dedicated, accurate billing system for subscription and consumption services. We want to take the unnecessary layers of admin and margin for error away from distributors and resellers.”

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