What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is probably the flexibility that allows you to configure different pricing models and define different discounting structures; anything that you can think of today. For example, if you walk into a cellphone store and you want to buy a plan, they throw at you all different plans, different tiers, different data packages for unlimited this and cap data that; the platform is able to support that. It contains all the volume-based, tier-based, and all the other discounts. It supported an old family plan that we use to have a long time ago. It supports all those kinds of neat features.
Right now, with most providers moving into unlimited voice and unlimited SMS, everybody is looking at data, looking at how to make money based on data, right now. That's where I think the strength of the suite is, in that area, providing pricing flexibility.
What needs improvement?
As I’ve mentioned, it's been around quite a long time. It doesn't have all the cool integration mechanisms that today’s native mobile apps or native Rails apps would have. That's exactly where it should be better.
The GUI right now, the standard GUI application, is very outdated. I think Oracle is moving in the right direction to update those interfaces, but we still want to see a lot more movement toward having a modern UI, mobile friendly, web friendly and so on.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using it for too long. :) I've been doing consulting on this platform for the last 18-20 years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's fairly stable. It’s been around a long time. Sometimes I think it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of new applications but that's where we come in to help. We can take a very powerful billing and rating engine, and then wrap it around a very modern API; the REST space. Then, you can expose it to the web and to mobile. It can become like a billing engine of choice for mobile apps, the software as a service, cloud-based services.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is scalable. For an on-premise solution, we have deployments for companies such as Vodafone Australia and Vodafone Asia PAC, for millions of users. In the US or North American market, we support subscription billing for Sirius XM satellite radio, with something like 20 million users. So, it is very, very scalable.
How is customer service and technical support?
I would say technical support is decent. It could be better but some of it is just going through the same thing; for example, they ask you to provide a log file, or they ask you to reproduce the issue. Sometimes it takes a little bit of a long time to get to anything. It’s an area that I think they could definitely improve.
What other advice do I have?
It's a very capable billing and rating platform that you can use for subscription billing and transaction billing.
If someone asked me for my opinion on this product, I would say, yes, you still can put your business on this platform. It's a very powerful, capable, proven platform. However, if you are looking to minimize your upfront investment, then look into a cloud solution. We are one of the Oracle partners who provide a cloud solution for this product. Basically, there is no capex; you don't have to invest anything; you don't have buy a license; you don't have to buy hardware; you don't have to hire someone to implement it for you. Just get a cloud solution; get a cloud and we’ll get you up and running with the platform.
In the area of subscription billing, especially usage transactions, when you have to bill customers based on how much they used the service, it's probably still one of the best platforms out in the market. It can handily beat the other cloud-based billing platforms such as Zuora, Vindicia or Aria Systems. With a cloud-based solution, I would say it would be very, very competitive in the market.