System and method for smart customer centric billing optimization of SaaS-cloud enabled applications
Publication Date: 2014-Sep-16
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A system and method for smart customer centric billing optimization of SaaS-cloud enabled applications is disclosed.
Page 01 of 2
-cloud enabled applications
cloud enabled applications
Disclosed is a system and method for smart customer centric billing optimization of SaaS-cloud enabled applications.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is becoming more and more of a hot item for enterprises and consumers. Cloud based computing makes this much easier. Disclosed are several methods for billing that are beneficial to the consumer and the provider. First is Time Based Billing, which charges a user based on the total amount of time spent using the SaaS service.
Next is Sliding Time Window Based Billing, which allocates X hours per day for the consumer. Finally there is Threshold Based Billing, wherein a user is allotted a predetermined amount of "license" and credited back for under usage.
Known methods for provisioning of software include:
Out right purchase of the software & license to use on a single computer.
Purchase a multi-computer license.
"Lease" software on a month to month or annual basis as part of a subscription.
Consider the following scenario. An owner of a business, along with most companies (large, medium or small), wants to reduce costs. The owner wants an alternative payment model which doesn't fit in the above three SaaS pricing models, solely for the purpose of saving expenses for his company. The reasons for not using any of the three pricing models are:
1) With pay as you go, it is too costly over a period of time because of high per unit billing rate
2) With unlimited usage, it also seems costly when for some periods, the application is not being used. The owner doesn't
System and method for smart customer centric billing optimization of SaaS -
want to pay for those time periods
3) With pay per user, the owner does not want to pay for an account of each of his users, since there would be too much overhead
The drawbacks to all of these solutions are that a license to use the software is needed, regardless of platform, but it is not used frequently enough to justify the cost in the current billing models.
The above mentioned drawback may be avoided by providing an option for signing up for an unlimited usage plan and then receiving credit for usage which is below a certain threshold. For example, every day between some hours when the application is not used then partial credit is refunded to the company.
The primary advantage from the cloud provider's perspective is the ability to bill a customer for either the direct or indirect resources consumed measured as a function of time, output or features, instead of a monthly flat rate. This allows for more cost efficient billing for both the provider and the consumer. The customer is also presented with further advantages through these billing methods, as they may purchase a license greater than their needs (e.g. an unlimited usage plan) and then get credit in dollar terms if they have not used the application as per the license. In a traditional billing plan, even if the plan's services are not...