What is Recurring Billing?


Recurring billing is a payment method that allows businesses to charge customers for products and services during a predefined time. Recurring billing may happen on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, depending on the terms of the contract. This means that both the buyer and seller only need to configure the payment structure and attach an active billing method at the point of sale to generate recurring payments.

Learn more about subscription and billing management




Contents

  1. Why do SaaS and IaaS products benefit from recurring billing?
  2. Are subscription billing and recurring billing the same?
  3. What types of recurring billing exist?
  4. Why is subscription billing important?
  5. Do you need to automate recurring billing?
  6. How can recurring billing help you?


Why do SaaS and IaaS products benefit from recurring billing?


There are a range of products that benefit from recurring billing and payment frameworks. Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are two of these.

Both SMB and enterprise companies rely on software and digital infrastructure services to make sure business operations run smoothly. SaaS billing and IaaS billing lets customers use recurring payments to purchase business IT services. If flexible subscription billing is in place, customers can scale their usage rates up or down or add products relative to business demand.

Vendors and service providers benefit from the recurring revenue and predictable income streams that SaaS billing and IaaS billing can offer.


Are subscription billing and recurring billing the same?


While recurring billing is mostly associated with subscription services, it can also be used to spread the cost of payments for direct purchases. Subscription billing is a type of recurring billing that is based on the service bundle and contract type being sold to customers.

Subscription billing refers to recurring payments that are made to a company for the duration of a service contract. The amount billed may vary at each interval to account for things like usage rates. Recurring billing refers more closely to the payment mechanism, meaning that billing occurs on a recurring basis rather than a one-off payment. This means that the two terms are often used interchangeably but do have a slight difference.

In short, subscription billing is recurring and based on the specifics of the customer contract. Recurring billing is a billing cycle that may or may not be attached to a subscription contract.


What types of recurring billing exist?


There are variations in the types of subscription billing and recurring billing formats that commonly exist.

  • Fixed Billing: When a billing cycle uses fixed rates, services are charged on a recurring basis but the price point at each payment interval remains the same for the duration of the agreement.

    Fixed billing means that vendors and service providers can project future income and revenue recognition with more certainty. Customers in turn have access to a static set of services for a predetermined amount.

  • Variable Billing: When billing cycles are variable the frequency of payments remains the same, but the price charged on each invoice will vary as customers add or remove IT services.

    If meters or usage calculators are also in place, billing and payments will adjust to the exact rates a customer uses during each billing cycle. For example, rates may adjust to reflect the number of software seats used in each month or the amount of server space being used.


Why is subscription billing important?


Recurring billing cycles make sure that payments for goods and services within a SaaS or IaaS contract are received throughout the duration of the service agreement. It reduces the risk of missed payments and the amount of manual work for vendors and buyers.

Customers like recurring billing as it means that they can pay for IT services at regular intervals. This helps them avoid heavy, upfront payments by spreading the cost across a period. Usage-based subscription billing also helps customers keep IT budgets in check as they only pay for the services they need or use.

An improved customer experience means vendors and suppliers can build and maintain income from recurring revenue.

This means it’s important to keep in step with customer preferences and offer flexible, subscription billing for IT services.







Do you need to automate recurring billing?


With automated subscription billing you don’t need to manually charge customers at the end of each billing cycle. Once an account has been set up and customers’ payment details are stored on file, automated recurring payments take care of the rest.

This means that any changes to the service subscription are automatically applied at each billing interval. Automation technology can also cover complex billing and payment calculations like multiple currency invoices or combined vendor service bundles.

In short, automation helps to reduce the risk of billing errors and keeps operations manageable as the number of subscription contacts increases. While it’s possible to manage recurring billing manually, the benefits of automation make it a sensible course of action for subscription businesses.

How can recurring billing help you?


The ability to offer subscriptions with recurring billing is important to businesses across the service economy:

  • Service providers can add more products to their customers’ subscriptions without creating a billing cycle that’s hard to manage.
  • Providers and vendors can scale their subscription businesses using automated billing as a tool to grow sustainably and increase income from recurring revenue.
  • Vendors can license more products to third-party resellers or providers with confidence that payment will be received on time for the correct amount to improve revenue recognition.
  • Customers know that their IT enterprise needs are covered by a recurring payment that adjusts based on their subscription and is always accurate. This helps to grow recurring revenue and catalyze digital adoption across the subscription economy.







Ready to learn more about managing subscriptions?


Ready to learn more about recurring billing? Here are some resources that explore the subject further, including the CloudBlue subscription and billing platform.


Subscription Billing and Management Solutions

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End to End Distribution

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Mike Jennett, Director of CloudBlue Platform Strategy, is an accomplished business and technology executive. With a deep focus on product development and go-to-market strategy, he plays a pivotal role driving strategic growth and market expansion. Mike’s career is characterized by his adeptness in driving technological advancements and his commitment to leading digital transformations with experience including IDC where he was VP of the Mobility and Digital Transformation IEP practices, and HP where he held numerous leadership roles. Mike’s expertise is also reflected in his published works and contributions to multiple tech publications. Mike holds a B.A. from California Polytechnic University.
Having previously to strategic product management, agile transformations, and user experience in CloudBlue, Taylor Giddens heads the Services & Solutions team where he ensures smooth delivery, operations and solution growth for our partners and customers.

The team includes technical account management, managed services, support, custom solution development, and customer enablement.

Prior to CloudBlue, his resume boasts leadership of some of the world’s largest companies during their digital transformations and marketplace launches. Taylor is a practitioner of servitude leadership when it comes to enabling his team to drive positive outcomes on the road to operational excellence.
Laurens van Alphen, a visionary entrepreneur with over 29 years of internet technology expertise, serves as Director of Technical Managed Services at CloudBlue, responsible for Operations and Delivery of CloudBlue SaaS.

As a Dutch racing champion and car enthusiast, he brings the same drive to the tech realm, steering Keenondots from a managed hosting firm to a global cloud enablement leader. Laurens is celebrated for his outcome-driven leadership, deep industry insight, and passion for balancing business innovation with client engagement.
Lincoln Lincoln is CloudBlue’s Head of Global Sales; having been with the company since November 2017. Leading CloudBlue’s global go-to-market organization, he’s responsible for driving accelerated and sustained mutual growth with CloudBlue’s customers and partners, as well as forming new customer partnerships across the Vendor and Provider ecosystem. As part of CloudBlue’s leadership team he is responsible the organisation’s revenue and continued market leadership by delivering and supporting products, services and solutions to organizations in established and new markets around the world.

Before joining CloudBlue, Lincoln was AppDirect’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific & Japan, responsible for forming, building and leading AppDirect’s business and operations across the APJ geography. He built and led AppDirect’s fastest growing and highest performing region globally within 3yrs.

Before joining AppDirect, Lincoln was EMC’s Practice Manager, Cloud Service Providers, APJ, working with the leading Service Providers to maximise their Cloud Business presence & market success. Lincoln joined EMC in 2007, and has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, having been based out of Singapore, Australia and the UK. Prior to EMC, he was in range of sales and channel positions at Symantec and VERITAS.

Lincoln has an Honours degree in Business Administration from Kingston University in the United Kingdom.
Brent Clooney is the Executive Director and Associate General Counsel for Ingram Micro Inc., and lead counsel for CloudBlue.

Brent is a Canadian based corporate lawyer with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic legal advisor both in private practice and as in-house counsel to large multi-national companies. Prior to joining Ingram Micro in 2008, he worked at a well-respected corporate law firm in Toronto, Canada and later served as general counsel for Toshiba Canada. During his 15-year tenure at Ingram Micro, he has held positions of increasing complexity and responsibility, and since being promoted to his current role in 2022, Brent is the legal lead for both Ingram Micro’s Canadian and global cloud businesses, as well as CloudBlue.

Brent holds a law degree (LL.B.) from Queen’s University, a Psychology degree (B.A. Honours) from Lakehead University, and has been admitted to the bar in Ontario, Canada since 2002.
Anurag serves as the Head of Product Management for CloudBlue and is responsible for product direction and driving innovation. His leadership has been marked by a keen focus on customer needs, growing the ISV ecosystem, and ensuring the continual evolution of CloudBlue’s product portfolio.

Anurag joined Ingram Micro in 2017 and has been instrumental in, positioning CloudBlue as an industry leading monetization platform for MSP’s, Telco’s and Distributors. Previously Anurag worked at Oracle and Microsoft where he managed many technology projects and programs.
As VP of Engineering of CloudBlue, Rony oversees the development and engineering efforts of the company. He is a recognized leader with more than 25 years of experience in Technology and Product.

Prior to joining CloudBlue Rony lead the R&D efforts at Tripwire acquired by Thoma Bravo, and Cedexis acquired by Citrix. Rony is a leader with extensive experience in transforming both complex technology problems into products that customers love and disjointed organizations into agile high performing teams.
Coen is a distinguished leader and entrepreneur in the realm of cloud technology. Currently serving as CEO of Keenondots and the Global Director of CloudBlue SaaS. He is passionate about driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and leading high-performing teams to achieve transformative results.

With a background as Managing Director of INTO Cloud and a pivotal role as Director of Products of KPN, he brings a wealth of experience in steering organizations through the complexities of the digital landscape.

Beyond the boardroom, Coen is a marathon enthusiast, demonstrating endurance and discipline in pursuit of both professional and personal goals.
Alyson has over twenty years of experience in demand generation, marketing automation and data management. She is responsible for leading the strategy and direction of the company’s brand, performance, and digital marketing.

Prior to CloudBlue, Alyson served as Ingram Micro’s Director of Global Business Intelligence Marketing Automation driving channel partner campaigns. Her tenure in marketing leadership at prestigious companies such as Western Digital, Ocean Institute celebrates redefining marketing campaigns and building top performing teams based on trust, experimentation, and results.

Alyson resides with her husband and three children in Orange County and is an active volunteer and donor within her children’s sports and education programs.

Darek Tasak is leading Customer Success & Value Creation for CloudBlue. In his role, he looks after CloudBlue customers globally during the entire lifecycle of our relationship: from the initial on-boarding, through in-life account management, always ensuring they build successful businesses leveraging our technology. Additionally, he is also in charge of Partnership & Alliances, as well as Pricing Management for everything we commercialize.


Before CloudBlue, Darek managed Ingram Micro’s Services division for hi-tech customers in Europe & APAC. His prior experiences include also launching and leading pan-European services business for TDSynnex, as well as strategy consulting with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

As President of CloudBlue, Uddhav Gupta is a distinguished leader and visionary with nearly two decades of platform-building experience. He is an industry leader in digital commerce, the subscription economy, and monetization platforms.

Notably, at SAP, he spearheaded the transformation of their platform business into a multi-cloud platform-as-a-service, offering enterprise and developer-friendly subscription models. At Pure Storage, he championed the efforts to successfully disrupt the storage industry by creating revolutionary Storage-as-a-service, AIOps-as-a-service, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-service offerings with cutting-edge features and establishing a sophisticated subscription commerce infrastructure that is channel-friendly.

At CloudBlue, Gupta guides and empowers businesses to rethink their monetization strategies by unlocking the power of digital ecosystems and marketplaces. CloudBlue provides enterprises with a mature multi-tier, multi-channel marketplace and monetization platform that enables usage-based subscription models and global delivery of Anything-as-a-Service solutions. Gupta has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the subscription economy through his innovative thinking and impactful contributions.

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