An important part of web hosting automation is having an effective billing program in place that will automatically send bills to your clients among other things. A typical functionality in the various types of billing software is the integration with the different payment terminals and gateways that are used to process online payments through debit and credit cards. Other features may permit the users to offer different kinds of support options to their customers, detect possibly fraudulent activities, produce and monitor invoices. Some of these billing programs are hosted solutions while some require you to download an interface program. Let us take look at some of the various features of the most popular billing programs.
ModernBill (Now Known as Parallels Plesk Billing)
This program was specifically created to be tightly interrelated with the Parallels Plesk Control Panel. For example, Plesk Billing will permit complete control of the provisioning sites via the control panel. This will allow you to easily create accounts using the control panel in Windows or Linux.
Parallels Plesk Billing program provides web-based billing for recurring and online services, automated payment processing, automated account provisioning and automatic sign ups. One of its features is a dynamic order cart that seamlessly integrates with the rest of the website so that the client need not be aware that another application is running. The actual appearance of this order cart can also be adjusted depending on the product that it contains.
Because this program is able to administer the billing services regularly and with no limit, your administrators will no longer have to manually create the invoices for their clients. Moreover, the program’s API can allow you to interconnect the different aspects of your business and therefore manage the complete customer life cycle. Finally, Plesk Billing permits developers to create additional modules that integrate with third party applications.
NEWEDGE ClientExec is another billing program for web hosting. It is designed to help companies manage their businesses through modules, plug-ins and services. Its billing module monitors all information whether you are invoicing, making an estimate, or producing a recurring bill. It also provides you with a customer database that offers you with a comprehensive view of each of your clients. This will also allow you to gather specific customer information to be used for establishing and maintaining good customer relationships.
ClientExec also offers ways to customize your offerings and automate the things that you have to do everyday to manage your company. It also provides a comprehensive help desk that permits your staff to assist your clients rapidly and easily. Its email management ensures that the email messages containing the problems that need to be resolved do not get lost.
ClientExec also allows you to organize the different files, such as spreadsheets, documents, presentations and others, that need to be accessed by customers, and certain staff or user groups. It also provides two distinct interfaces for clients and for staff. Finally, the system permits staff and clients to gain access wherever they are. You can create invoices for your clients even while you are on the road.
WHMCS is a billing solution that also has features for client support management. It is also able to let you handle everything from account sign up to termination, including automated provisioning, billing and management.
With regards to billing, WHMCS permits manual invoicing, automated invoicing, the creation and sending of estimates to potential customers, automated payment processing, PDF invoices, tax support, manual payment entry, print invoices, email invoices, verification of the SecureCode for MasterCard and Visa, and the provision of discounts. The automation features include automated production of services, automated termination, automated termination, password resets, automated upgrades, automatic application of late fees, and overdue notices.
For domains, WHMCS permits the automation of domain registration or transfers after receipt of payment, the ordering of domain renewals by customers, access to various domain registrars, and the ability to determine whether an invoice is created for a particular domain when the expiration date is near. The system also permits nameserver changes and the viewing and changing of contact information by both staff and customers. WHMCS also enables the creation of private nameservers, which are particularly helpful for resellers.
For its support tools, WHMCS has a ticket system for the efficient handling of email requests by customers, automatic answer suggestions, email piping, spam filters, and a centralized reporting system for network problems. WHMCS also offers security features such as passwords for administrators and clients, automatic IP ban, password encryption and others.
As can be seen from the various features of these popular billing programs for web hosting services, the automated billing feature is integrated with various other services. The variety of features allow for a lot of customization in order to be integrated into different payment and bookkeeping systems. It is therefore up to the potential users to determine which of them have the features that are the most useful for them.