February 26, 2008

2 Min Read
COMPTEL: New Horizon Takes Out Financial Assurance Policy with Vertek

By Tim McElligott

As it goes after Verizons business market in the northeast, Lexington, Mass.-based CLEC New Horizon Communications will squeeze every penny it can out of its billing operation by using Verteks Financial Assurance solution.

NHC has a national platform and supports approximately 66,000 line equivalents in 22 states. It has seen 15 consecutive quarters of profitable performance and is looking for its sixteenth and more by reducing its operating, billing and invoicing costs. It will use VFA to validate and reconcile billing discrepancies, automate its business rules and streamline its data management.

The reality is, the nuances of the margins is where a CLEC makes money these days, said Glen Nelson, vice president of business development at NHC. You have to understand not only your costs, but ensure your billing is being done properly.

Nelson wasnt sure about the latter. We were questioning whether we were getting paid for everything we billed for. And we found Vertek could answer that, he said.

Nelson said Vertek was able to analyze his companys costs at the margin level, which covered the various UNE rates for multiple LATAs. They are able to understand our margins and break it down by the underlying carrier, then break it down further by their individual products.

Tom Nolting, senior director of financial assurance at Vertek, said the system pays for itself because, It is provably worth 2 percentage points on your gross margin and thats a lot of money.

NHC also will use VFA to create a unique service model that allows it to bundle multicarrier solutions onto its billing platform.
VFA enables customers to monitor the progress of monthly vendor costs, service order expenses, and customer revenue performance through an online Web portal that offers a comprehensive list of configurable reports, including a vendor scorecard, billing account reporting, invoice summary, revenue assurance discrepancy, and scorecard reporting and customer margin performance.

Nelson said that because half the carriers NHC does business with do not provide electronic invoices, they have to be managed manually. There is a certain point where that doesnt scale. You cant go through hundreds of pages of invoices per month and try to divine what you got billed for, he said. But if you ignore it, you will be ignoring that two points of margin and you cant afford to do that.

Al Brisard, vice president of marketing and sales development at Vertek, said New Horizon moved forward with this deployment because its experienced team has come up through the ranks of telecom and understands the revenue at stake. Not every CLEC is like that, Brisard said. Companies like NHC have to react quickly to changes in the market. They arent a large carrier that can let things go on for six or more months.

New Horizon Communications www.nhcgrp.com
Vertek www.vertek.com

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