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Billy Balfour
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Virgin Media and Bottomline Technologies

When you have a business with nearly 10 million customers, most of whom are billed monthly, the way that you go about it is crucial.

Virgin Media’s Billing and Collection Services department has to deal with customers paying monthly by cheque, credit card, debit card or direct debit and, as a provider of payTV, broadband, mobile and fixed line telephony, the scale of the task is enormous. They currently process millions of direct debits each month and the transaction volumes continue to grow.

In a constantly evolving landscape, the relationship with Bottomline is seen as crucial. Buying an off-the-shelf solution which could just be implemented in a fit-and-forget fashion was never going to be an option. Virgin Media needed a partner who could not only supply the technology and expertise but who would remain engaged throughout, sharing their commitment to constant process and efficiency improvement together with rationalisation and cost reduction.

Bottomline’s track record made them a clear choice to help Virgin Media integrate and evolve the multiple billing systems in place before Virgin Media launched in 2007. Bottomline’s solution offered a breadth and depth of functionality including high security, full disaster recovery capabilities and the ability to reformat input files and transmit to Bacs with ease.

Several years down the line and the relationship between Virgin Media and Bottomline continues to grow as, between them, they successfully expand the scope and scale of WebSeries to match Virgin Media’s growth and business objectives.

Dealing with a Changing Business Environment

After a year of using Bottomline’s WebSeries to streamline and manage their payment processes, Virgin Media decided to merge ntl and Telewest into one fully integrated business operation.

Implementing this change into their payment processing required the further consolidation of their two existing WebSeries systems into one unified solution, capable of dealing with a far greater volume of transactions than ever before. Due to Bottomline’s exemplary standard of customer care, they had already established a solid and dependable working partnership.

This, in combination with their proven ability to cope with the critical deadlines that were once again in place, meant they were first choice when it came to the creation, implementation and maintenance of this high capacity system. Bottomline’s professional execution in this matter helped enable them to be the prime candidate for the forthcoming consolidation of Virgin Mobile’s Bacstel platform with the main system.

Professional Systems in Action

Since implementation, Virgin Media has gained significant improvements in a number of key areas.

As one intelligent system now sits in place of several disparate networks, efficiency has increased dramatically. This is also helped by the fully automated nature of the solution which, in addition to such streamlining, has led to a substantial reduction in errors, along with associated costs and delays.

The intricate architecture of Bottomline’s payment solutions mean they are not only able to deal with extensive transactional volumes, but are also fully scalable to account for growth and change.

In using a single integrated system, Virgin Media has experienced a sharp drop in support and maintenance requirements and the disaster recovery capability, integrated within the solution, protect a critically important financial application for the organisation.

A Solid, Reliable Working Partnership

From their initial interactions with Bottomline, a partnership has developed that is professional, honest and proactively engaged in the growth of both enterprises.

Through the Bottomline Customer Forum, users are able to exchange ideas and network with a wide array of other Bottomline customers from the convenience of their own desk.

Virgin Media, like many others, has enjoyed Bottomline’s Key Customer Care, a service that focuses on clients and provides them with dedicated, proactive support.

“Our experience with Bottomline, their solutions and their support, over the past years has helped us with streamlining and consolidating our operations. We are confident that our future relationship will continue to grow to our mutual benefit” said Phil Mullins, Virgin Media’s Head of Strategy & Development for Billing & Collection Services, Shared Services.