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November 23, 2009
Verizon Enterprise Solutions today announced improvements to the billing function of its Verizon Enterprise Center that will make it easier for companies of all sizes to analyze or pay their bills and track their expenses.
The Verizon Enterprise Center (VEC) is the customer portal, initially developed for large multinational customers, to manage all aspects of their Verizon Business and Verizon Wireless accounts. (See VZB Offers Portal).
The VEC has now extended its reach to small businesses with as few as 20 customers, added new billing features, simplified online payments, and streamlined the resolution of billing problems, according to the carrier.
"We have been moving down market, and we are getting accolades from customers, and a relatively high percentage of growth and adoption," says Mark Chodoronek, Verizon executive director for e-commerce and digital customer enablement. "You have to keep moving with what the customers need."
The focus this year, says Chodoronek, has been on providing more granular elements of billing, including: more currencies for the multinational customers; a billing inquiry process that goes down to the line item on a bill; and a simplified payment process with a drop-down menu.
Verizon also is enabling VEC customers to archive bills more simply, in part to encourage them to go paperless.
"We have customers today whose bills come in boxes and boxes," Chodoronek says. "We’re talking pallets of paper. We have been very aggressive in communications with customers to encourage them to go paperless. We plant a tree on behalf of that customer, and we have seen double-digit acceptance of converting customers from a paper bill."
To date, Verizon has planted 40,000 trees in conjunction with the American Forests organization.
Key to the process of converting customers to paperless strategies has been showing them the safety of the bill archive, and explaining how users can set up regular reports that sort and process billing data in ways that are helpful to a chief financial officer, according to Chodoronek.
The VEC now enables bills to be sorted by region, country, department, or accounting code, and can generate reports, at no additional charge, that can be downloaded into financial presentations.
Many enterprises will run their billing in parallel –- paper, online, and even on CDs, which Verizon provides -– for a few months to see how it works before converting to a paperless system, he says.
At some point, there may even be a fee for delivering a paper bill, Chodoronek notes, but that probably won’t happen until changes are made to state or regulatory rules.
— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading
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