We spoke with Ed Fineran, CEO of Atlantech Online, about the impact of his decision to integrate Microsoft Power BI’s analytics platform with Rev.io’s billing system for executive-level usage.
Alantech OnlineAtlantech Online, Inc. is a public utility in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia that provides telephone, Internet and data center services to business and government organizations. Atlantech Online has a core fiber network that connects its data centers and hundreds of major office buildings throughout the region. Our services include high speed Internet connectivity, MPLS, SD-WAN and other data networking solutions, telephone service (SIP Trunking, Hosted PBX, UCaaS, PRI, Analog, call center and mobility), and hosting in our wholly owned and operated data centers (Silver Spring and Rockville, MD), specializing in server colocation.
A Better Way to Visualize Data
Before discovering magic in a digital dashboard integration between Rev.io billing software and Microsoft Power BI technology, CEO Ed Fineran said Atlantech Online went through a three-stage evolution with its data management operations.
The Washington, DC-area business telecommunications company – primarily serving clients in need of fiber, phone services, and data center services – first ran for years without any form of data authority. But Fineran said that all changed when Rev.io appeared on the company’s radar. “I would request over and over a simple report on how much of each product we sell and could not get that (information) out of our previous billing system. That’s why we finally left and went to Rev.io.”
Fineran noted that he was pleased with Rev.io’s dashboard for bill processing and called the software’s reporting tools “tremendous.” But a new opportunity to tailor visualization of Rev.io’s billing data for executive-level monitoring presented itself when Fineran came across Microsoft Power BI, a respected business analytics solution. “Adding in Power BI has taken (Atlantech’s data visualization) to another level,” Fineran said.
The Integration Process
Rev.io’s billing platform headlined an initial list of systems that Atlantech Online was ready to populate a Microsoft Power BI dashboard for. “We probably have about a dozen systems (Atlantech) will use Microsoft Power BI with. Rev.io was number one on that list.”
Before integrating Microsoft Power BI with Rev.io, Fineran said Atlantech Online interviewed a handful of consultants to assist with the development process. From this search, Atlantech identified a consultant with experience as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who understood the importance of data visualization for modern businesses. “I think his knowledge of accounting, along with Power BI’s (platform), really made this a successful project for us. His ability to focus on the core drivers and think about how they impact our finances was also valuable.”
Through his work building this dashboard with the consultant, Fineran said he realized that development is a constantly evolving process. “The consultant’s high commitment to making sure the solution fits my needs was crucial. After the implementation, he stayed with me to tweak and add other metrics that I thought were critical and useful to the dashboard.”
Fineran’s internal team handled none of the heavy lifting required to complete this integrated dashboard build thanks to the combination of this consultant’s expertise, Microsoft Power BI’s technology, and Rev.io’s billing software. For Fineran and Atlantech Online, the process of pairing Microsoft Power BI’s data visualization capability with Rev.io’s industry-leading billing functionality ran smoothly as a result.
Digital Dashboard Insights
Fineran said he identified many important customer payment metrics eligible for dashboard visualization. Key data elements, updated throughout the day within Rev.io’s instance, sync directly to Fineran’s assembled Microsoft Power BI dashboard and cover everything from payments to cash flow, A/R, product & data usage, and more.
Specific examples of Rev.io billing data points that Fineran regularly views through his interactive dashboard include:
- Projected billing
- Trailing 12 months billing
- A/R aging
- Disconnected services
Using this executive dashboard – accessible from both a desktop and mobile app – multiple times per day, Fineran added that visualizing Rev.io’s data and customer intelligence through Microsoft Power BI now helps his company better monitor another critical metric – churn. “I never knew before what our churn was and could only guess. Now I know what our churn looks like.” This visual analysis even revealed a positive key finding – Atlantech’s churn went down significantly in its first six months as a Rev.io client, listed as 0.5% by dollars and 0.6% by logos respectively. Fineran recognized accounts receivable as another area where Microsoft Power BI, working with Rev.io billing software, enhances executive-level visualization. “Knowing where we are payment wise on a day-to-day basis (with Microsoft Power BI) is huge.”
Fineran even uses Microsoft Power BI’s dashboard to organize different silos of revenue and gain valuable insights from this visual representation of Rev.io’s billing data. Fineran said that the ability to select large billing customers from different silo categories – including connectivity, voice, and data services – and sort different silos of services that clients are currently using or not signed up for provides his sales team with valuable information to follow up on.
Finally, Fineran said the dashboard promotes greater transparency and accountability among his team. Open tasks, open orders, and outstanding payment days are visible to everyone. As a result, Atlantech Online’s new metrics-driven culture is improving productivity across the board.
Advice for Executives
Atlantech Online’s work with this integration between Microsoft Power BI’s dashboard analytics and Rev.io’s billing software, while promising based on early results, is far from over. Fineran said there is an evolving nature to this collaboration and that the company will continue to find new ways to leverage these systems for both data and billing management visualization. Fineran added that Microsoft Power BI’s dashboard technology, together with Rev.io billing software, creates an edge to further distinguish your business from competition in the advanced communications space.
In closing, Fineran suggested involving upper management in the development and ultimately the management of this integrated executive-level resource. “The people who are making the buy decision (using Rev.io’s billing software) want to be involved with the implementation of Microsoft Power BI. They are going to get the real value of Rev.io out of it using these visualization tools.”