In this customer story, we sat down with Mary Pat Colandro, Engineering Manager at AssemblyAI, to explore the journey of her team as they transitioned to using Octane, our usage-based billing solution. Mary Pat's insights shed light on the pricing and billing challenges AssemblyAI faced, the solutions they implemented, and the remarkable outcomes they achieved.
Before implementing Octane, AssemblyAI faced a series of challenges that hindered their pricing and billing processes. Their previous setup relied on relatively static pricing models for their products, making it challenging to adapt to market changes and varying customer demands. Inefficiencies in their billing system were particularly pronounced for contract customers, where manual calculations and invoice generation were cumbersome.
On the self-serve side, AssemblyAI struggled to provide flexible pricing options that reflected the true value of individual features. Many features were bundled together, resulting in customers paying for services they didn't need or avoiding others due to perceived high costs.
Billing operations were equally impacted, as usage data retrieval and invoice calculations took an excessive amount of time, delaying month-end closing and invoicing. Data accuracy and visibility were also compromised, as their previous system lacked transparency and was difficult to debug.
The introduction of Octane marked a significant turning point for AssemblyAI. With Octane, they were able to address these challenges head-on and revolutionize their pricing, billing, and data management processes.
Pricing and Billing:
Octane enabled AssemblyAI to introduce more granular usage-based pricing for their products, allowing them to adjust pricing based on specific features and usage. This granular approach allowed them to accurately reflect the value of each service, leading to more equitable pricing for their customers.
For self-serve customers, AssemblyAI split out pricing for each feature, offering the flexibility to choose and pay only for the services they needed. This change eliminated unnecessary costs and encouraged customers to explore and utilize a broader range of features.
Data Accuracy and Visibility:
Octane also significantly improved data accuracy and visibility. Data is now streamed in real-time to Octane, ensuring that the most up-to-date information is available for billing and reporting. This transparency allows both the support and finance teams to better understand and resolve issues promptly. A customer-facing dashboard (similar to the one illustrated below), powered by Octane data, provides customers with insights into their usage patterns, pricing, and cost breakdowns, enhancing trust and satisfaction.
Automation and Efficiency:
On the contract side, Octane automated much of the previously manual work. The system now tracks each customer's minimum spend commitments, eliminating the need for manual calculations and invoice generation. This automation streamlined finance operations, reducing the time required for month-end closing from several days to just one day.
The implementation of Octane at AssemblyAI had profound effects on their operations and customer experiences:
- Enhanced Pricing Flexibility: With Octane, AssemblyAI could break out into more granular pricing that was competitive and favorable to customers.
- Increased Customer Adoption: The introduction of flexible pricing options led to increased feature utilization, resulting in higher customer adoption rates and revenue growth.
- Efficient Finance Operations: Finance operations were streamlined, reducing month-end closing times from one week to just one day. Data accuracy and visibility were significantly improved, reducing the risk of billing errors.
- Customer Transparency: The customer-facing dashboard empowered clients with insights into their usage patterns and billing, fostering trust and transparency in their relationships with AssemblyAI.
In summary, AssemblyAI's adoption of Octane demonstrates the remarkable transformation that can occur when cutting-edge AI technology meets the complex challenges of dynamic pricing, billing, and data management. The story of AssemblyAI serves as an inspiring example of how innovation can drive efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and unlock new revenue streams in the dynamic world of AI-powered services.