Home > Business Idea, Future Business Ideas, Long-Tail, Mobile SaaS, Nanopayments, P2P, SaaS & PaaS Revolution, Social Commerce > OpenRate – Charge like Vodafone, American Airlines, Amazon AWS or Salesforce for free…

OpenRate – Charge like Vodafone, American Airlines, Amazon AWS or Salesforce for free…

Ever wondered how it is that two people make a similar call, fly next to one another on a plane, rent the same type of virtual server or use the same SaaS application but end up paying totally different bills. Big companies have understood since a long time that rating and charging is the key to making more money for the same service. As long as the user can be convinced that they are paying more because of some valid reason (e.g. prepaid contract, same-day return flight, on-demand vs reserved instance, monthly vs yearly subscription, etc.), a similar service can be sold at different prices.

For a long time it was expensive to do advanced rating and charging. Licensing could easily be millions. That day has changed. After a very productive discussion, OpenRate has decided to offer again a free GPL version of their open source rating and mediation solution.

Why is an open source rating and mediation solution so important?

Online charging, rating and mediation used to be something that only the most diehard telecom experts could really grasp. There was no need for it outside of the telecom and some other major industries.

However P2P, Mobile Apps, Cloud Computing, M2M, Social Networks, Online Games, Big Data, etc. have brought us VoIP for P2P, In-App Micro Payments & Subscriptions, mCommerce, IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, sensor network event subscription, social commerce, fire hose subscriptions, virtual goods purchases, data set per-event access fees, etc. All of these technologies are exploring new ways of generating money. Unfortunately none is able to afford a €1-€5/license per user per month for a professional solution. At least not from day one. With OpenRate developers, marketers, product managers, etc. are able to explore new frontiers in monetization without any upfront risk. Subscriptions, one-time-fees, pre-paid, real-time charging, discounts, etc. it is all possible now. OpenRate is a very flexible framework in which developers can use what they need.

So if you are incubating a SaaS offering that wants to push the limits of prepaid and subscriptions, an online game with a catalogue of virtual goods, a social network with a cashflow problem, an M2M platform in need of money, an IaaS seller with a large set of configurable parameters, etc. you should be looking at how rating and charging can make you more money…

Of course if you are new to the rating and charging market and want training, consultancy or need a support contract, be sure to check out the OpenRate Commercial Offering. OpenRate is a freemium company that wants to understand your specific needs in order to offer the best possible solutions, so get in contact with them on the OpenRate Linkedin Community Site.

It would be good to see OpenRate be integrated with other Open Source and Freemium solutions, e.g. open source commerce solutions, like OpenCart, could use an advanced SaaS subscriptions and discount management extension, etc. This is an open invitation for developers to let their imagination flow and share it with the rest of us…

  1. May 12, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Hello, I am a developer who is interested in exploring OpenRate and its capabilities for integration with mobile payments. How can I get started? There is no friendly documention or wiki I can locate on getting started with Open Rate, any architectures, databases supported, diagrams to proceed. People willing to invest time would like to get started as soon as possible. Checkout the documentation on Spring, MongoDB and so on to get an idea of what needs to be done. If you can help point to some links, I would appreciate that. Thanks

  2. May 12, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Hello, I think the documentation and site are lacking clarity for anyone to get started on OpenRate. It is highly confusing to even set up OpenRate and get productive. I as a BA would like to start using it with a bare minimum set up and ask my developers to make certain customizations. What are the databases supported? How can I modify the Schema. How can I modify the code? These and more questions are required to be answered. Btw, the site needs an overhaul as well.

    • May 12, 2013 at 10:22 am

      The documentation is here and there is sample code: http://www.open-rate.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

      I am not responsible for open rate so I suggest to voice your suggestions about simplifying the framework on their LinkedIn forum. However if your use case is simple then open rate might be overdoing it because telecom billing tends to be complex. There are several SaaS billing solutions and some open source IaaS solutions that might be better alternatives for simple use cases.


  1. July 23, 2012 at 10:16 am

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