ROAR – HCL’s Solution for Managed Service Billing | HCL Blogs

A Seamless Weave of Data and Nodes: HCL ROAR Simplifies Billing

A Seamless Weave of Data and Nodes: HCL ROAR Simplifies Billing
July 25, 2017

Here’s a quick breakdown of our billing practices. In most of our outsourcing contracts, the service billing is based driven by on “Resource Units” (RUs). A Resource Unit is any tangible or intangible entity which provides offers a measurement of workload or efforts required to deliver and support services.

Although a logical and apparently simple concept, it is  but extremelyvery complex to deal with, especially when the parameters associated with an RU point to diversified data points that are often – spread across multiple data sources with ambiguous data ownership. Therefore, the billing process becomes very tedious, cumbersome and extremely intense labour-intensive oriented.

To make the matters worse, a configuration management database (CMDB) is treated as the primary data source for RU billing. People fail to understand that RU is fundamentally different than from a configuration item (CI). Historically typically, people tend to mix confuse assets  and CIs and , are now they are adding RU in to this the mix-up.

People fail to understand that RU is fundamentally different from a configuration item (CI).

Typically, people tend to confuse assets and CIs, now they are adding RU to the mix.

DRYiCE Orchestration is announcing the availability of the an indigenously developed solution to build and maintain RUMDB to support the billing for our managed service contracts.

Asset vs CI vs RU, At a Glance 

Asset

CI

RU

 

All asset information reside in Asset DB and is controlled by Asset Management Process.

All CIsO reside in CMDB and are controlled by Configuration Management Processes.

All RUs reside in RUMDB and feed to ARC/RRC and billing process

An Aasset is any tangible or intangible entity in the IT environment which has an “economic value” and needs to be managed from a financial management perspective.

Configuration iItem is any tangible or intangible entity used and required to deliver an IT service, and needs to be controlled from service management perspective.

A rResource uUnit is any tangible or intangible entity which provides a measurement of workload or efforts, required to deliver and support services.

The Asset Lifecycle is complex and while an Asset database is simple.

CI lifecycle is simple but CMDB is a complex database.

RU may or may not be governed by lifecycle processes, and. cCould be simple.

Examples of Asset, CI and RU

Component

Asset

CI

RU

Remark

Physical Server in Stock

Yes

No

No

 

Physical Server Deployed

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Virtual Server

No

Yes

Yes

In a XaaS mModel, vVirtual server may not be a CI

Service Desk Call

No

No

Yes

 

EUC Device

Yes

No

Yes

EUC device is not a service producing system –, it is a service consuming end node.

Hypervisor Server

Yes

Yes

No

Host OS is usually not a RU but guest OS is typically RU.

Batch Job

No

No

Yes

 

Incident/Request Ticket

No

No

Yes

 

Asset, CI, RU and MO connection

Asset, CI, RU and MO connection

Examples of Data Attributes in Asset DB, CMDB and RUMDB

Data element

Asset

CI

RU

Remark

 

Serial Number

Yes

Yes

Yes

Unique identification number

Relationship

No

Yes

No

How two CIs are related to each other

Cost

Yes

No

No

Purchasing price of an asset

Vendor

Yes

Yes

No

Supplier of the asset

User Entity

No

No

Yes

The department in customer enterprise who is using this RU

Billing Entity

No

No

Yes

The department that will pay for RU

Billing Currency

No

No

Yes

The currency for billing

ROAR Overview

ROAR is HCL’s solution for managed service billing. It has following 5 steps:

ROAR

Step1: Data sourcing

For each RU, we define a primary and secondary source of data in order to collect information from multiple sources. A dedicated integration hub enables the seamless consolidation of data from multiple sources like CMDB, manual channels, directory services, discovery, event management & patching tools.

A dedicated integration hub allows seamless consolidation of multiple data sources.

Step 2: Data normalizsation

This refers to the Pprocess of replacing alternate representation of the same data entity in the record with a normalizsed value. With data normalization, Eeach attribute of a record can be separately standardisedstandardized against a preset value or preset format.

Step 3: Data Aaggregation

Data aggregation is the pProcess of taking data from multiple sources and aggregating them it. This phase of data sourcingusesing defined rules to create a clean and accurate data record database, one unique record at a time.

Step 4: Reconciliation

This talks aboutProcess of identifying the managed service billing components by pairing the resource component with the correct Resource Unit.

Step 5: ARC/RRC reporting and approval

Added RU Count (ARC) and Reduces Resource Count (RRC) is reported as the delta from previous month’s RUMDB and approval is obtained for managed service billing.

Billing is the final stage in managed service billing &Billing is done by finance’s SAP system.

Initially, upgrading service billing systems may seem like a daunting task. However, with a clear understanding of the different assets, databases, and data components out there, we can outline a clear (and simple) way forward.