Called Vista, the e-billing system will allow the company's corporate customers to view their account details and aggregate their metered accounts via the Internet. Vista, which will allow customers to compare spend and consumption via graphical information displays, is expected to go live on 7 July 2001.
Tim Hardcastle, director of information services for Anglian, said, "Vista provides large organisations with an efficient way of processing multiple bills. Depending on the size and nature of the organisation, this can result in savings of up to 20% to 30% in administrative costs where bills are processed singularly. For our part, we will be incurring cost savings as well since we don't need to process as much paper. It's a win-win situation."
According to Business-to-Business E-Billing, a recent report from Analysys Research, the market for e-billings systems is set to boom as businesses realise the benefits of automating the invoice-to-payment process.
Danny Dicks, co-author of the report, said companies that have already developed successful e-billing systems for use in their own businesses would soon view them as assets that can be sold on to other companies. "There are a number of e-billings systems that have been successfully developed and used in a particular market, for example travel, whose owners are now looking to attract other industry sectors," he said.
Anglian's Hardcastle is not yet looking for customers for the e-billing technology. "Our primary objective in the short term is to meet our customers' requirements. We don't currently have any plans to exploit this technology beyond our own customer base but we are happy to talk to customers about how it might be used."
He added, "We plan to apply Vista to our important commercial customers. If it works at that level we will look at whether our domestic customers will be interested in this kind of service."