How do I set up a Consumption based Custom Service?

As a Cloud Service Broker, I want to be able to sell consumption-based services with metered billing so that the platform can handle all types of cloud services.

Normally the quantity of a subscription is known and is part of the subscription. But some cloud services are instead sold, and customers are charged for the actual usage of the service. This is known as a consumption-based service or metered billing.

Watch the video below to hear our Customer Success team discuss and demonstrate Consumption Billing.

Create a Custom Service 

Consumption-based services are created in the same ways as a product-based service. They can be added to existing Custom Services however if a new service is required  please refer to the guides in our knowledge base

Create the Products for a Consumption-based service

A consumption-based service is created just like a normal product under a service.

Go to Cloud Service Broker Menu > Cloud Service Broker > Custom Services > Custom Services

Identify the Service and go to the Actions button and from the dropdown click on Products.

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Once opened click on Create

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Enter the product details

Type: Service Plan (Recurring Billing), for example, charged monthly or annually by Product (One-time billing)

Product name: Enter a simple, self-explanatory description of the product.
Description: Enter a longer description of the product, that will help the end-user understand this product option.
Item code: Enter an item code that will be used as a unique identifier for this product.

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Enter the Subscription and payment terms

For Consumption-based services choose the Metered option

The consumption-based option is where the user won’t specify a quantity when the subscription is created. Quantity will instead be set by the seller before each billing date.

Other settings are the same between product and consumption-based.

The consumption-based product will also have a price, cost price and if a seller sets it up, a recommended price. A payment term needs to be specified that tells how often the customer should pay. For a consumption-based service, this will also be the period when the quantity needs to be specified.

The Minimum quantity will for a consumption-based service be the default value billed to the customer if a value is not specified before the payment term.

Once a product is created, a user cannot change the product type. If it is set as a product when it was created, a user can’t change it to consumption-based afterwards and vice versa.

A consumption-based product can have add-ons just like a normal product. If an add-on is setup with Price per quantity, the quantity should be the same as the amount that is reported for the product every payment term.

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Enter the Renewals and cancellations 

Set renewal and cancellation actions

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Renewals - Using the drop-down box set what you want to happen when a subscription is due for renewal 

Automatic renewal until canceled (default).

The subscription will be automatically renewed unless canceled during the subscription period. 

Automatic cancel at subscription period end.

The subscription will end automatically on the renewal date. 

Change product.

You can select a different product subscription to begin when the current subscription has reached the renewal date.


When Canceled –
Using the drop-down box set what will happen when a subscription is canceled


Cancel Action –
Using the drop-down box set how you want to delete a subscription once it has been canceled 

I will manually delete the subscription.

The administrator will delete the subscription.

Delete at the end of the subscription period.

The subscription will automatically end on the set expiry date.

Delete Immediately 

Selecting this option will delete the subscription immediately.


Notify for days left:
  Use the drop-down box to set when an email notification is sent regarding the subscription renewal.  Multiple triggers can be selected; notifications can be sent 90, 60, 30, 14, and 3 days before expiry as well as the day before and on the actual expiry date. 

Select Template: Attach a renewal notification email template that you have created and saved in Cloudmore  

Send Expired Notification: Check the box to send a notification email when the subscription has expired.

Select Template: Attach a renewal notification email template that you have created and saved in Cloudmore  

Custom-based add-on

Add-ons for a consumption-based product can also be consumption-based. This will allow a seller to have several SKUs connected to one subscription. So, for instance, the seller can define a product named “Virtual Server”. Then the seller can define “CPU”, “RAM” and “Hard drive” as addons. Each month the seller defines how many, servers, CPU, RAM, and Hard drive each customer has consumed.

Purchase a consumption-based service

On the organization level when you create a subscription and choose a product (service plan) that is a consumption-based product the only difference is that you can’t specify the quantity.

Instead of the dropdown where you can select quantity, we will just present the text “Consumption-based service”.

As we don’t know the quantity, we can’t present a price. So instead we will display the text “Consumption-based” and within parentheses present the price per unit.

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A consumption-based service will be presented in the list like a normal subscription, but the Quantity column will just have a dash sign.

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Recording Consumption Quantities


Consumption needs to be submitted before the Next billing date of any subscription. If the seller fails to submit the consumption within time, the Minimum Quantity property of the product will be used. If the minimum quantity is 0, nothing will get billed.

A Seller cannot edit the consumption after the Next billing date has passed. Instead, the seller would need to adjust the billing on the Next billing date.

There are 3 different methods to report consumption:

  1. Manually through the web UI.
  2. Import an Excel or CSV file
  3. Through the Cloudmore API

Manual Submit Consumption

Go to Cloud Service Broker Menu > ManageOrganizations > Submit Consumption

From the Records section of the screen, the user will first choose the Service that they wish to record consumption data for. They will also choose a Next Billing Date by choosing a date range to search against 

To obtain the entry screen to record consumption the press Get Records 

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The user is presented with the Subscription screen. The following fields will be prepopulated with data: Organization, Service,  Product, Subscription, Next Billing Date, and Price

Manual Entry

The Quantity field should be completed by the user, entering the number of units consumed in the billing period.

Available addons will be displayed below a subscription with a grey row

To save the changes press the Submit button.

Import an Excel or CSV file

Go to Cloud Service Broker Menu > ManageOrganizations > Submit Consumption

When the user clicks on the Export / Import button a popup is opened where the user can download the records on the previous screen to either CSV or Excel.  And upload the file.

The following fields should be part of the download/upload: Organization Name, Service Name, Subscription Name, SubscriptionID, Type, Product Name, Next Billing Date, and Quantity 

If the import is successful, the values will be applied to the records on the screen.

Records are presented as a table with the following columns: Organization Name, Service Name, Subscription name, Product name, Next billing date, Price per unit, Quantity, Total Price.

Only the Quantity should be entered in the available box. A button named Calculate Total Price will be displayed at the bottom to generate the figure in the Total Price column.

The records can still be edited until the Next Billing date has passed.

Available addons will be displayed below a subscription with a grey row

To save the changes press the Submit button.

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Using the Cloudmore API

If you wish to use the Cloudmore API to record Consumption Data please refer to the Cloudmore API Guide

 

On the billing date

On the billing date, the organizations will be charged for the quantity that has been submitted and the organization will be able to see these values in the billing report.

The records will no longer be available on the Submit consumption page.