This topic sets out and explains the key concepts of the m3ter service. Hotlinks to specific topics for more details on these key concepts are provided.
Tip: Other Terms? For definitions of other terms you'll find when working with the m3ter service, see the Glossary of Terms.
An Organization represents either:
Your company as a direct customer of m3ter.
Your company as an indirect customer of m3ter via one of our partners who integrate with m3ter.
More Details?: See Managing Organization and Users
A Product in m3ter represents a product or service that you offer to your end customers. Each Product can act as a container the following items:
Plans and Plan Templates always belong to a specific Product. You can create Meters and Aggregations which belong to a specific Product, as shown above.
More Details? See Creating and Managing Products
You can use PlanTemplates to define default values for the pricing Plans you want to apply to your Products. This allows you to avoid unnecessary repetition when setting up your pricing Plans, while retaining some flexibility to adjust individual pricing Plans to suit individual customer accounts.
Each Plan is a child of a PlanTemplate and represents a specific pricing plan for one of your products or services. A Plan inherits key attributes for billing purposes from a PlanTemplate, such as the pricing structure, billing currency, billing frequency, billing interval, and any standing charge to apply to each bill. In a particular Plan, only some of these inherited attributes, such as pricing structure and standing charge, can be overridden to meet individual account billing needs.
You can create Plan Groups for cases where you want to apply a minimum spend amount at billing across several of your products or features that are each priced separately. When you create the Plan Group, you can define an overall minimum spend and then add the priced Plans you want to include in the Group.
More Details? See Creating and Working with Plan Templates and Plans and Working with Plan Groups.
Tip: Custom Plans for Accounts! You can also create Custom Plans for an Account, which means the Plan can only be attached to that specific Account for charging for the Products the Account consumes. For more details, see Creating Custom Plans for Accounts.
A Meter is used to collect usage data. You can set up Data Fields for a Meter to collect one or more usage data for one of your products or services. If required, you can use these raw data fields to set up more complex usage data collectors as Derived Fields, whose values are the result of calculations made on Data Fields.
Tip: Global Meters? Note that you can also create Global Meters and Aggregations, which are not tied to a specific Product.
More Details? See Reviewing Meter Options.
When you have configured a Meter for usage data collection, you can create an Aggregation using the Data Fields or Derived Fields on the Meter. This allows you to define how the data collected by Data Fields will be aggregated to create a unit to suit the pricing model you want to apply to one of your products or services. For example:
You might want a Data Field’s data to be summed to yield a unit of measurement for pricing
Or for another Data Field’s data, you might want the maximum value reached to be used as a unit of measurement for pricing.
As key aspects for usage-based pricing, there are further ways you can use Aggregations to achieve the precise units of usage you require for pricing your products:
You can use your Aggregations to create Compound Aggregations. These allow you to derive numerical measures from usage data by applying a calculation to one or more simple Aggregations. This capability greatly extends the range of unit measure you can set up for the pricing you want to apply to usage.
If the Meter your Aggregation targets contains the appropriate Data Fields, you can also configure Segmented Aggregations, which allow you to segment the usage data collected by a single Meter and go on to apply separate pricing to the resultant segmented values. This capability can prove extremely useful for implementing some pricing and billing use cases.
More Details? See Reviewing Aggregation Options, Compound Aggregations, and Segmented Aggregations.
For Pricing, you can link an Aggregation to a Plan or a PlanTemplate to produce usage-based pricing plans. You can then complete the pricing configuration by selecting the type of pricing structure you want for your pricing plans, such as tiered pricing, pricing by volume, or stairstep pricing.
More Details? See Pricing and Managing Plan Templates and Plans
An Account represents your end customer - a person or company that pays your Organization for one of your products or services. You can:
Attach a Plan to an Account, which determines the pricing that will be applied to that Account for billing purposes. When you attach a Plan to an Account, you can select for the start and end dates to define the period the pricing Plan is active and will be applied to the Account for billing purposes.
Apply a Prepayment/Commitment to an Account for cases where your customer has agreed to pay a fixed amount over the duration of their contract with you to consume one or more of your products or services. The amount is understood as payable regardless of the actual usage they become liable to pay for during the contract period. You can include a surcharge rate to be applied for any overage on the Prepayment/Commitment amount that occurs during the contract period.
Create Contracts for end-customer Accounts. If you expect to have end customers who consume several different service or product packages you offer, for accounting purposes you can then report on the total Contract values for these end customer Accounts.
Create Child Accounts for a main or Parent Account. You might want to do this if your Organization has customers with multiple Accounts and instead of issuing multiple bills to these customers, you want to provide them with single Bill for a Parent Account that covers data usage across their multiple Child Accounts.
Define Custom Plans for an Account. A Custom Plan can only be attached to that specific Account.
More Details? See Creating and Managing Accounts
When you attach a priced Plan to an Account, this defines a link between them to create an Account Plan. Attaching priced Plans to an Account determines the charges incurred by customers who are put on the Plan when they consume one of your Products.
More Details? See Attaching Plans to Accounts
When you attach a Plan Group to an end customer Account, this defines a link between them to create an Account Plan Group. The Account Plan Group for an Account determines the charges incurred by the Account.
More Details? See Attaching Plan Groups to an Account
A Bill is generated for an Account based on the usage-based pricing Plan that has been attached to the Account.
More Details? See Running, Viewing, and Managing Bills.
Next: m3ter Console