"We identified Zuora as the ideal subscription billing platform."

With Switch to Zuora, FireHost Has Doubled Customer Base and Tripled Revenue

With Switch to Zuora, FireHost Has Doubled Customer Base and Tripled Revenue

Since the Cloud is a shared experience, security becomes a complex and daunting task. But FireHost has emerged as the secure cloud hosting space. The Dallas-based company provides a managed, secure, and compliant cloud infrastructure to thousands of clients in over 30 countries.

FireHost's infrastructure is built for the task of protecting web applications and databases. They manage everything from the data centre car park, down to the custom code-- handling administrative tasks for their clients, like application optimisation and patching, whilst keeping their databases safe from malicious pursuits of hackers and unauthorised users.


Challenge: needed a scalable, accurate subscription management platform

Solution: Z-Business

  • Scalable platform that grows with the business
  • Automated, accurate invoicing
  • Ability to invoice in multiple currencies

The Need for a Platform to Scale with a Growing Business

Before Zuora, FireHost used a payments gateway that had the ability to set recurring transactions for each client's subscribed services. But the system did not support utility-based consumption fluctuations natively, so billing for changes to the invoice amount was a manual process, explained Katrena Drake, Director of European Operations. “The system did not have a very dynamic API either, which prevented us from providing ‘real time’ accounts payable updates to our end users. FireHost concluded the system was simply not scalable or accurate, without adding a number of "cashiers" (or the equivalent) to their business.
FireHost wanted a system that accommodated fluctuating invoices, provided dynamic internal and external reports, and was fully scalable and accurate. Luckily, they found Zuora. “As our business began to scale in our early years, we identified Zuora as the ideal subscription billing platform that could scale with us,” explained Drake.

Scalability and availability on demand is a core feature and competency of cloud infrastructure. Flexibly provisioning and decommissioning a variety of resources (memory, processors, storage, and bandwidth) and products (software licenses, user accounts, and services) is in theory a daunting task. Using Zuora's SaaS-based platform and robust API seemed like an ideal fit for FireHost. With only a small team, FireHost could successfully manage these complex details of their customers.

“We would not be supporting our secure cloud hosting customers as eloquently without Zuora's assistance.” — Katrena Drake, Director of European Operations

Scalability and Automation of Complex Billing

The results were impressive. Since FireHost has recurring, prepaid, and utility based billing, and Zuora automates this otherwise complex accounts receivable process end to end. Without a platform like Zuora to automate the billing process, they would not have such scalable, errorless billing. In fact, without Zuora’s platform, FireHost isn’t certain it would have the ability to offer so many different currencies and such financial flexibility to our clients. “When we need to add a new product, service or perform a price change, the process is simple. We notify our clients of the change, perform a few clicks within Zuora's SaaS billing interface and all subsequent orders will be charged at the correct price. Because of Zuora's robust API, all our technical support engineers and sales account managers have the correct prices within minutes of making the change in Zuora,” said Drake.

“Underneath the bottom line of each client's invoice can sit complex tax computations and remittance requirements,” explained Drake. With Zuora, collecting and remitting the proper amounts comes easily, and the robust reports FireHost can view in and export from the system makes staying on top of customer, product, and promotional sales trends in our business achievable.”

Whether FireHost’s clients are located in London, England or Lincolnshire Nebraska, whether the client chooses to pay via electronic or traditional payment methods, Zuora holds the account details and ensures the appropriate amounts are invoiced and collected each month.

As FireHost continues to grow and expand into new countries, they remain confident Zuora has the scalability to meet their needs. Zuora allows FireHost to have "hands off" invoicing for thousands to clients in different countries each month. With very little oversight, prorated payments for account signups and full payments for their clients' monthly invoices are collected without a problem, thanks to Zuora.

“Since we selected Zuora we have grown from a few hundred primarily US-based customers to a large global customer base invoiced in multiple currencies. Zuora has continually innovated and has allowed us to facilitate centralised treasury management functionality across multiple legal entities around the world,” stated Drake.

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