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VNU Streamlines Billing Operations, Launches New Offerings 4x Faster

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VNU Media is the top online job board in the Netherlands. But in the age of and Linkedin, VNU Media knew they needed to make the shift from print media to the digital world.

The company recognized that the key to success was the ability to price, package and bundle their services in a highly innovative and flexible manner, and have the nimbleness to change pricing and roll out new services on the fly.

VNU Media had a vision to flexibly price, package and bill for its new services, but soon discovered that their existing ERP system was built for print media, not online subscriptions. In addition, time-consuming manual processes were involved across the entire order-to-cash flow, thus making it difficult to roll out new services and service customers efficiently. Initially, 11 programmers, 10 engineers and a large back office were needed to handle billing for the company.

As a result, VNU Media embarked on an initiative to find a highly flexible subscription billing solution that worked seamlessly with Salesforce CRM and one that would be able to synchronize data with its existing ERP system.

VNU Media selected Zuora as the subscription billing and commerce platform to enable flexible pricing and packaging, integrate with its Salesforce CRM workflows, and connect to its existing ERP, which would continue as the general ledger.

Using Zuora's core platform, along with its productized Salesforce solution, Z-Force, VNU Media was able to fully automate key subscription processes from pricing, quoting, orders, billing, payments and renewals, enabling VNU Media to fill the gap with its ERP. Instead of using 21 staffers to handle billing, the programming/engineering team is now small with billing handled by 1.8 full time employees. With Zuora, billing has become so streamlined that all of invoicing for December 2011 was executed in only 2 days.

Thanks to integration with Zuora, VNU media also enjoyed a higher level of integration and visibility. VNU Media now enjoys a complete single view of customer bookings, billings and cash without discrepancies or complications. More information in SFDC had led to more visibility of customer metrics across the VNU Media organization. Overall, VNU Media states that the transparency of the business improved dramatically and when issues come up, they immediately are dealt with and are no longer hidden in the back office.

Zuora has also helped VNU streamline its business and improve efficiency across the board. VNU reported a four times product launch acceleration since integrating with Zuora's billing platform, as VNU Media now has a central product catalog for pricing and is able to roll out new pricing and changes in real-time. VNU Media has also reported a 40% improvement in billing efficiency as VNU Media was able to automate pricing and quoting, reduce customer service calls pertaining to billing errors, and is able to initiate bill runs anytime.

“To stay at the top of our market, we need to be able to meet the needs of our customers quickly and accurately while making every part of our operations as agile and efficient as possible.” — Hans Platschorre, CFO
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