Highlights from our first-ever Subscribed NY!

By Erika Malzberg September 14, 2017

The verdict is in…our first ever Subscribed NY was a rousing success! With a packed house at Root NYC, companies across all industries came together to learn what’s next for the Subscription Economy and what modern businesses need to do to transform and succeed. With inspirational keynotes and breakout sessions from some of our most innovative customers and partners, Subscribed NY delivered.

David Gee, Zuora CMO, was first up to welcome the crowd and kick off our inaugural NY event. He discussed the omnipresence of the Subscription Economy (70M subscribers and counting!) and introduced Zuora’s most recent acquisition, Leeyo (now RevPro). With the addition of this leading revenue recognition solution, Zuora has created a one-stop shop for automating financial operations from order to cash.

Then Zuora Founder and CEO Tien Tzuo took to the stage to break down this phenomenon he coined the Subscription Economy and how it has changed our lives. With subscription companies growing 9x faster than the S&P 500 (according to the Subscription Economy Index) and subscribers demanding freedom, it’s undeniable that business is changing. John Kinzer, CFO for Hubspot, and Ken Cornick, Co-Founder, President, and CFO for Clear, joined Tien to share how the Subscription Economy has impacted their businesses and their industries.

Today’s modern businesses require a hub to orchestrate a dynamic customer lifecycle and order-to-cash process. Old world IT architecture is out. Subscription businesses require a new world IT architecture. To demonstrate what this looks like and how to deliver business freedom, Tom Krackeler, SVP Products, provided a walk through of the Zuora Central hub: The Platform for the Subscription Economy®.

Our featured breakout sessions provided great insights on everything from monetizing subscription services to digital transformation, growth metrics, global market expansion, and aligning pricing with revenue recognition.

Here are just a few highlights from a great day:

“Today’s customers want what they want. Legacy systems don’t allow for subscriber freedom.” – Tien Tzuo, Founder and CEO, Zuora

“Having the predictability of a subscription business allowed me to sleep at night as a CFO” – John Kinzer, CFO, Hubspot

“Before moving to Zuora we had a very rigid platform. Now…we just changed our pricing in 2 days. Zuora has allowed us that flexibility.” – Ken Cornick, Co-Founder, President, and CFO, Clear

“We are moving from products to platforms. We sell through traditional mass retail channels, and our products sit on shelves, but our customers are unknown to us – we have no intimate relationship with them. We are looking at ways we can have more intimate relationships with customers across all categories.” – Rick Kates, Senior Director, Business Model Innovation, Johnson & Johnson

“The way that we think about transformation is that we think about business strategy, business model, business capabilities, operating model, tech platform, and management systems and culture. All of these things have to be in line to create a successful flexible consumption model, rather than just looking at the tech platform first.” – Mark Litwin, Principal, Deloitte Digital

“It’s critical to identify which pricing profiles are the most critical and least critical. You don’t want to go 5-10 years and then realize you are targeting customers with the worst unit economics.” – Patrick Campbell, CEO, Price Intelligently

“If you aren’t actively talking to your customers, you have no idea what they want and what they value and how to monetize your product offerings.” – Patrick Campbell, CEO, Price Intelligently

“How many people remember the day when you had a meter man come to your house, your dog barked because you thought it was an intruder, just to read your usage and feed it back into a billing system. It’s only taken a couple hundred years to adapt, and to think about
monetization differently.” – Mark Litwin, Principal, Deloitte Digital

“Carefully consider the value optics of adding to create a strong tipping point and clear value in the upsell path.” – Monika Saha, GM Finance Product Line, Zuora

“Traditionally we would launch a product and ship a product, but now consumer needs change over time and we need to respond and provide a solution as part of this ecosystem.” – Rick Kates, Senior Director, Business Model Innovation, Johnson & Johnson

“You will not get it right at first. You will invest money in something where you have to experiment, learn, and then apply to the rest of the business. Schneider spent 18 months launching 40 products before they refined their approach, using repeatable processes.” – Marc Diouane, President, Zuora

“These projects are hard – we chose to do it once and chose a solution that would last us a long time.” – Michael Shenkman, VP of Finance, InVisionApp

“With current systems it takes a very long time to make changes. We are looking forward to the ability to experiment with pricing changes which has been a huge challenge for us.” – Slater Latour, VP of Finance and Strategy, eMoney Advisor, LLC

“Subscription companies successful at growing revenue and keeping up pace of upsell, face challenges like balancing revenue and account growth, and reducing churn.” – Carl Gold, Chief Data Scientist, Zuora

“We have not just subscription customers, but customers who go on to buy a watch from us or loan us a watch, so we have created an ecosystem and we look at our customers’ journeys in and out of the parts of that ecosystem.” – Adam Sloan, CFO, Eleven James

“We had 2 billing systems, one from an acquisition and one of our own, and neither gave us the flexibility we needed to support some of the most stringent requirements in our market.” – Melanie Pereira, VP of Finance & Ops, SiteCompli

“Emerging markets are growing at rapid rates, like China and India. There are ever-changing ways that consumers are buying – like eWallets or debit cards. The toughest thing is finding the right kind of alternative payment methods in that not all are made for the Subscription Economy, but many are adapting to support these models.” – James Robinson, Business Development Manager, Worldpay

“If I told you how many ERPs we had, I think it would blow your mind!” – Stephanie Hartman, Senior Subscription Solutions Lead, Johnson Controls

“We didn’t want to just become another product on the shelf.” – Chris Folsom, VP of Commercial Ops, Johnson Controls

As David Gee closed out the day saying, “Subscribed is about building a community.” We loved spreading that community to NY with our inaugural Subscribed NY event and look forward to more networking, thought leadership, and best practice sharing with innovative companies across the global Subscribed community.

To join our Subscribed community, sign up for our free Subscribed Weekly newsletter for all the latest Subscription Economy news. And check out our upcoming Subscribed events in Paris, London, and more!