F5 secures and delivers adaptive applications with a portfolio of automation, security, performance, and insight capabilities.
F5 was moving beyond its legacy hardware business and knew that recurring revenue from subscriptions represented a significant opportunity. To support the growth of its new subscription models and better meet customers’ technology consumption preferences, F5 needed to improve capabilities around amendments, upsell, subscription duration, and recurring billing functionality that has become table stakes for subscription software offerings.
By adopting Zuora products—Billing, Developer Tools, Collections Manager, and Zuora University—F5 not only successfully added subscriptions for their legacy products, but also easily incorporated technologies from acquisitions like NGINX and Shape while facilitating a subscription model for new product launches.
With Zuora, F5 streamlined their operations and can better serve customers seeking the value and flexibility offered by a subscription model.
F5’s history began in the 90s as a market leader in load balancing solutions. As the company evolved, they expanded their capabilities from network traffic management to security and performance, becoming one of the largest providers of application services in the world. And like many tech pioneers, their products evolved from hardware to software, and then to cloud-based offerings.
But as the product landscape evolved, so did their customers’ buying behaviors. F5 needed a long-term growth strategy for customer subscription models to support a more flexible, easily scalable option that would power application security and delivery services across any environment.
“We knew exactly what our customers were looking for,” explains Charles Chen, Director, Product Management at F5. “It was clear that a shift to a subscription business model would not only provide more flexibility to our customers, but also support the future growth of the company as a whole.”
The benefits of a subscription model—customer stickiness, recurring revenue, and better visibility into product usage and upsell opportunities—were too obvious to ignore.
But moving into subscriptions is not easy from an operational perspective. A new strategy for subscription-based sales compensation, management and billing, and metrics like ARR, MRR, and churn all had to be implemented. “Streamlining our subscription process was a challenging task. We needed to find a partner that could help us quickly operationalize our subscription strategy.”
It was time to call on Zuora.
F5 adopted a suite of Zuora products on the Zuora Central Platform that included Zuora Billing and Zuora Collect, as well as investing in educational training to optimize usage of the platform via Zuora University. Working closely with the Zuora team, F5 was able to turn ongoing stumbling blocks into routine processes.
In addition, Zuora’s subscription management platform also enhanced F5’s ability to support subscription-based offerings related to its acquisitions of NGINX and Shape Security.
Most importantly, F5 was able to deliver an improved customer experience and earn trust in its subscription products.
“Launching new products, including F5’s Cloud Services offerings, is much easier now that we have subscription support from Zuora.” – Charles Chen, Director, Product Management, F5
“Zuora helped enable our customer success organization by improving product stickiness and adoption.” – Charles Chen, Director, Product Management, F5