Cloud software company Nutanix delivers the simplicity and agility of a public cloud alongside the performance, security, and control of a private cloud. Nutanix started as appliance-based, transitioned to software applications, and recently shifted to SaaS solutions that provide clients with unified management and operations, one-click simplicity, intelligent automation, and always-on availability.
Nutanix was using another revenue management system that required substantial customization for its subscription offerings and caused a lot of performance bottlenecks. On the reporting side, their system lacked the flexibility their revenue team needed to run an efficient process. As a result, this delayed the company from evolving their product offering.
As Nutanix created subscriptions at a fast pace, Zuora Billing allowed their revenue team to streamline configuration by setting up a product catalog that runs end-to-end through its ERP system. Meanwhile, Zuora Revenue gave Nutanix reporting options that supported a more accurate and faster revenue reconciliation process.
Zuora Billing’s flexible configurations help Nutanix scale for business growth and offer new products with less manual setup. Zuora Revenue’s reporting tools ensure Nutanix runs an efficient, low-risk revenue recognition process and speeds up their time-to-close.
A cloud operating model is integral to the way enterprise companies do business today. Nutanix helps its clients manage data through cloud infrastructures that bring together storage, networking, and computing capabilities securely and seamlessly. Providing customers with this kind of simplicity requires behind-the-scenes business processes that can get complicated quickly, especially with the company's move to a subscription model.
As the director of Order to Cash at Nutanix, Chris Coutinho manages a group of business analysts that support finance, accounting, operations, and service through an ecosystem of back-office systems reliant on integration and customization. Providing solutions to meet the needs of cross-functional teams is a delicate balance, so when Nutanix shifted to a subscription business model, the company reevaluated its revenue recognition system and found that their current solution required complex manual workarounds that wouldn’t scale for business growth.
Moving to Zuora gave Coutinho's team the customizable platform it needed to seamlessly manage subscriptions, as well as reporting options necessary for an efficient close process.
Coutinho's team quickly found that Zuora Revenue provided a depth of reporting with none of the limitations of their original vendor. "It's easy to tie out some of the numbers because tracking all transactions became a lot easier with Zuora’s reporting benefits," says Coutinho. "That has been a big benefit."
As Nutanix moved to a subscription revenue model, its offerings began to include more complex product bundles, an element that was maintained in upstream systems. Coutinho's team would implement scripts to pass bundle information to downstream systems and eventually end up in their revenue management platform. With Zuora Revenue's bundle split functionality, however, the team now has control over how split allocations work without having to build a workaround.
In addition, by leveraging Zuora Revenue's contract grouping rule, the Revenue team no longer need to merge sales orders into revenue arrangements. Instead, they can automatically combine related orders into revenue contracts, a win for the revenue team that makes their close process timely and efficient.
"With all of Zuora Revenue’s functionality, the revenue close time has reduced significantly," says Coutinho.
When considering the time Nutanix had spent working out issues with bundle splits and other upstream elements, Coutinho finds that partnering with Zuora has been a substantial gain for the revenue team. "We are going to be saving around 552 hours per year," says Coutinho. This averages out to more than one week of time saved each year for every member of the Nutanix revenue team.
What does this time savings mean for Nutanix? Coutinho says it gives his team the ability to set and meet goals that improve the company’s performance and move it forward from a revenue standpoint. One goal is to reduce the number of days to close the Revenue Books. Another is to let the revenue team complete any manual uploads earlier in that close process. A third is to focus on an overall automation of processes. Without the burdens of troubleshooting and building implementations, Coutinho's team uses the extra time to figure out how else they can close their books faster.
In a separate conversation with the revenue management team, Senior Revenue Manager Tony Zhang explained why the Zuora platform is a win for Nutanix:
“Zuora Revenue was designed from the ground up around the needs of revenue accountants. After just one quarter, our team experienced numerous benefits. The bundle configuration improved the accuracy of our revenue allocations, the customizable grouping rule setup eliminated tedious manual tasks for close, and the user-friendly interface extended us increased functionality and convenience.”
Coutinho has received positive feedback from his team since implementing the platform. "Everyone in the revenue team that I have spoken to says work is so much better. The more stress you have at work, the more time you're going to spend there, so you want to ease some of that." With the customizations and integrations of Zuora Revenue and Zuora Billing, Coutinho's thrilled to be helping his team find better work-life balance.
Learn more about Nutanix at https://www.nutanix.com/
“The automatic integration between Zuora Billing and Zuora Revenue means we don’t have to heavily customize or build our own integration, which is always time-consuming and costly — in addition to the learning curve of all the complexities involved.” — Chris Coutinho, Director of Order to Cash, Nutanix
“Zuora Revenue has made it a lot easier for our revenue team to manage revenue reconciliation.” — Chris Coutinho, Director of Order to Cash, Nutanix