The new release of Zuora for Salesforce delivers unparalleled flexibility and configurability, delights Subscription businesses running on Salesforce
Foster City, CA – November 18, 2013
- Today, Zuora, the leader in subscription commerce, billing and finance announced major updates to their native force.com application. Re-architected to provide a foundational library of configurable components, Zuora for Salesforce offers salesforce administrators the tools they need to rapidly respond to the complex demands of the Subscription Economy business model.
- In 1999, Salesforce revolutionized the front office by launching a subscription based CRM application. Since then, Salesforce has become the #1 CRM application in the world, and the subscription business model has become the norm across multiple industries.
- A number of businesses have modeled themselves after Salesforce, and are benefitting from stable, predictable subscription revenue models. These businesses are also leveraging salesforce to run their front office operations, all the way from lead and opportunity tracking to social communications and customer service. Yet, there are certain elements missing from salesforce that are necessary to support the core needs of subscription businesses.
- Businesses running on Salesforce find that in the Subscription Economy, pricing is different, renewals are complex, quoting needs to support mid-cycle upgrades, downgrades , add-ons, customer service inquiries are increasingly about billing and payment questions, and reporting is increasingly about recurring metrics. These are new challenges that cannot be supported by the Salesforce platform alone. Zuora for Salesforce solves these challenges and provides a solution that is native to force.com, and pre-integrated with the world’s best subscription commerce, billing and finance application.
The Salesforce community is embracing the Subscription business model
The Subscription Business model has become the dominant business model in a number of industries including technology, media, devices, healthcare, education and even retail. Since it’s launch in 1999, Salesforce.com has become the #1 CRM application in the world, and is now being used by leading subscription economy businesses to manage marketing, sales and customer success operations.
The Subscription Economy Poses New Challenges For The Salesforce Community
At the core of this new business model is the requirement to build and nurture ongoing recurring customer relationships.
But the demands of this new business model pose new challenges for the Salesforce community:
Pricing is different: Pricing in the subscription economy is centered on flexible plan based pricing that can accommodate complex pricing models that include one time, recurring, and pay-as-you go models.
Quoting is complex: The quoting process needs to handle upgrades, add-ons, downgrades. These become increasingly difficult to manage when quotes are generated mid-stream during a subscription term, and have to factor in multiple time dimensions.
Orders are different: Orders used to be simple. Each quote resulted in a single order which triggered one invoice. In the Subscription Economy, multiple quotes impact the same subscription, and each subscription generates multiple invoices and payments.
Renewals are critical: In order for subscription businesses to thrive, renewals need to be automated and streamlined, and businesses need clear visibility into the value of each renewal to drive meaningful renewal conversations.
Customer service is increasingly about billing: In the Subscription Economy, businesses are billing customers much more often, and these bills can get complex, Customer service teams that use service cloud increasingly fielding billing inquiries, but they don’t have visiility into back end billing and payment information via Salesforce.com
Business metrics are different: The bookings and forecast reports that subscription businesses need are increasingly based on MRR and ARR metrics. But these metrics are not natively tracked in salesforce.com.
Salesforce administrators struggle with sub-optimal Solutions
In the absence of native force.com solutions purpose built to solve these challenges, salesforce administrators are struggling with sub-optimal solutions.
- They attempt to build what their subscription business needs on force.com
Precious sales operations and IT resources are spent on building quoting, renewals and billing applications on salesforce.com. But these tools become difficult to maintain and soon administrators find that they are unable to keep up with the evolving demands of a subscription business
- They try to stitch together multiple applications downloaded from the appexchange
Businesses download disparate quoting, renewals, billing and customers service apps from the appexchange, only to find that while these apps work well independently on force.com, they were not designed to work well together.
- They spend 12-18 months trying to integrate salesforce with their back office systems
Since sales operations and billing operations are so closely connected in the Subscription Economy, businesses attempt to integrate front office sales quoting flows and customer service operations with back office billing and revenue operations in the general ledger. But these projects are often very expensive, take a long time and once implemented cannot flexibly adapt to changing business processes.
Introducing Zuora for Salesforce: The secret to subscription success on Force.com
Zuora for Salesforce is built on a foundational data model designed for businesses that need to support recurring revenue streams. It enables:
- Infinite monetization strategies with a robust subscription pricing engine
- Lifecycle order management to support recurring revenue businesses
- Full customer lifecycle support (B2Any model) across all force.com native apps
Zuora for Salesforce includes:
- A native force.com subscription quoting application, designed to handle complex subscription quoting, including mid-term upgrades, downgrades, cancellations and renewals.
- Visibility into key subscription metrics via 12 pre-built subscription reports with insights into renewals, MRR, TCV, DMRR, DTCV, A/R Aging and more.
- The ability to create your own subscription business reports directly in Salesforce.
- Insights into subscriber billing and payment data to enable better customer service and support
- One-click quote to cash conversions
- Integrated out of the box with Zuora’s Z-Business application, to manage the downstream complexities of billing, payment collections and revenue recognition
With the Titanium release, Zuora for Salesforce has been redesigned to include over 35 reusable components and global methods supporting:
- Drag and drop configurability for rapid deployment front office processes like quoting, or payment collection.
- Wizard like interface to control UI flows
- Support for more out of the box uses cases
- A Force.com developer toolkit that includes force.com APIs that enable Salesforce developers to tailor Zuora for Salesforce to suit their unique needs, or to build their own apps using Zuora for Salesforce components.
Zuora and Industry Commentary
“Zuora was the first to create a native force.com quoting application specifically catering to subscription businesses.” said Guillaume Vives, SVP Product Management at Zuora. “We’ve deployed this application at hundreds of clients, and we learned that quoting needs vary greatly for different customers across different industries. With this new release, we’ve re-designed Zuora for Salesforce so that customers can easily and rapidly tailor the application to suite their unique needs, and even build their own applications on the fly using our components.”
“Selling a subscription service is surprisingly complex. Zendesk needed an application that could meet today’s unique needs and lay the foundation for the future,” said Mindy Lieberman, VP of IT at Zendesk.
Zuora for Salesforce provided that platform to enable and streamline our Sales and Finance operations. We are especially pleased with the out-of-box integration which keeps our front and back offices in sync.”
“Our inside sales teams take subscription orders via Salesforce,” said Bill Plummer, Business Enablement Officer at NCR Silver. “We have a complex pricing catalog, and we are excited about the new features in Zuora for Salesforce, specifically the product selector component and the ability for users to update pricing tiers during the quoting process. The fact that we can incorporate this into our quoting flow by just using the drag and drop configuration tools is a huge benefit to NCR Silver.”
“We are able to configure our quoting flow process to securely collect credit card information during the quoting process simply by using the Zuora for Salesforce quoting wizard,” said Dustin Abney, Director of Customer Experience, DotLoop. “We don’t need to ask for help from our engineers to fit this in. Now we can start collecting cash as soon as a quote is approved.”
About Zuora, Inc.
Zuora is the global leader in Relationship Business Management solutions. Zuora delivers the subscription billing, commerce and finance capabilities that have become the industry standard to help companies transition to the Subscription Economy. Enterprises and emerging companies alike use Zuora’s multi-tenant cloud solution to enable growth strategies, to streamline key processes and to provide visibility into the metrics that matter most in the Subscription Economy. Zuora services innovative customers like Informatica, Tata Communications, Box.net, DocuSign, Xplornet, Ustream and Reed Business Information. To learn more about Zuora, please visit www.zuora.com.