Zuora Architects the Future of Enterprise Software with the Launch of Zuora Central

June 6, 2017

New platform coordinates all financial operations from order to cash for the dynamic Subscription Economy

Today at Subscribed™, Zuora, Inc. announced its vision for the future of enterprise software with the launch of Zuora® Central: the only cloud-based software platform that functions as a hub to coordinate all order-to-cash operations for any business looking to succeed in the Subscription Economy®. Along with the newly acquired RevPro, Zuora has expanded its product portfolio and defined a completely new architecture for a post-ERP world. Any company running its business with Zuora Central will now have the freedom to dynamically grow, flex, iterate, scale, and transform — all with a modern platform designed for the future.

“Ten years ago, we saw a tectonic business model shift — one that we now call the Subscription Economy — and Zuora built the first suite of products to automate the unique billing needs of subscription businesses,” said Zuora Founder and CEO Tien Tzuo. “Today, we predict that this shift to services will have a massive impact on existing IT infrastructures. In this new digital world, companies require an entirely new order-to-cash architecture to manage massive recurring revenue complexities. That’s why we built Zuora Central as the first platform to orchestrate all critical financial operations, setting a new standard in dynamic enterprise software in a post-ERP world.”

The world’s largest companies have the most to gain by launching new digital services. In fact, the latest Zuora Subscription Economy Index™ (SEI) found that revenues of subscription-based companies continue to grow eight times faster than that of the S&P 500; and enterprises with over $100M in revenue are growing the fastest — 40 percent above the index average (15 percent year-over-year).

Yet in 2016, a Fortune survey found that 72 percent of Fortune 500 companies felt the single greatest challenge limiting their growth was their technology. A majority of these bellwether companies emerged over 30 years ago with applications that served them well, but no longer work in this new Subscription Economy. Stitching together these rigid business applications with custom configurations can be time consuming and expensive, particularly with legacy financial systems like ERP. Early ERP adopters, particularly large enterprises in energy, manufacturing and distribution industries, are paying the price of decades of excessive customization. In fact, more than 150,000 companies continue to suffer with legacy systems that were not designed to meet the dynamic needs of modern businesses:

  • Dynamic business models. ERP cannot make the real-time changes across applications for updates in pricing, packaging and services that will optimize business and subscriber growth.
  • Dynamic subscriber relationships. ERP cannot adapt to the velocity and breadth of subscriber changes (upgrades, downgrades, usage, suspension, etc.) required to ensure a positive customer experience nor can it aggregate subscriber metrics in a single-source of truth.
  • Dynamic markets. ERP cannot be re-architected to flex to external market changes, competition, regulatory standards and industry governance that affect a business’ ability to succeed.

Zuora Central frees companies from the limitations of antiquated technology because it functions as an intelligent hub that sits between ERP and CRM — neither of these technologies were designed to handle the operational and financial implications associated with subscription business models. Running on Zuora Central, any company can manage its complex, recurring, and hybrid revenue business models. Zuora Central integrates six essential order-to-cash engines that power the real-time updates across Zuora’s expansive product portfolio (Zuora Billing, Zuora RevPro, Zuora Collect, Zuora CPQ, and Zuora Insights), third party applications, and the more than 100 apps in the Zuora Connect Marketplace.

  • Subscription Orders Engine manages multi-year and multi-subscription changes over the lifecycle of a subscriber and automatically calculates key bookings metrics.
  • Rating Engine allows real-time monetization of any customer event such as usage or consumption.
  • Subscription Accounting Engine translates revenue and accounts receivable transactions into subledger entries needed to close the books faster.
  • Subscription Metrics Engine computes and visualizes key subscription metrics in real-time like Monthly Recurring Revenue, Net Retention, Average Revenue Per Account, Days Sales Outstanding, and Churn Rate in a centralized dashboard.
  • Pricing Engine provides a central place to design any type of monetization model which then syncs instantly with other systems such as CRM, CPQ, and webstores.
  • Global Payments Engine captures multiple, global payment methods across more than 30 gateways to maximize recurring cash collections at scale.

Global companies including Caterpillar, PTC, Ford, GE Digital and Symantec have all turned to Zuora to free their business from legacy financial systems as they launch new digital services.

Symantec CIO Sheila Jordan: “We made a strategic bet on Zuora as part of our global subscription platform to run our digital order-to-cash system for our cloud product and services because it offers a unique frictionless experience for our customers and partners. As we move to a global subscription model, choosing Zuora has helped us eliminate SKUs, simplify our pricing, and allow our customers and partners to consume our products and services the way that makes the most sense for them.”

 Analyst Commentary

IDC Research Program Vice President Amy Konary: “As companies undergo digital transformation, many are finding that a growth opportunity exists in shifting from a product-centric to a software- or services-centric business model approach. Doing so requires several significant changes in business model strategy to support the cultivation of customer experiences and relationships. The architectural attributes of Zuora Central reflect the adaptability and agility required to cultivate positive customer experiences.”

Constellation Research CEO R “Ray” Wang: “Legacy monetization systems lack the ability to support subscriptions, consumption-based models, and one-time transactions. Smart Services Digital Monetization Platforms provide a monetization solution for organizations operating under non-traditional business models. Success requires precise orchestration of order-to-cash among ERP, CRM, and subscriber relationships.”

MGI Research Managing Director Andrew Dailey: “Organizations of all sizes are finding it increasingly difficult to rely on a cocktail of spreadsheets, manual effort, and customized ERP systems to meet their needs for business agility and timely, accurate financial operations. Zuora Central is an acknowledgement of today’s market requirements. As Agile Monetization Platforms (AMP) become mainstream and shift away from point solutions, a dynamic platform like Zuora Central is an early entrant in this marketspace.”

Ventana Research Sr. Vice President Robert Kugel: “Our benchmark research finds that companies that have a subscription or recurring revenue business model are more satisfied with third-party dedicated billing software, such as Zuora Central, than traditional ERP systems and significantly more satisfied than those using spreadsheets. One reason is that digital businesses with subscription models are likely to find they are better able to scale without adding overhead if they use dedicated billing software.”

Additional Resources

The Subscription Economy: A Business Transformation” by Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora

SlideShare: “Drivers of Success in the Subscription Economy

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About Zuora, Inc.

Zuora is a SaaS company and the world’s foremost evangelist of the Subscription Economy. Zuora’s leading subscription management platform helps enable businesses in any industry to launch or shift products to subscription, implement new pay-as-you-go pricing and packaging models, gain new insights into subscriber behavior, open new revenue streams, and disrupt market segments to gain competitive advantage. Zuora serves more than 800 companies around the world in every industry, including Box, Komatsu, Rogers, Schneider Electric, Toshiba, Xplornet and Zendesk. The Subscription Economy Index (SEI) demonstrates that SEI companies are growing revenues approximately nine times faster than the S&P 500. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Zuora also operates offices in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, San Francisco, London, Paris, Beijing, Sydney, Chennai and Tokyo.


Media Contact:

Jayne Scuncio



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