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Zuora Turns 50 as the Subscription Economy Comes of Age

by david.nunes

Zuora Turns 50 as the Subscription Economy Comes of Age

Rapid Innovation is the Engine Behind the Unstoppable Momentum of Industry Shift to Subscriptions


· Zuora, the leader in commerce, billing and finance for the Subscription Economy, today announced the 50th product release since the company’s founding just over five years ago.

· Zuora’s innovation engine, coupled with the company’s unwavering commitment to help companies successfully transition to the Subscription Economy, has been the force behind the company’s momentum and growth.

· Zuora has seen over $15 billion in contracted subscription revenue and has more than doubled its customer base in less than 18 months.

Multiple Billion Dollar Industries Have Undergone Massive Business Model Changes

In the last five years, the emergence of subscription-based business models has caused a major transformation across multiple multi-billion dollar industries. This massive shift is having a disruptive and profound impact on companies across a wide-range of sectors, including media, technology, consumer retail, telecommunications, financial services and healthcare services, to name a few.

Examples include:

· Media: In the shift to digital, media companies are discovering that they can offset precipitous declines in advertising revenue by finding new ways to monetise subscriber relationships. In fact, 47% of the newspapers at the top 10 US publishers are now charging for content.

· Technology: In response to market demand, software and hardware companies alike are racing to reinvent their offerings in the cloud, creating the need to offer pay-as-you-go subscription models in order to compete. According to Forrester Research, the global public cloud market will grow to $116B by 2016, largely driven by SaaS (software-as-a-service).

· Device Manufacturers: In a world of connected devices, companies like DriveCam and BI Incorporated have moved their business models away from selling low-margin hardware (one unit at a time) to subscription services that enable a predictable, high-margin recurring revenue stream.

· Retail: The rise of subscription commerce for anything from clothes to toys to personal care products is upending the traditional retailer / consumer model. Businesses such as Shoedazzle and Dollar Shave Club have discovered the benefits of an ongoing subscription relationship and the delivery of a more personalised level of service based on customer insights gathered over time.

· Telecommunications: Traditional telephone and cable companies have discovered that the next phase of their growth lies in “over the top” services, a move that puts them squarely in competition with companies like Netflix, Apple, and Google, demanding a level of agility and flexibility that their century old billing systems cannot support.

In each of these industries, businesses have found that the basis of competition is shifting from those which are able to ship the most units of a product, to those who are able to build the deepest customer relationships and from a focus on gross margins, to a focus on pricing and packaging to meet the needs of the widest set of customers.

In order to support this transformation, companies in each of these industries are looking beyond traditional, manufacturing-centric ERP systems to a new breed of applications that deliver a broad set of commerce, billing and finance capabilities and which are purpose-built for a subscription business model.

50 Months of Innovation Fuels Market Momentum for Zuora

In just over five years, Zuora has acquired the largest customer base of leading Subscription Economy businesses across multiple industries. By translating the needs of this unique community into capabilities that drive success in the Subscription Economy, Zuora’s monthly innovation engine has been instrumental to the company’s rapid growth and momentum. Highlights of which include:

· More than doubling its customer base in the last 18 months

· A pace of nearly 50 customer go-lives per quarter

· $15.5 billion in subscription-based revenue contracts

· Growing customer list of brand name businesses across multiple industries, including the businesses quoted below and featured on Zuora’s customer website.

· More than 12 customers with contracts in excess of $1MM each

· 8X increase in year-over-year processed invoice revenue in the last two years

Rapid Pace of Innovation Delivers High Value to Customers

In 50 short months, Zuora has delivered the world’s broadest set of capabilities to launch and grow a subscription business. Highlights of the portfolio include:

1. The most robust solution for subscription commerce, billing, and finance

· Z-Billing – the first complete billing solution that allows businesses to price and package services any way they want, and rapidly bring those services to market;

· Z-Force – a native Salesforce application that enables businesses to manage complex quoting for high value B2B subscription commerce;

· Z-Commerce – with point-and-click web checkout pages enabling rapid online storefront deployments for scalable and secure B2C commerce;

· Z-Finance – enabling finance teams to tame accounting close and revenue recognition processes without drowning in spreadsheets.

2. Open, configurable platform to achieve faster time-to-value

· Pre-built integrations with 13 leading gateways and processors, allowing customers to process payments at scale, in 200 currencies across all major credit cards and nine direct debit payment methods;

· Delivered REST APIs and pre-built code libraries for rapid integrations to 3rd party applications;

· Real time access to the key metrics and reports relevant to the businesses in the Subscription Economy.

3. Enterprise-class security & compliance coupled with global, scalable delivery operations

· Attained the highest levels of security and compliance standards (PCI Level 1, SSAE 16 Type II, and Safe Harbor);

· Achieved more than 10x increase in capacity since Aug 2012 with a new datacenter launch ensuring that as the Subscription Economy grows, Zuora continues to scale to accommodate that growth;

· Delivered 50-80% performance improvements across the platform in the last five months, allowing customers to generate bills rapidly and get paid as quickly as possible.

Zuora’s continued product innovation has enabled customers to launch and scale subscription revenue streams, efficiently manage complex subscription processes, and measure and monitor the right metrics to make timely and effective business decisions. For details of Zuora’s 50th product release click here.

Customer Commentary

Hundreds of customers have benefitted from Zuora’s unprecedented pace of innovation and rapid deployment of new product features:

· “Emma, Inc. has been using Zuora Z-Business since 2009, and we’re continuously impressed by the product’s steady evolution,” said Patrick Block, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at Emma, Inc. “Zuora empowered us to meet our difficult subscription management challenges, helping us grow as a business and meet the needs of our customers.”

· “Zuora was a critical component in the quick launch of our cloud-based Point of Sale platform, NCR Silver,” said Bill Plummer, Business Enablement Officer, NCR. “The fact that we were able to deploy Zuora in just two months, and realise all the benefits of the product in such a short time is a testament Zuora’s commitment to the success of its customers. We congratulate the Zuora team on reaching this important milestone.”

· “When we have a new idea for a marketing promotion, it takes just a few minutes to configure it in Zuora,” said Mike Puglia, VP Marketing at TimeTrade. “Last quarter we were able to leverage Zuora to create a promotion and put together a mass email marketing campaign that blasted out a promo code to everyone that had created a free Timetrade trial that quarter. We ended up closing over 200 new customers using the promo code without ever having to talk to engineering. That would have been impossible in another system.”

· “Congratulations to the Zuora engineering team on its 50th product release,” said Trevor Jones, VP Finance & Operations, Terapeak.

· “Previously, our monthly billing process required the efforts of four full-time employees plus assistance from two others. With Z-Business from Zuora, two people handle the entire process, including invoicing, payment processing, dunning, refunds, and invoice adjustments,” said Ruslan Bondarev, CTO of SMTP.com. “We commend the Zuora engineering team on this huge accomplishment.”

· “Z-Business from Zuora provides timely, accurate data that we can trust. This provides the information we need to really understand how to run all facets of our business,” said Jim Franklin, CEO of SendGrid. “We congratulate the Zuora engineering team on its 50th product release.”

· “Zuora’s flexibility and ease-of-use allowed us launch breakthrough reporting features and a new pricing model for our online employee training platform in record time,” said Donna Wells, CEO at Mindflash. “We were able keep our developers 100% focused on enhancing our product because, with Zuora, we could shift our pricing plans virtually overnight with no engineering work required. As a result we launched the new value-added offering months earlier than we otherwise could have…and started capturing significantly higher revenue sooner as well.”

· “We commend the Zuora engineering team on reaching this impressive milestone,” said Matthew Curl, Director, Revenue and Strategy for Five Stars, Inc.

Zuora Commentary

· “I’m incredibly proud of my team,” said Marc Aronson, SVP of Engineering at Zuora. “Zuora has consistently delivered top-notch products and capabilities to our customers, and that comes from the dedication, ingenuity and talent of our world-class product team. This release – and this 50th milestone – is a testament to their extraordinary capabilities.”

About Zuora, Inc.

Zuora is the global leader in Relationship Business Management (RBM) solutions. Zuora delivers the subscription commerce, billing 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 streamline key processes, provide visibility into the metrics that matter most and serve as the financial engine of the business.

Zuora services innovative customers like Informatica, Tata Communications, Box, Zendesk, DocuSign, Xplornet, Ustream and Reed Business Information. To learn more about Zuora, please visit www.zuora.com, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, join us on LinkedIn, hang out with us on Google+, or visit our blog, Z Blog.


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