An Overview of Zuora SaaS and Subscription Management Software Solution
Zuora is a cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) subscription management platform that caters to the needs of businesses in different sizes across multiple industries. The software solution covers a number of areas in the world of business process from finance to commerce and billing.
Since 2007, Zuora has been serving subscription-based businesses through their web-based accounting software solution. It’s a highly scalable system capable of growing along with the organization utilizing it. The various industries that benefit from the Zuora subscription management solution include education, telecommunications, healthcare and media, just to name a few.
The Zuora subscription management system comes with three core features—billing, finance and commerce, all designed to enable your subscription-based business to gain traction faster. And unbeknownst to some, the Zuora software solution is actually one of the fastest-growing on-demand subscription payment and billing software solution in the market.
How Zuora works
There are three main aspects to this subscription management platform—commerce, billing and finance, all of which are crucial elements to any subscription-based business. These three main features all work together to enable users to perform a wide range of business processes including the ability to automate the billing process, accounting and tax management and of course subscription management.
Additionally, Zuora is also capable of providing brand customization, accepting more than 200 currencies worldwide and setting up role-based access rules. This comprehensive platform effectively changes the way subscription-based businesses manage their customers, sell their products and/or services and the efficiency of which they bring new products to market.
With the Zuora subscription management platform, businesses and organizations can effectively adopt innovative packaging and pricing strategies to reach out to more customers, expand their share of the marketplace, better track high volume self-service and assisted sales, automate the payment and billing process, streamline accounting and revenue recognition and make more informed decisions catalyzed by valuable subscription insights and metrics.
The Zuora subscription management platform comes with many different features that are designed to be fully functional, flexible and effective in meeting the needs of every organization that uses it. Here are some of the main standouts.
The Z-Billing module provides billing personnel of companies a more streamline centralized platform for managing all accounts receivable operations, which also includes credits, refunds and billing adjustments. This is also the feature that allows users to easily automate payment and billing activities through scheduling.
Your company’s billing department can automatically send out email notifications to customers informing them of payments due, payment collection failures, credit card expirations, subscription renewals and so on.
The Z-Billing feature helps to identify revenue, timing, frequency and taxation stipulations that are connected to any changes, while still allowing key billing and finance processes to run as smoothly as possible for your product marketing group.
With this system, users can create branded invoice templates, consolidate charges for several clients using a single invoice and accept payments through Automated Clearing House or ACH, direct debit, checks and bank transfers.
Regardless of your organization’s growth and development strategies, the Z-Billing software solution helps to make sure you always get valuable insights and vital information needed to make sure invoices are sent, bills are paid and due payments are collected.
The Z-Commerce feature is one of Zuora’s flagship applications, which pretty much covers product marketing and sales. If you are a business owner who plans to expand your operation overseas, multicurrency pricing and global taxation is probably one of the most important aspects you have to think about.
Challenges like these are why Z-Commerce exists. With this feature, pricing and packaging variations across multiple territories essentially become easier, more efficient and for the most part bearable to your marketing and sales team. And since Z-Commerce is fairly easy to use—i.e. it doesn’t require IT or coding experience—you can easily tailor your products and/or services to match your customer-base on each individual market around the globe.
Z-Commerce also provides your sales and marketing teams with some wiggle room to exercise their creativity with how they package pricing, i.e. one-time charges, pay-as-you-go, recurring charges, overage pricing, discount pricing, promos and free trials, anything to make your pricing packages more appealing to new customers.
Z-Finance helps to streamline and accelerate accounting and revenue close processes for your finance team. It also provides a better perception of the overall financial health of your business through crucial subscription metrics.
The system is designed so finance personnel don’t have to spend so much time staring down at spreadsheets to oversee and gauge revenue recognition, which is totally outdated in today’s standards. It just takes too much time to crunch numbers using dated methods. It will take a gargantuan amount of time to close books, impose new finance guidelines or simply to get a better picture of how the business is doing revenue-wise.
What Z-Finance does is make processes and activities involving the financial side of the business more streamlined and efficient, which also makes things a lot easier for your personnel. Whether you’re trying to expand to new territories or planning to take your company public, going through the processes is much more effortless and pretty straightforward.
Moreover, when it comes to subscription charges, the system automatically generates revenue schedules. The metrics associated with those subscriptions can be easily analyzed and reviewed in-depth.
The benefits of the Zuora subscription management software solution
There are plenty of benefits businesses can expect from using the Zuora subscription management solution. The following are just a few of those benefits many businesses and organizations might find helpful.
Salesforce CRM integration
Zuora comes with a cool feature called Zuora for Salesforce. This is an application available with the Z-Commerce module, which comes with quite a bit of functionality. What the feature essentially does is help bring all aspects of the subscription commerce lifecycle into the Salesforce CRM platform.
Zuora for Salesforce allows your sales team to utilize the Zuora product catalog to generate quotes for potential customers in Salesforce, make processing upgrades or downgrades and offer subscription renewals while staying in sync with the Z-Billing and Z-Finance modules.
With this added benefit, your accounts and sales department have access to real-time subscriber data, including all subscription transactions as well as impacted metrics.
In addition to seamless integration with Salesforce’s customer relationship management platform, Zuora is also designed to readily meld with other third-party applications with ease, which includes:
• QuickBooks, NetSuite and Workday for all your accounting processes
• GoodData, SaaSOptics and Scout Analytics for all your analytics needs
• Moneris, Chase Paymentech and CyberSource for payment administration
• Avalara and Vertex for tax management
• SOAP and REST API integrations are available as well
Solid support system
The global support system built by Zuora is quite impressive. It provides customers with a wide variety of ways to get assistance. Apart from Zuora University, a self-help knowledge base, Zuora also has a community forum subdivided into different groups based on location. There, customers can communicate and help each other out in order to get the best experience with the platform.
Additional support channels offered by Zuora include phone, chat and email. And on their website, there is a page that contains partner announcements and implementation best practices to help new subscribers get a better understanding of the platform and how to implement it into their business.
Pricing for the Zuora subscription management software solution
Zuora’s pricing model is fully customized. The cost of the subscription depends on the scale of your company. They offer multiple subscription plans and a free trial for interested parties. You have three options—Growth, Enterprise and Nine.
You may visit their official website or talk to their sales team directly for a quote and an actual breakdown of their pricing plans and the features that come with each one.
The bottom line
Zuora is a cloud-based billing, commerce and finance software solution designed for subscription-based businesses of all sizes across multiple industries. It is a multifaceted platform that facilitates key aspects of your business. The platform has an intuitive interface—it has a user-friendly design and comes with seamless integration with a bunch of third-party software solutions.
If you want a subscription management solution that is packed with features, easy to use, reliable and has great functionality, this is probably the software for you.