By Tien Tzuo. This article originally appeared in the Zuora Blog.
After hearing some fantastic enterprise transformation stories from Caterpillar, GE and Ford at our Subscribed 17 Keynote, this morning I was very happy to announce the launch of Zuora Central, a new hub that orchestrates your entire quote-to-cash process for a dynamic, subscription world. We’ve been working on this new platform for two years, and we think it delivers true business freedom.
Today’s standard quote-to-cash systems run on a linear model, with hard-coded interfaces and systems permanently daisy-chained together. With Zuora Central, we’re shifting to a more dynamic circular model, where everything revolves around real-time subscriber events. Think of it 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.
How does it work? Well, let’s start with pricing. Zuora Central comes with a dynamic pricing & packaging engine, one that understands all sorts of consumption based, time-based, and user-based models, so you can go to a single place to design your pricing plans, your bundles, and your promotions.
Not only that, Zuora Central will broadcast any pricing change out to all your dependent systems, and immediately surface that new price to all of your sales channels–CPQ, CRM, web store, and partner portal. When it comes to pricing & packaging, that’s freedom delivered.
Next, Zuora Central comes with a real-time rating engine and subscription orders engine, that together can detect any event — a signup, an upgrade, when a customer reaches some usage threshold, or when the end of a monthly billing cycle is reached — and translate those events into signals for other relevant systems.
So for example when an upgrade happens, the billing system is notified to charge the customer, the provisioning system is notified to activate a service, and the revenue system is notified to change the future revenue schedules.
Zuora Central also contains a global payments engine that can store any type of payment method, so that recurring transactions are easy. It can do pre-authorizations, verify that payment methods are still valid, and update account numbers for credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, ACH, and Apple Pay. All around the world.
And because Zuora Central contains both a subscription metrics engine and a subscription accounting engine, it calculates the key metrics and information for a recurring business model and cast them in traditional journal entries that accounting systems understand.
And remember that everything that Zuora Central does is tracked back to a unique Subscriber ID, so you always have a full history of the subscriber, including demographic, financial, and behavioral information.
And of course, all of Zuora’s products — from Billing to CPQ to RevPro to Connect to Collect to Insights — all work seamlessly with Zuora Central.
But that’s not all. Need more than what Zuora’s products offer? For example, perhaps you need a CPQ system that supports advanced product configuration, like if you are a hosting company, or sell complex physical products. That’s OK, you can swap out our CPQ for another application like PROS, and still achieve business freedom.
And Zuora Central synchronizes seamlessly with CRM and your accounting system, so all customer information shows up in Salesforce.com, and all transactions or journal entries are posted into the general ledger.
With Zuora Central, everything just works. A true platform for business freedom.
This is really exciting stuff. You can find out more at our official press release, and with Subscribed in full swing, please check out our Subscribed Recap Page for all the decks, press and social highlights.
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