As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we have a heightened awareness at Zuora of our responsibility to our communities. We have three priorities guiding our decisions during this time of uncertainty: to keep our employees safe, to ensure service to our customers and partners, and to do our part in preventing the spread of the virus. Please read the full blog post from CEO and Founder Tien Tzuo here. This FAQ below was last updated on March 10th.
1. What is Zuora doing as a company to ensure it is prepared for COVID-19, and able to continue business operations?
Answer: We have implemented comprehensive plans to ensure (1) the health and safety of our employees and (2) our ability to continue to support our customers and our business. As part of those plans we are advising employees to work from home, conduct meetings virtually, and pause non-essential travel through the end of March, at which time we will reassess. As the situation evolves, our travel restrictions will continue to map to the CDC guidance. If, at any point, the work we’ve committed to you might be impacted, we will let you know as soon as possible.
We also set up a global response team to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and our plans in real time so we can respond to various scenarios that may occur. We have a resilient and distributed infrastructure and global workforce – already adept at remote work and virtual collaboration – to support continued 24x7x365 operations.
Additionally, Zuora maintains Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans which outline the stability and recovery of our operations and services in the event of a disaster or emergency. Zuora has always held, and continues to hold, our customer commitments with the highest priority, and we are committed to doing our part to prevent the spread of the virus, while managing the balance between continuing to serve our customers and ensuring the continued safety and well-being of our employees.
2. What if someone on the Zuora services team is ill, quarantined, or unable to meet in person for my project? How will we stay on schedule?
Answer: All Zuora consultants are highly proficient in delivering our services remotely to distributed project teams. In fact, a large portion of our implementation work in the normal course happens through remote and distributed teams. We extensively leverage collaboration and communication tools like Google Docs, Slack, and Zoom.
We already have strong procedures in place to support implementation work in the event one of our team members becomes ill and cannot work. In the event that your Zuora consultant became ill and was unable to work, Zuora Implementation Methodology (ZIM) requires rigorous documentation and sharing of content with the Customer and their extended Zuora team. A replacement resource will be able to seamlessly assume responsibility for the delivery of the project and will receive knowledge transfer from the extended Zuora project team.
3. My company has all employees working from home. How can we complete our Zuora project on time?
Answer: Given our globally distributed workforce and global client base, all Zuora consultants are already highly proficient in delivering our services remotely and working with distributed teams. We extensively leverage collaboration and communication tools and are also skilled at assisting our customers in utilizing these tools to collaborate on their implementation projects.
4. How can we help ensure within reason that our Zuora implementation project will not be delayed due to COVID-19?
Answer: We recommend you and your Zuora Solution Delivery Manager (SDM) proactively engage in project continuity planning and share and enable the joint team. If executing projects remotely is something newer to your organization, your Zuora SDM can collaborate with you and share with you our best practices.
5. What if Zuora’s platforms experience an outage? How can we be sure Zuora is prepared to meet its SLA? What is Zuora’s preparedness in case your physical location(s) become inaccessible for an extended period, or you are unable to reach them?
Answer: The Zuora Technical Operations team is globally distributed and is proficient in remote incident handling in the event of an outage. An incident can happen at all times of the day and everything from our on-call paging system to our incident communication mechanisms are designed to be initiated with the assumption that individuals can be remote. There will be no disruption to maintaining our high SLA for our customers.
6. What are you doing to ensure that Zuora’s support team will remain available to help us with questions or issues? Do Zuora operations staff and support staff have remote access capabilities or alternate means to function operationally?
Answer: The Zuora Support Team is a large, globally distributed group that can easily adapt shift rotations to ensure that our 24x7x365 commitments are maintained. We have limited travel within the Zuora Support Team and our staff are already working remotely to limit potential exposure to the virus. In the event of team member illness, we will reassign all customer support tickets to healthy support staff, and all team members that worked in the same office as the sick team member will continue their duties working from home.
7. Who will be our primary point of contact if our AE and/or CSM is out for an extended period?
Answer: In the event that a Zuora AE or CSM needs to be out of work for an extended period due to illness, that team member will provide their customers with a specific Zuora point of contact for the duration of their absence. Our customer-facing team members are all cross-trained, and their ongoing thorough record-keeping enables them to step in for one another seamlessly if needed.
8. What are the plans to cover widespread employee absences in the event of a pandemic?
Answer: Our customer support teams, engineering teams, and operations teams are geographically dispersed on three continents, and are working remotely. We believe this would minimize the impact of an pandemic. We maintain Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans which outline the continuity and recovery of Zuora operations and services in the event of a disaster or emergency. Zuora has always held, and continues to hold, our customer commitments with the highest priority
9. Will Zuora continue with product development and product release schedule, or will that be changed?
Answer: We are confident in our ability to maintain our product and release schedule. Our Zuora R&D organization is a globally distributed team that is already proficient in remote collaboration and software development. Our teams are also cross-trained across different parts of our systems. We have already limited travel within the Zuora R&D organization, and our staff is already working remotely to limit potential exposure to the virus. Further, in the event of illness of an R&D team member, we are confident that we can reassign work to healthy R&D team members.
10. I already signed up for the Subscribed event in June and just learned it was cancelled. Will my registration fee be reimbursed?
Answer: Yes, Zuora will reimburse any fees paid towards events that have been cancelled as a result of COVID-19. As of now, that is only Subscribed 2020 in San Jose. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
11. Are you going to cancel the other regional Subscribed events in Stockholm, Zurich, New York, Chicago, London, or Sydney?
Answer: We will be making decisions on our approach to these regional events as we get closer to their scheduled dates, keeping in mind that the situation remains fluid.
12. Will the Subscribed Institute or Zuora Advisory Group events this year be cancelled? Will there be other opportunities offered to network with and learn from my fellow Zuora customers and other Zuora experts?
Answer: We will maintain our history of delivering one-of-a-kind thought leadership forums that feature speakers across all industries through a combination of locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content. For small group local events of 25 people or fewer, such as the Zuora Advisory Group, we have not made a determination to cancel at this time, but will monitor closely and make a decision based on the situation in the local geography.
13. I am looking forward to some of the Admin Training Classes. Can we do a digital version because my company is advising me to limit travel?
Answer: There are currently two ways for learning how to administer Zuora: 1) through a “Zuora Administrator” learning path in Zuora University, which includes a sequenced set of self-paced course; and 2) by participating in a two-day in-person Zuora Administrator Master Class. We have not cancelled in-person classes at this time, but will monitor and make a determination based on the situation in the local geography. Our Product Education team is actively working on adding a third path: A virtual Zuora Administrator Master Class. We’ll post updates at zuora.com/training.
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