Zuora: Best But Imperfect
March 16, 2016
Zuora: Best But Imperfect
Score 6 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Zuora
- Subscriptions are handled very well. They are flexible and easy to manage.
- Invoicing and bill runs are also flexible and easy to manage.
- The user interface in many places is obtuse and complicated.
- The system has several inexplicable rules dealing with subscription amendments that should be removed or user-toggled.
- The accounting backbone of the system is weak and could be more flexible.
Aside from a specific situation involving tiered pricing that the system could not handle (% of enrollment-based pricing), we have been able to do most of what we needed to do.
Zuora is generally helpful in managing these things, although it still contains several rules and restrictions (accounting periods, amendment management, etc) that should be either removed or made user-defineable.
The system appears to be designed primarily for monthly-type automated billing. We use it primarily for annual, piecemeal billing, however, and it holds up reasonably well there. Subscriptions are a far superior method to managing customer inventory, forecasting, and billing than what we used previously.
- Usage information is loaded into Zuora and then pulled by our renewal website to display to customers.
The product has a lot of room for improvement, but there is also nothing better on the market that is compelling enough to make us want to switch after two and a half years.
- Hard to say. It certainly hasn't had a negative impact, and its help of our renewal process has definitely served as a catalyst.
Evaluating Zuora and Competitors
Yes - Microsoft Great Plains. It was slow and entirely unsuited to subscription-based billing.
it will take a while, so be very careful and deliberate. Prepare for secondary users to struggle with the transition.
- Implemented in-house
- Professional services company
SaaS International (now Baldpeak) in conjunction with our in-house IT folks
Yes - Two phases: implementation of Zuora and launch of an external-facing customer portal website tied to the Zuora database
Support usually responds quickly but is always slow to grasp the problem and rarely helpful without escalation. Part of the problem may be that we use the product in a slightly unconventional way.
Kept well informed
Problems left unsolved
Need to explain problems multiple times
Yes - Considerable issues with Titanium upgrade. Small problems persist several months later and support has not been particularly helpful.
You're basically able to do what you need, but sometimes it seems as though the interface was designed by a space alien from a different galaxy. A space alien who is, on its home planet, an expert at interface design.
Like to use
Technical support not required
Feel confident using
Slow to learn
- Amending a subscription in multiple ways or at different time points
- Reporting from within Zuora itself