Zuora: Best But Imperfect
March 16, 2016

Zuora: Best But Imperfect

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Zuora

Our organization uses Zuora across sales and finance in conjunction with Salesforce.com to manage all product subscriptions and invoicing. We use its price book for quoting as well, and its data is pulled to our other websites for renewal and product-add purposes.
  • 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.
  • Our price book is far more organized.
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.

Using Zuora

10 - About ten people (all in finance) use Zuora through its own portal, but another 100+ use it indirectly through Salesforce.com (reporting, quoting).
  • Subscription management
  • Invoicing
  • Renewal campaigns
  • Usage information is loaded into Zuora and then pulled by our renewal website to display to customers.
  • Evergreen billing
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.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
Compatibility with Salesforce.com, which we were already using
No idea - we vetted the product quite thoroughly.

Zuora Implementation

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
Change management was a major issue with the implementation - Sales teams fought the change in the quoting and Salesforce reporting that went along with the shift to Zuora, necessitating the creation of an elaborate custom-coded "bridge" that still exists today. This took several months.
  • Data import was messy and had to be done several times
  • Long delays due to required custom code (see previous answer)

Zuora Support

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.
ProsCons
Kept well informed
Slow Resolution
Poor followup
Less knowledgeable
Problems left unsolved
Escalation required
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.
Not in recent memory, although I don't recall my perception being so negative in the first year or two. It appears as though support's level of training and knowledge has dropped since we began using the product.

Using Zuora

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.
ProsCons
Like to use
Technical support not required
Convenient
Feel confident using
Inconsistent
Slow to learn
  • Basic subscription renewal
  • Mass bill run
  • Amending a subscription in multiple ways or at different time points
  • Reporting from within Zuora itself