Scout, Zuora Partnership Could Help Subscription-Based Businesses Soar

Scout by ServiceSource, a company that helps customers maximize subscription revenue, announced a partnership today with Zuora, the subscription billing service. It’s seemingly a sensible partnership in a growing subscription economy.

The fruit of their collaboration is a product called Scout Link for Zuora, which enables companies to combine Zuora billing information with Scout’s analytics capabilities to actively track customer usage, updates and provide information for customer engagement teams to encourage usage across the service.

Cloud companies in particular live and die on subscription revenue and making sure customers are using the licenses they bought. The product gives vendors the information they need to proactively engage with customers, something successful cloud vendors recognize is crucial to their success.

As Matt Shanahan, VP of product strategy for Scout pointed out, his company’s research has found a direct correlation between usage and retention. If a customer isn’t using a product, chances are they won’t renew.  Shanahan explained that when you identify when a product is not meeting expectations, you can put systems in place to automatically nurture adoption.

For instance, if a user hasn’t logged in to the new system in the first 15 days, they may send them a reminder. If they’ve logged in, but haven’t used critical features that they know lead to making them stick, they might send another reminder. They may refer a peer to help someone who is logging, on, but not using the system, which could suggest they aren’t understanding how to use it.

Brian Bell, CMO at Zuora says that as the subscription economy evolves there is a corresponding maturation in pricing models. Instead of the cost per user or user per month, it might be storage capacity, mileage or number of times used, depending on the service being employed. And he says that the ability to track billing information in this way opens up opportunities to provide new and more compelling products for customers.

Any subscription business, regardless of the type, has one thing in common: they need to find ways to retain customers and to make sure they are maximizing their usage across all available services. Scout and Zuora are betting companies can use their combined services to maximize their subscription revenue, whatever the source.

PHOTO CREDIT: (c) Can Stock Photo