Zuora Buys Frontleaf, Launches Subscriber Analytics Service

Z-Insights will enable companies to connect vast amounts of subscriber data from multiple sources in order to better understand their subscribers.

Zuora, a growing software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider that offers cloud-based billing, recurring revenue, payments and billing solutions, announced a couple of news items May 20 at its annual users' conference: a new product and its first acquisition of another company.

At the Subscribed conference in San Francisco, the Foster City, Calif.-based company announced the May 18 acquisition of Frontleaf, whose customer analytics software is designed to help subscription-based businesses increase customer adoption, retention and growth. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The company also introduced Z-Insights, a subscriber analytics service based largely on Frontleaf that is designed to help enterprises with cloud-based apps provide an engaging experience for their subscribers. It's still in development but is expected to be ready for prime time later this year.

The new package combines Zuora's subscription commerce, billing and finance system with the expertise and IT from Frontleaf. Z-Insights will enable companies to connect vast amounts of subscriber data from multiple sources in order to better understand their subscribers and take actions to improve the subscriber experience, Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo told eWEEK.

The first set of Z-Insights modules includes the following:

--Subscriber Identity: A real-time view of subscribers, derived by aggregating subscriber demographic and attribute data from multiple sources. Examples of identity data include account balance, company data, demographics, recurring revenue value, social data and user counts.
--Subscriber Moments: A live window into what subscribers are doing, derived by capturing subscriber events from multiple sources. Examples of moments include cancellations, new sign-ups, offers accepted, sent email, service usage, tickets filed, upgrades and consumption patterns.

--Subscriber Segments: Dynamic subsets of the subscriber population that enable companies to identify and take meaningful action on those segments. Examples of segments include add-on targets, companies with more than 5,000 users, free users likely to convert to paid, high-volume users, new subscribers, populations at risk of churn, up-sell targets and users with declining usage.

--Subscriber Triggers: The ability to trigger engagement with subscribers through multiple external channels and applications. Examples of engagement capabilities include email campaigns via email marketing or customer success tools, in-app messages, mobile alerts and tasks assigned to account managers in a CRM system.

--Subscriber Dashboard: A command center view of an individual subscriber's profile and status, including key identity attributes, active segments, moments timeline, usage and other activity metrics. The Subscriber Dashboard is portable and can be published to external systems, such as a CRM application.

"In the era of digital disruption, the companies that are winning have shifted from selling products to delivering experiences and outcomes that are authentic to their brands," said Constellation Research Principal Analyst and Chairman R. "Ray" Wang. "Businesses must operate with a digital DNA and an intention-driven mindset to collect meaningful insights that help predict and deliver on subscriber needs. Zuora has led the way in enabling companies that are making this shift, and the introduction of the Z-Insights will further help the winners create the best subscriber experiences and keep their brand promises."

Z-Insights will be rolled out through a limited pilot program during the fall of 2015, Tzuo said.

Zuora also has offices in Atlanta, London, Paris, Munich, Beijing, Amsterdam, Vienna, Sydney, Copenhagen and Stockholm. Its clients include Financial Times, Schneider Electric, Box, Honeywell, NCR, RTL, The Guardian, YP.com, BlueJeans, Shutterfly, TripAdvisor, Vivint and Trulia.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...