Zoho Subscriptions vs Zuora
Last updated: October 11, 2018
Smarter billing for your subscription business. Zoho Subscriptions is a cloud-based recurring billing and subscription management app, designed to help your small business grow.
The Unrivaled Subscription Billing and Commerce Platform. From quote to cash to renewals, Zuora manages the entire customer lifecycle for subscription businesses.
Zoho Subscriptions vs Zuora in our news:
2018 - Zuora partners with Amazon Pay to expand subscription billing options
Zuora, the SaaS company helping organizations manage payments for subscription businesses, had been selected as a Premier Partner in the Amazon Pay Global Partner Program. The “Premier Partner” distinction means businesses using Zuora’s billing platform can now easily integrate Amazon’s digital payment system as an option during checkout or recurring payment processes. The strategic rationale for Zuora is clear, as the partnership expands the company’s product offering to prospective and existing customers. The ability to support a wide array of payment methodologies is a key value proposition for subscription businesses that enables them to service a larger customer base and provide a more seamless customer experience.
2014 - Zoho Subscriptions - new cloud service for recurring billing - a new advantage over Zuora
Zoho provides a lot of SaaS services and has to manage somehow millions of subscriptions. So they decided to share their experience and technologies with others and built cloud recurring billing software Zoho Subscriptions. The way it works is you enter your subscription information and it handles the entire transaction including invoicing, credit card information, receipt generation and capturing the monthly revenue. What separates Zoho Subscriptions from the competition (Recurly, Zuora) is the tight integration with the accounting package Zoho Books, creating a bridge between the subscription economy and traditional accounting.
2010 - Zuora to become a billing provider for Windows Azure to strike back at Apttus
Zuora, the service that provides SaaS companies a convenient way of collecting monthly payments, will join the Microsoft Windows Azure Technology Adoption Program (TAP) as the first on-demand billing and subscription management provider to be chosen by Microsoft. So the SaaS services on Azure platform will be able to easily integrate their products with the billing system to offer customers a range of flexible payment plans (for example, depending on the disk space, number of users, number of projects, etc.) to its customers, send invoices, accept payments through different payment systems and create various sales reports. Interestingly, that Zuora is backed by Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, the company that Microsoft is fighting with.
2009 - Zuora released Z-billing 2.0
A year after introducing their product to the market, Zuora, the online billing solution for SaaS vendors, have just released Z-billing 2.0. It provides 33 new features to increase revenues. With more billing, pricing and payment options that can be tailored to fit specific market segments, Z-Billing 2.0 makes it possible for companies to respond to market changes by offering services at the right price and terms. More mass updating tools, auto-sync capabilities, and workflow enable customers to streamline business operations. More integration options to websites, provisioning, accounting, CRM, and payments systems connect all business operations systems seamlessly. Z-Billing 2.0’s logging and tracking capabilities provide automatic audit trails for compliance and security needs.
2009 - Zuora Introduces the Business Cloud With Launch of the Z-Commerce Platform
Zuora, Inc., the fastest growing on-demand billing and payments
service, today announced the Z-Commerce Platform. The Z-Commerce
Platform is the first development platform dedicated to enabling
monetization for cloud computing services. The addition of the
Z-Commerce Platform to Zuora’s product list, including Z-Billing,
Z-Payments, and Z-Force, creates a full suite of Business Cloud
solutions focused on helping companies drive revenue from cloud
“2009 is the Year of the Cloud – and developers are clearly shifting
to building services on cloud platforms. With the Z-Commerce Platform,
we’ve now given developers a powerful way to monetize services built on
these platforms,” said Tien Tzuo, CEO, Zuora. “This is the most
important product announcement we’ve made thus far – with the
introduction of the Z-Commerce Platform, we’ve taken a big step towards
our vision of being the de-facto commerce engine for the cloud.”
The Business Cloud, Powered by Zuora
Applications are moving to the cloud and developers are following.
Merrill Lynch predicts the addressable market for Cloud Computing is
$160B, including $95B in business and productivity applications. There
are already millions of developers working on cloud platforms such as
Amazon Web Services, salesforce.com’s Force.com, and Google AppEngine.
To reach the millions of .Net developers out there, Microsoft will
launch Azure, its cloud computing platform, later this year.
But technology cloud platforms are not enough. Cloud developers also
need a way to make money from the services and applications they build.
This creates huge market potential for a provider of cloud-based
commerce capabilities such as subscription billing and payments to meet
this need. In fact, upwards of 50% of Zuora’s inbound leads are from
cloud computing companies looking for a way to monetize their services.
This is what Zuora calls the Business Cloud.
“Payments and billing are two of the thorniest - and critical -
business operational elements facing both new and mature SaaS and Cloud
vendors,” according to Robert Mahowald, director of IDC’s global SaaS
practice. “By providing a solution to a key pain point that all SaaS
and Cloud Computing vendors share, Zuora is helping to drive new
opportunities for SaaS-based businesses and to usher in the era of the
The Z-Commerce Platform
Zuora’s Z-Commerce Platform works with any cloud computing platform,
including Amazon Web Services, salesforce.com’s Force.com, and Google
AppEngine. Never before has a company provided developers with the
tools to quickly and easily build subscription management and commerce
into cloud-based services. The Z-Commerce Platform brings the following
new commerce capabilities to developers:
* A complete set of commerce APIs that allow developers to tap into the power of Z-Billing, Z-Payments, and Z-Force
* A powerful SubscribeNow() call that makes it easy to add one-click order processing to any web site
* Sample code and toolkits for the most popular languages such as Java, .NET, and PHP
* A developer sandbox environment to use for developing and testing commerce solutions
* Z-Store reference implementation, a fully functional web store,
complete with source code, that takes subscription orders from a web
site and allows end customers to manage their subscription and billing
* New Zuora Developer Community Site, a community of cloud computing
developers sharing best practices and collaborating around the Business
Cloud. The site includes forums, developer events, and full developer
support. The Zuora Developer Network is available at
Early Adopters Already Seeing Returns
Several companies have already created customized billing and payment
solutions using the Business Cloud provided by the Z-Commerce Platform,
* DataDoctors, a chain of computer service centers and a Zuora
customer, used the Business Cloud to build a billing Intranet for its
* CVSDude, an international hosting service, used the Business Cloud to
add billing and payment capabilities, integrated into its code control
* Bluewolf, an on demand services consulting company and Zuora partner,
used the Z-Commerce API to integrate billing, payments, and
subscriptions into custom media applications built on Force.com
* InsideView, a cloud-based business search and intelligence
application and Zuora customer, uses the SubscribeNow() API to take
subscription orders directly from its website
“Using the Z-Commerce Platform we built a custom billing, payment
and subscription management system for our locations to use with
subscription customers. Zuora’s open API made it easy to launch an
intranet that is now used by our 250+ personnel around the country,”
said Brandon Disney, COO, Data Doctors Franchise Systems.
“With the Z-Commerce Platform we easily added commerce to our
subversion hosting and project management service” said Jason Seed, CEO
of CVSdude. “Now our invoicing and payment process is fully automated
and integrated into our end user experience.”
“Our customers depend on our on-demand expertise and we are huge
fans of Zuora – Zuora is an asset to any company implementing a SaaS or
subscription-based service. The new Z-Commerce Platform makes it that
much easier for companies to instantly monetize their cloud services,”
said Eric Berridge, CEO, Bluewolf.
Zuora launched its first product, Z-Billing, in May 2008. Z-Billing
is the first billing application designed specifically for subscription
companies, giving them the flexibility and power to create, manage, and
grow their business. In October 2008, Zuora launched its second
product, Z-Payments. Z-Payments is a complete payment solution built
for subscription businesses and includes the ability to accept PayPal
payments. In November 2008, Zuora unveiled Z-Force, the first billing
and payment system fully integrated with salesforce.com and 100% native
to the Force.com platform. In just seven months, more than 70 customers
have selected Zuora, including Cloud9 Analytics, Marketo, and Box.net.
2008 - Zuora Introduces Z-Force
Zuora, the fastest-growing on-demand subscription billing and
payment service, today introduced its plans for Z-Force, a 100% native
Force.com application, that pre-integrates Z-Billing and Z-Payments
with Salesforce CRM. Founded by Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry
veterans from salesforce.com and WebEx, it is Zuora's mission to
revolutionize the online subscription industry. The announcement was
made today at Dreamforce '08, salesforce.com's User and Developer
Conference. Zuora's Z-Force is 100% built on the Force.com
platform. It is fully integrated with Z-Billing and Z-Payments,
combining best-in-class on demand billing and payments with Salesforce
CRM to provide a fully integrated lead-to-cash system that also
provides 360-degree visibility into all customer activity.
2008 - Zuora Raises Another $15 Million For Integrated Online Billing And Payment Solution
Zuora, an SaaS startup that offers online services to manage and automate customer subscriptions and payments, has raised $15 million in a second round of funding from Shasta Ventures and Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, Venturebeat reports. The company had previously raised $6.5 million from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Benchmark Capital (who also participated in this round), bringing the total of funding to $21.5 million. When Zuora launched its online billing solution last May, we wrote the company aims to alleviate the need for online businesses to develop their own billing systems, especially to handle recurring payments like those associated with subscriptions.
2008 - Zuora gets PayPal president on board
Zuora, the SaaS billing startup that was pitching itself as “the PayPal of online business services” when it launched in March, has snagged PayPal’s president and former CTO, Scott Thompson, as a board member, it announced yesterday. The addition is a feather in the cap for the young vendor, which only went live with the first version of its product in May, yet already says it has signed 17 customers.
I had a quick call with Thompson (pictured) yesterday to find out what had drawn him to get so closely involved with Zuora. He cited two motivations.
One thing that came out very strongly was that Thompson loves the pay-as-you-go model of on-demand services like PayPal and SaaS, based on his experiences on the enterprise buyside in senior technology roles at Visa and Barclays Global Investors. “There was a recurring theme,” he explained. “You were always buying everything ahead of what you needed for where you were, in order to allow the business to scale.
“All these enterprise software vendors sell you a chunk of stuff, most of which you don’t want,” he said — and it becomes a burden, he added. “Your business is slowed down because you’re dragging along this big anchor.”
Thompson is delighted to see the pay-as-you-use model being extended into aspects of SaaS infrastructure like billing. The other strong aspect of the on-demand model that he sees Zuora exemplifying is the ability to ‘mash up’ best-of-breed services with each other (a development I discussed here on this blog last month in relation to Xactly’s mashup with PayPal, Amazon and Salesforce).
Paypal doesn’t do billing, he explained, but it does have a ‘request money’ function. “It’s a very primitive way to send an invoice,” he said. “It gets great use.” Businesses generate a bill, call the function, and their client settles the invoice via PayPal. The provider is happy to leave that function in its current state, he said. “We don’t do the invoicing and billing thing because we want to focus on being a payment service.”
Where Zuora comes in is adding best-practice automation of the business processes that interact with PayPal’s ‘request money’ function. “[Zuora CEO] Tien [Tzuo] and his team are going to be world class in doing that one thing,” he said, partnering with others for other functions. “A best-in-class billing service side by side with a best-in-class payment service like PayPal.”
He forecast that online payments and automated transactions will continue to supplant paper-based payment processes over the next ten years. PayPal and other providers operating payment services will sit on top of the existing banking networks, and they’ll partner with other providers to ‘mash up’ automated processes that interact with the payment services.
Traditional banks will still have their relationships with customers, he said, but the moving of money between businesses will increasingly depend on automated processes that call on new payment options that are more cost-effective and efficient than wire transfers and checks.