News today of yet another partnership for SaaS subscription and billing provider Zuora – this time they’re signing up Citrix as a customer with Zuora powering the subscription and billing parts of Citrix’ CloudPortal Services Manager. The deal is essentially a simple one, Citrix wants to provide cloud tools to service providers who can then on-sell them to end users. An important part of the package that services providers need is the ability to meter and bill customers in different ways – some service providers might be bundling cloud with other products or services and they’ll all have different ideas about a pricing and subscription strategy that works for them.
This integration is touted as providing a tightly coupled and hence low friction way for service providers to tie their service provision tools to their revenue management tools
Hardly a day goes by without Zuora announcing some kind of partnership. I’ve reflected on this fact in the past.While more cynical souls would claim that it’s yet another example of PR by partnership, beyond that it does speak to a deeper need and market opportunity. Make no mistake – there is an increasing trend towards companies wanting to offer their products and services in different ways. The old style of license fee + maintenance no longer works, rather we’re in a space of usage, monthly, value added, incremental, add on products and a million and one other billing models.
I’m less excited by the announcement as a partnership per se, than by the fact that it indicates, yet again that vendors are realizing that new ways of doing business are a non-negotiable requirement. That’s a massive validation for what Zuora and its competitors (a rapidly growing list) are offering – Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo has long waxed poetic about the coming “subscription economy” – deals like this one validate that viewpoint.