Subscription CPQ & Recurring Invoicing
As another Dreamforce rolls around, it is time to provide some updates on the movers & shakers in the land of Quote to Cash. Why? Because Salesforce is now in the Q2C space, and in a big way!
But, more on that in a minute.
What better way of updating our clients and readers than revising our award-winning industry blog strategy of comparing Quote to Cash with cheesy Will Farrell movies. Like this Pulitzer nominee from 2014:
Q2C: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF CONFUSION
“Remember the famous alley brawl scene from Anchorman, where Will Ferrell and the Channel 4 News Team square off against San Diego’s other news stations?
Same thing in CPQ and Billing.
Coming from one alley we have the massive tried and true gang from On-Premise full-suite providers, like Oracle, Amdocs, Ericsson, and SAP. They probably bringing sledgehammers to the fight.
From another direction, the smaller On-Premise providers that focus on particular industry verticals, among them MetraTech, Cerillion, and Cycle30, come waltzing in. They are likely wielding a pick axe or something like that.
Then the SaaS guys come around the corner, some just out of diapers, others going through puberty, and some ready to graduate (think Zuora, Aria, Vindicia, goTransverse, and many others). I imagine them with all kinds of cool weapons, with varying degrees of understanding of how to use them. Oh yeah, and some of them have marketing teams behind them already writing press releases about the upcoming victory.
Finally, a rogue band of open source guys come crashing in, from companies like jBilling and AgileBill. They will have a whole bunch of stuff in a toolbox that they are hastily trying to assemble into a functioning weapon.”
Fast forward two short years, and all of the companies mentioned above have gone through significant changes – they are gone, acquired, stagnated, rejuvenated, or grown up. Such is the world of Quote to Cash. For most of our 16 years in billing, clients have been looking for the ‘grass is greener’ side of Quote to Cash. As the picture below indicates – there have been significant overlap in the billing technology options available to clients at any point in time.
In 2016, the era of “Customer Success Platform-Based Quote to Cash” has joined the fray, and for many of ATG’s clients and prospects, the timing is perfect. Business agility is the name of the game in 2016, and our clients are faced with numerous technological, economic, financial, and societal trends that are dramatically changing the way they need to do business.
They are redefining their customer experience, operating in a social world, meeting the challenges of a buying populace that demands subscription and ‘pay as you go’ models, and pivoting to handle rapidly evolving methods for counting their revenue.
To meet this challenge, clients are seeking fewer vendors rather than more. Fewer Product Catalogs, rather than more. Fewer integration points, rather than more.
They want more security, more functionality, less integration costs, less vendor risk, faster time to market with new products, and a general assurance that their investments will realize the ROI. It’s never been harder to be a CIO, trying to manage this complexity.
Enter Salesforce into the world of Quote to Cash. All customer touch points from one vendor. All, or most, downstream revenue processes from one vendor with one product catalog, one set of opportunity, quote, order, and invoice objects, operating in one secure cloud.
Pretty good vision, but Quote to Cash is all about execution. Great product, great implementation, great conversion, great deployment. Salesforce Quote to Cash is in its early days, and will be rolled out to clients as the functionality grows to meet the client need. Early returns are more than promising, with some ATG clients implementing Salesforce Quote to Cash for Subscription CPQ and Billing requirements in as little as eight weeks, which is unheard of in our space.
So, welcome Salesforce to Quote to Cash. We look forward to working with you to deliver business agility to our clients.Fewer Clouds, Bluer Skies!
Tom Stergios is the Senior Vice President of Strategy & Corporate Development for Advanced Technology Group (ATG) and the General Manager of the Missoula Solution Center. Tom has nearly a century of experience with service providers in billing and the Quote to Cash space.