In short: Subscribed London rocked. John Phillips, General Manager, EMEA at Zuora, started by introducing Zuora: 1000 customers, 850+ employees, and operations in 18 different companies. Zuora has made a mission to build out the most globally available product that’s locally aware…and Subscribed London is a proofpoint that we are The Subscription Economy Leader for the world.
As John Phillips, so eloquently opened the event at the awesome Tobacco Dock venue: “Six years ago we started: daring the world it was going to change. Now we are worldwide and have over 200 European companies working with us on their journey to deliver subscriptions. The Subscribed event tour has made an impact at home with our signature San Francisco Subscribed, traveled from Melbourne to Sydney, lit up NY, and, most recently, cat-walked across Paris, but now we come back to “salubrious Wapping” for our biggest and best Subscribed London yet!
The day started with an inspirational Diversity in Tech breakfast (check out the details here).
Then Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo took to the stage, joined by John Ingram, CEO and Co-Founder of Mortgage Gym, and Tom Bucklar, Director of IoT and Digital for Caterpillar, to prove the point that subscriptions aren’t limited to movies or magazines; they are everywhere, across all industries and impacting all of us in our daily lives. We are all living in a different world now: the world of the Subscription Economy.
In addition to Tien’s inspirational keynote and a great overview of the Zuora Central platform from Tom Krackeler, SVP Products, Zuora, the day was jam-packed with deep-dive breakout sessions across 5 tracks from Transformation to Finance, fantastic eats, enthusiastic networking, a traveling band, awesome conversations throughout our partner ecosystem, and, even, a couple of gigantic canvas garden chairs.
It’d be impossible to summarize all the gems that came out of today’s great presentations and discussions, but here we offer you just a few highlights:
“The Subscription Economy offers freedom: Freedom from products, from obsolescence, from barriers of time and location, freedom from one size fits all, freedom from “you can have any color you want…as long as it’s black.” Freedom to try, buy, upgrade, downgrade, pause, cancel, rejoin.” – Tien Tzuo, CEO
“We wanted to reinvent the experience of getting access to a mortgage. This is the most important purchase decision in a consumer’s life. Regulations have changed in the last few years and made that worse. We wanted to change that and empower everyone in the transaction chain. It’s a whole new economy.” – John Ingram, CEO and Co-Founder of Mortgage Gym
“The key to any successful company is being customer-centric. As we work with our customer base, it’s driven us more into a service business.” – Tom Bucklar, Director of IoT and Digital, Caterpillar
“The question is: How do you create value off the data you collect? We had a customer with over 10,000 assets who needed help connecting all their assets. We put it all together on one screen. A year later, they had increased utilization on those assets by 15%.” – Tom Bucklar, Director of IoT and Digital, Caterpillar
“It used to be about pricing – now you have to talk about value based pricing, outcomes. How can you find different ways of pricing and packaging to reflect the value that customers see. And as they grow with you, how does your pricing grow?” – Tien Tzuo, CEO, Zuora
“Technology is the problem. 72% of Fortune 500 companies feel like the single greatest challenge limiting their growth is their technology (from a 2016 Fortune survey). Inefficient operations, terrible customer experiences, unnecessary overhead, increased compliance risk, stalled innovation, stunted growth, vulnerable to disruption…your business is stuck.” – Tien Tzuo, CEO, Zuora
“We must ask more of ourselves less of the technology. It’s about humans, teams, who you serve. Take a human approach to transformation.” – Hugo Pito Campos, Managing Director, Accenture
“Face the fact that you’re no longer seeing the same thing to your clients. Think beyond the box, product, manual, and it works. Does it work on my phone? No. People won’t go for this. Digital transformation doesn’t change things over night but slowly erodes the relevance of the product, and at some stage it’s no longer to recover the relationship with your clients.” – Hugo Pito Campos, Managing Director, Accenture
“Only 24% of companies are confident in their quote-to-cash architecture.” – Alvina Antar, CIO, Zuora.
“It’s not natural for people to think experimentation. I said to HR we have to fail fast. HR said succeed fast. It’s a deep transformation, it’s cultural. Find champions in all the areas of the company. A champion is someone who believes in it.” – Pierre Yves-Noel, Director – Cloud Services and Subscription Business Models, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
“When new companies disrupt, that’s cool.. but more interesting is when legacy companies disrupt, because they have to transform as well.” – Martin Whitlock, CTO, Telenor Connexion
“ARR, conversion, churn, burn – these metrics are new. If you can’t measure, you can’t manage a business, all the way down through the partners so you can manage your effort and your rewards.” – Simon Minett, Head of Global Operations, Unify
“From cash to cheques to cards to PSD2 to blockchain, the payments landscape is rapidly evolving — and the next wave of change is away from banks.” – George Britton, Head of Enterprise UK at GoCardless
“Net retention is a critical metric for subscription businesses. Upsell is a key factor.” – Jonathan Brown, Sales Engineer, Zuora
“The sheer volume and complexity of data makes IFRS 15 implementation even more challenging. And IFRS isn’t just an impact on finance at the back end of the process.” – Theresa Germellou, Cloud Advisory, Deloitte
“One of the pet peeves for our data scientists is uninterpretable data, because if it’s uninterpretable it’s not actionable.” – Rachel English, Director of Customer Experience, Zuora
“It’s a human’s job to make interventions that improve outcomes. In other words, unfortunately my Fitbit won’t lose weight for me. It’s my job to understand the data and then make actions based on it.” – Rachel English, Director of Customer Experience, Zuora
“In tech 25% of your sales team brings in 80% of your revenue. You can’t afford to lose these people.” – Erik Charles, VP Product Marketing, Xactly
“People can treat incentives like coffee and tea in the breakroom: we know we have to have it but we’re not going to spend on the pricey stuff. Companies often have the same approach to sales incentives: We know we have to offer incentives, but do we really have to offer the good stuff? Yes you do!” – Erik Charles, VP Product Marketing, Xactly
Simplify everything. ARR drives all. Once you know your ARR level, you can go and make some decisions. This is fundamentally different from thinking about revenue. Our GAAP financials are at the end. If we get the subscription stuff worked out right, the GAAP stuff will fall out.” – Tyler Sloat, CFO, Zuora
“Acquisition, monetization, retention – which one do you really want? There has to be an inherent tradeoff.” – Mark Bilge, Managing Partner, Simon Kucher & Partners
“The heart of solving that trade off triangle is the concept of differentiation. Good pricing and packaging almost inevitably offers multiple offers. That may sound complicated and complex. But the fact is that simple pricing and packaging isn’t very profitable. When it comes to monetizing the subscription economy (of which pricing is a piece) one size fits all is a losing strategy.” – Mark Bilge, Managing Partner, Simon Kucher & Partners
“The holy grail in the world of payments is frictionless payments. The payment is just the thing that happens at the end when you want a thing. As retailers and service providers, you want to provide compelling reasons for the decisions to be made. The last thing you want is for the payment process to get in the way. Frictionless payments are a huge part of the payments industry.” – Nick Telford-Reed, Worldpay
“Don’t ever let a customer churn without finding out why they did. That’s gold for determining future churn risk.” – Rachel English, Director Customer Experience, Zuora
“We are listening to our members and growing our business entirely based on the routes that they want to go. The strategy is to create a membership type of community. How does that play out. When you’re a member with us, you’re treated like a person. Ultimately we know all of our members personally. This makes us very accountable. They expect a certain level of service.” – Natalie Torin, Partner Director, Surfair
“If you have the right leader, they will say “Find the rocket ship” in a big company. Where can you innovate from within? We’re building the ship while we’re flying out. As you create the rocket ship within the big company, you have the ability to be a startup with the security and investment of a large company. We do a huge amount of customer research. Before we even think about price point, we’ll test it. We are testing and learning and failing and getting it right and failing and getting it right again.” – Jo Cox, Commercial Director, Hive Connected Homes
“It’s all about journalism at the end of the day, but we still need to be able to deliver change and to pivot around the information and data that we’re receiving from our customers.” – Nigel Miller, Director of Customer and Web, Telegraph
“The most important metrics for us are engagement level and satisfaction level. We like to see the customer interaction. We like to see them being curious about our offers.” – Ioannis Savvidis, Head of Global Hotelier Care, Trivago
“When it comes to taxes, customers that don’t automate, operate at risk. As business owners, there are a few things under your control: file returns on time, file correct returns based upon your registration, claim deductions only consistent with your business, if you’re going to be requesting refunds, authorities will wonder why. If you’ve ever been audited you will be again. These are things that you can be on top of.”- Sacha Wilson, Avalara
“The days of running your business on a monolithic ERP are over. ERP is built around the concept of a financial center. CRM is designed around the concept of a sale. Zuora Central is built around the concept of the subscriber. More than ever you need a single view of who your customers are so you can serve them, across all your product lines.” – Tom Krackeler, SVP Products, Zuora
“Put aside the boring stuff of turning IoT on and off, and get living. We’ve shifted from a product center to an emotional-led base. To get folks to subscribe you have to tap into this emotional center. Why would someone bother paying Hive a monthly fee?” – Jo Cox, Commercial Director, Hive Connected Homes
“Engagement and churn scores analyze account actions and usage data to predict renewals, upsells, downsells, and churn. But what data can you trust and what data will be useful for your organization. Zuora Insights gives you the ability to click into what drives your particular business.” – Simon Dyer, Head of Customer Success, EMEA
“ASC 606 and IFRS 15 requires companies to take a new 5-step approach to revenue recognition: Identify the contract(s), performance obligations, determine x-action price, allocate x-action price, recognize revenue. RevPro is defined with these 5 steps in mind.” – Tom Krackeler, SVP Products, Zuora
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