Riverbed Technology, Inc. provides hardware and software application performance infrastructure solutions in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific.
Riverbed was growing rapidly with a complex product portfolio but the downstream impact on revenue recognition created a huge burden on the finance team and increased audit risks.
Zuora Revenue helped Riverbed automate its entire revenue recognition process to ensure quick and error-free accounting.
Riverbed is now able to close its books in just 4-5 days and reduce SSP analysis time by more than 90%.
Riverbed Technology is a leading software and hardware provider focused on network performance monitoring, application performance management, and wide area networks, including SD-WAN and WAN optimization.
The company’s product portfolio consists of hardware, software, cloud-based products, and professional services. While this multi-pronged strategy helped the company grow its business, it also made life difficult for the finance team. Several different types of products meant different revenue recognition and allocation rules had to be followed for each offering. In addition, as the business grew, so did the volume of contracts that had to be processed. Working with manual, excel-based systems and processes were not only time consuming but also increased audit risks.
“As the business grew, the amount of transactional lines grew too fast and we realized that we needed an automated solution to facilitate the allocation rather than doing it offline. Doing your calculations on a spreadsheet just makes it ripe for human error and auditors would rather sign-off on revenue automation technology every time,” says Mark Million, Director of Revenue Accounting at Riverbed Technology.
Riverbed turned to Zuora Revenue to help it automate its revenue recognition processes. “Zuora Revenue has streamlined and standardized the process including accounting for complex allocations and allowed for maintenance of previous inconsistencies in upstream data. The revenue team is no longer relying on spreadsheets and the days of not being able to handle contingent revenue or deal with unbilled accounting are a thing of the past. Most importantly, today, Riverbed is able to close its books accurately in just four to five days,” says Million.
Another area of complexity for most technology companies is attributing the right SSP (Standalone Selling Price) for every contract. Due to sales strategies such as bundling, discounts, etc. the price at which a product or service is sold to a customer isn’t always the same price that is used for revenue recognition. This often requires finance teams to manually calculate the right SSP for each contract. Riverbed faced the same challenge prior to using Zuora Revenue. The team had to work with large data sets on spreadsheets which was extremely time-consuming and inefficient.
“I think the SSP analyzer in Zuora Revenue is fantastic and it has been invaluable to us in terms of saving time. Before we had it, we were doing SSP calculations offline once a quarter. We were dealing with hundreds of thousands of lines of data and it’s difficult to do that off a spreadsheet. Oftentimes, we’d have to reach out to our IT team because we reached the threshold of lines for reporting. Zuora Revenue automatically runs all those calculations in the background and shrunk a week-long process down to half a day, which is great!” says Million.
Zuora Revenue also helps Riverbed’s executive team understand the health of the business and make strategic decisions. Responding to market signals and the performance of its various products, Riverbed is planning to spin off ‘Aternity’, its digital experience management arm into a separate division. The finance team is looking to isolate Aternity’s financial data from the rest of the business so the company has clear visibility into each individual business unit. “Zuora Revenue is helping us facilitate that with its seamless ability to slice and dice financial data accurately,” says Million.
As Riverbed continues to expand its product portfolio and employ new growth strategies, Zuora Revenue will help the company make informed decisions to drive future growth. “We rely on Zuora Revenue for its reporting functionality. We use all the OOTB reports as well as some of our own customized reports. They're really the bible of what we're sending out as our financials,” says Million.
“We rely on Zuora Revenue for its reporting functionality. We use all the OOTB reports as well as some of our own customized reports. They’re really the bible of what we’re sending out as our financials.” – Mark Millian, Director of Revenue Accounting at Riverbed Technology
“I think the SSP analyzer in Zuora Revenue is fantastic. Before we had it, we were doing SSP calculations offline once a quarter. Zuora Revenue has shrunk a week-long process down to half a day!” – Mark Million, Director of Revenue Accounting at Riverbed Technology