SaaS Billing Technology: A Sleeper Agent For Business Agility
“When [billing] goes well, no one cares. When it goes wrong, it’s the end of the world,” one business customer summed up.
As a digital business strategist, you may not think billing technology is in your purview. But your ability to keep up with market changes and the quality of your customer experiences will depend on agile billing technology. Everything from customer trust to the company’s accounting is on the line. This is especially true if you are one of the one in five global purchase influencers who say that changing the business model is a high priority for their companies or if your firm, like many others, is prioritizing new product launches and business acquisitions in order to grow revenue ( . . . all key triggers for new billing technology).
Forrester’s latest Wave™ evaluation on the billing market just published. We focused on nine significant firms in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) billing market: Aria Systems, BillingPlatform, Chargify, Gotransverse, Recurly, RecVue, Salesforce, SAP, and Zuora. The results are the culmination of five months of research: in-depth briefings, surveys, and demos from the vendors and more than 35 customer and partner conversations. We found that differentiation is driven by solutions that demonstrate they can:
- Match your business models — today and in the near future. B2C companies with credit-card-based subscription autorenewals and B2B companies with usage- or consumption-based business models will have wildly different shortlists for solution providers.
- Balance configurability and usability. As one customer noted, “The beauty of the platform is its flexibility. The challenge with the platform is its flexibility.” So long, cookie-cutter SaaS: Many solutions offer a high degree of configurability in order to match their customers’ diverse go-to-markets. But this configurability comes with tradeoffs today, namely in usability. The good news is that when simplicity and speed are paramount, there are solutions for that, too.
- Integrate well with existing technology investments. At most enterprise organizations, the billing systems must integrate closely with existing back- and front-office applications while also relying on — or delivering — data and cues to and from other systems to enhance functionality.
Forrester clients can read the report and access the Excel-based vendor comparison tool here. It’s important to remember that clients should adapt the criteria and the weightings (and, indeed, even the vendor list) to fit their individual needs. Clients can also engage with me directly via inquiry access for further insights. Clients and nonclients alike can engage with me on LinkedIn and Twitter!