CIO Review >> Magazine >> July - 2013 issue

6 Tips for Subscription Commerce Migration


Monday, July 22, 2013

Tom Dibble San Francisco based Aria Systems provides cloud based subscription billing and management solutions for Global 2000 companies. The company has raised $34 million from InterWest Partners, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Venrock.

Nearly half of all U.S. businesses have or are considering offering services with a recurring revenue model. However, every company's needs are unique when managing customers as subscribers. Some need a simple platform for few offerings and transactions. Others require a system to handle multiple offerings, currencies and integration with legacy infrastructure. Here are six factors to consider when selecting a subscription commerce solution.

1. Time to Market

When bringing a new service to market, how much time is taken up with configuring your billing and payment systems? Choose a subscription billing platform that gets you to market in as short as time as possible,without costing a fortune or overburdening available IT or financial operations resources.

2. SaaS vs. Traditional Systems

One of the big advantages to a SaaS billing system is the lower upfront cost and relative ease of implementation vs. traditional systems. Also, maintenance and feature upgrades happen behind the scenes. Choose a commerce platform that can provide the best of both worlds - the security and robustness of an on-premise system with the flexibility and responsiveness of a SaaS system.

3. Responding to Trends, Customers and Markets

In this customer driven world we live in, businesses need agility to succeed. When markets shift due to competition, buyer preferences or opportunity, your platform should provide the flexibility to quickly adjust to new realities without involving your IT department.

4. Growing and Keeping Customers

Opportunities for upselling and cross selling are two of the biggest reasons users give for adopting recurring revenue business models. Success in this area comes down to identifying and responding to opportunities that appear in your customer base. Look for solutions that offer insight into customer behavior and enable automated offers.

5. Integrating with Existing Systems

Creating a great experience for your customer may require integrating your solution into a larger operational ecosystem. Buyers should not settle for a platform that hinders operations; instead choose one that extends the value and performance of an existing operational ecosystem.

6. Minimizing Risk

Whenever you manage customer relationships, you are responsible for protecting sensitive customer information. Customers expect it and the law requires it.Whatever subscription commerce solution you decide upon must be secure, available 24/7 and fully compliant with industry regulations.
Take the time to examine your market before choosing. The potential for recurring revenue in business is too important to ignore.