All-in-one Systems: The simple case for why you should always consider the source

Customers often come to us and ask, "are there any better billing systems out there? I hear billing system xyz really solves all of our problems."

Our simple answer to that question is to consider the source. Are you being sold something or is someone offering their unbiased opinion?

The Unbiased Approach

After having worked with and evaluated Recurly, NetSuite Billing, GoTransverse, Salesforce Billing, and all of the other systems in between, each will sell you on their fancy kitchen, gold-plated faucets and all of them will fail to deliver in some area. It's their job to sell you on their solution.

The important consideration is: what billing solution will get you 80% to your goal without having to build your own billing engine and which solution will allow you to scale without re-work.

As unbiased as we are, we still have not seen anything that compares to how far evolved Zuora is and the breadth of their solution. We may have had a different tone prior to their acquisition of RevPro as revenue recognition is a key element of the subscription business model.

Will we recommend Zuora every time? No. Will we recommend other solutions? Yes.

There are a few arguments out there from the platforms such as Salesforce and NetSuite that offer:

  1. We are an all-in-one system
  2. Our platform scales with you

The first argument is a fair one for customers with simplistic needs; however, most businesses aren't simple and the way they want to price and package isn't either. This was a common marketing tactic back in 2005-2010 where productized integrations were still on the horizon but not as evolved as they needed to be to make disparate systems scalable. NetSuite called it 'the hairball'. Salesforce called it whatever they wanted and people bought it.

Fast forward to 2018, integrations are productized and scalable; integration platforms are a common way to get all of the functionality you need in addition to the customizations that matter when you need data to flow seamlessly from system-to-system.

The second argument is also outdated. All systems, integrated or not, will take work to have it scale with you. Period. To think that a system like Salesforce can be 'out-of-the-box' and a company can scale on it without major work is irresponsible. No matter what solution it is, disparate or not, it will take significant work and iterations to grow a business on a business system.

LeadTo has focused on Salesforce, Zuora, and NetSuite as it is the most evolved cloud business system bundle with the most flexible and extensible integration points. It allows customers to choose systems that are excellent (not just ok) at what they do without compromising user adoption and the needs of the business.

Arguably, Salesforce is the best at CRM, Zuora is the best at Billing, and NetSuite is the best ERP.

The next time you are sold, "yes we can do that", it will benefit you and your organization to do the deep due diligence needed to choose the best systems for your business.