In March 2014, Avangate joined the Recurring Revenue Alliance. This is a great initiative by ServiceSource, designed to help business make more money and hold on to more customers by creating best practices for subscription billing and recurring revenues.
What does the #RRAlliance mean for you?
- If you’re new to the subscription billing/recurring revenue model, the Recurring Revenue Alliance and its members can provide framework to help you better understand the complexities and necessities of a recurring revenue model with some real world examples of successful integrations and implementations.
- For those of you already there, you’ll learn how to go beyond subscriptions and build a stronger, more powerful, and more resilient recurring revenue business.
As part of the Alliance, Avangate will partner with other digital companies to help solve key issues related to the recurring revenues and renewals market.
Understanding the Renewals Space
The renewals market falls into 2 categories in general:
- High Value, Low Volume and
- Low Value, High Volumes.
B2B contracts typically are the former, and B2sB (small business) and B2C contracts are typically the latter.
Increasing renewals by automating low dollar value, high volume contracts while retaining customers, is just one of the key issues that Avangate will look to address as part of the Alliance.
Avangate brings a wealth of subscription billing and recurring revenue knowledge to the table with its complete and powerful digital commerce platform. The platform offers several automated renewal features to achieve that balance of increasing revenue with automation while reducing churn and retaining customer, such as:
- Account Updater – automatically updates credit card numbers so you never miss a billing cycle
- Global Notifications – notify customers of when subscriptions are about to expire, with grace periods, and integrated promotions
- Custom Retry Logic – determine the best time to improve authorization rates
- Intelligent Payment Routing – route to the most likely-to-succeed payment gateway with a sophisticated rules engine
Just the tip of the iceberg
The key point here is how to combine these recurring revenue-specific features with advanced marketing tools, smarter payments with worldwide coverage, distribution and fulfillment management, anti-fraud and charge-back/refund management. How do you service customers across all touchpoints? What is the right balance between automatic and personal engagement? How do you test and experiment with new things and how do you do this quickly so you can succeed or even fail fast, back-up and try again. All this while keeping a focus on your core business and your customers.
This is where Avangate really comes in. This post is the first in a series, with more to follow, as well as webinars, whitepapers and other tools you can leverage to dive deep into this topic. We’ll talk about what it means and what it takes to be customer-centric in a recurring business environment, why you need to go beyond just subscriptions or payments to improve retention and how to do it.
Between Avangate, ServiceSource and other members (such as BigMachines, Centrify, GoodData, MuleSoft, Okta, Pactera, Salesforce and Xactly) of the #RRAlliance, I’m confident we’ll share best practices and turn those challenges into recurring revenue opportunities.
As we watch the impact Hurricane Sandy has on the Eastern seaboard, our thoughts go out to all those affected by the disaster. Protection of life and maintaining public safety is surely the highest priority. At the same time, we here at Avangate wanted to also assure you, our clients and partners in the US East Coast area that we are also closely monitoring the situation to ensure your business continuity.
To this point, the Avangate eCommerce Solutions have NOT been affected and all critical production areas have remained fully functional during this time.
During the peak of the Sandy hurricane, the www.avangate.com website and blog, which are hosted in a New York based data center, became inaccessible for a short period of time due to massive flooding and power outages. Connectivity has since been restored and the website and blogs are now accessible via our backup recovery sites at different global locations. Our engineers are closely monitoring all services and performing complete checks of internal emergency systems.
Separately, for those stuck at home (we are likely to see a surge in shopping from the affected regions as many people are riding out the storm at home), Avangate is hosting a webinar today with affiliate marketing thought leader, Geno Prussakov. Geno is based in Washington DC, luckily not in one of the heavily affected areas, so for now there is no need to reschedule the online event. Stay tuned for more updates.
Again, our thoughts go out to all those affected by this natural calamity.
5 Innovative Software Companies Pushing the Industry to New Levels
As a company that prides itself on helping software companies grow and build their businesses, we are thrilled to recognize the 5 winners of the first Avangate Business of Software (BoS) Scholarship Program. These 5 companies are using both new technology and innovative business models to offer their customers compelling product solutions and push the industry to new levels.
With that, let’s start the drum roll please…
The 2012 Avangate Business of Software Scholarship winners are:
- Architexa – An intelligent sketchpad for mapping large Java codebases
- Cazoomi – A cloud-based solution for data-syncing and integration between applications
- In Touch Teacher LLC – A mobile and web application platform for parent-teacher communication
- Kaggle – a platform for predictive modeling competitions
- MeetingKing – A web-based meeting facilitation and documentation tool
As part of the overall Avangate BoS scholarship program, all of our winners will:
- Receive a free pass to the BoS Conference where you will gain new insights on the industry and your business
- Participate in a great night of networking and conversations and of course make valuable connections during our celebration dinner at Radius restaurant
- Gain online marketing and consulting support to help you turn your innovative products into great companies with 3 free months of services offered by Avangate and our partner Position2
For those who are in the Boston area, we invite you to join us as we celebrate the Avangate BoS Scholarship winners at our networking dinner. It’s a great opportunity to share ideas with other emerging software industry leaders and make valuable connections to help push your company or organization to new levels. Note space is very limited.
When: Tuesday Oct 2nd, 2012 from 6PM to 10PM (networking 6PM to 7PM; dinner 7PM to 10PM)
Where: Radius Restaurant - Private Dining Room & Lounge
This summer, send your top selling products and services on tours around the world! The Avangate 2012 Summer Release is here to enable expansion to new markets, with granular control over your regional strategies.
And this means major additions to regional pricing capabilities, new ordering and support locales, new payment methods and external tracking capabilities for affiliate orders. In addition, among the 150+ developments of the 2012 Summer Release, more tools for control and experimentation have been added to support a smooth transition to SaaS models and to adapt to mobile commerce trends.
Expand to new Markets
Growing your business internationally requires developing and executing end-to-end local pricing strategies. The newly added pricing capabilities of the SkyCommerce platform allow you to experiment with price strategies designed for local markets, by supporting different prices in the same currency for a product, for new purchases, as well as for recurring billing or upgrades. This should bring optimizations not only to your offerings, but to your product catalogue management as well.
Regional Payments and Support
With Avangate’s continuous expansion in Asia Pacific region, your products can now be paid for at any convenience store in Japan, through Konbini, as well as with Pay-Easy payments at cash dispensers. The third option for your Japanese clients added in this release is paying through the Internet only banks Japan Net Bank and Rakuten Bank.
Even more regional flavor can be obtained with the cash based payment methods popular in Central and South America: Pago Fácil in Argentina and Barcode Santander in Chile.
To build on the growing internationalization capabilities of the Avangate platform, both affiliates and vendors can now benefit from 24 x 7 support. In addition, 3 local shopper support numbers have been implemented to be more accessible to English speaking clients in the UK, Australia and New Zealand – summing up to a total of 12 toll free and local shopper support numbers.
And oh, by the way, “Bok!” to all Croatian software and service buyers, as from today Croatians can shop in their own language with Avangate!
If you are selling boxed software, this should be good news for you: Avangate has just expanded support for physical delivery in Europe, fueling integrated commerce strategies, online and offline.
Track Affiliate Sales across Multiple Platforms
Starting this summer, the Sky Affiliate Network enables you to track completed external orders and credit the affiliates across affiliate networks and eCommerce platforms. You can take your affiliates everywhere you go – the 33.000+ Avangate software and SaaS affiliates will surely help you travel around the world.
Upgrades for your Offline Sales via Channel Manager
For those of you selling through partners, this summer release enables resellers / VARs to effectively manage subscription and SaaS-based products on behalf of the vendor . The pricing schemes flexibility of upgrade orders applies as usual, supporting proration and anything else you might think of.
To further expand the flexibility of the Avangate APIs that allows you to create ordering experiences in any context, two major additions are worth noting this summer:
- Single Sign-On that helps you better manage your subscriber base, easily connecting the Avangate myAccount with your own Customer Care solution.
- The possibility to place new orders based on previous order references – a valuable tool for your Customer care tasks!
Custom Built Reports and Major Reporting Enhancements in Your Timezone
Avangate reporting capabilities have been improved in terms of consistency and performance, while the interface was redesigned. We hope the new “Custom reports” area (former Business Dynamics) will help you get the information you need about your business operations. Updates on all reports have been made – we’re eager to get your feedback on this enhancement!
Soon – Enjoy the Optimized Mobile Commerce
To support the increasing trend of service consumption via portable devices, the 2012 Summer Release extends optimization support for the shopper’s experience across devices.
Vendors’ commerce sites will soon automatically adjust to browser needs and offer purchasing options via mobile-specific payment methods, such as PayPal Mobile Payments.
Sell More Software and SaaS with the Marketing Tools Update
The order recovery tool is focused on accelerating shopper interactions through follow-up messages. Avangate brings along a more flexible Order Recovery tool to help you recover summer sales, allowing you to set up follow-up emails for unfinished payments (recovery rates can be even 40%), abandoned shopping carts and free trial downloads. You decide how many you send and how often.
Summer Travel Guide
Don’t send your products around the world without a travel guide :) – take advantage of the white paper we have prepared to support your international expansion. Download Global eCommerce Strategies in Key Local Markets for Software and SaaS Companies.
Happy Summer Sales around the World!
Hope you enjoy the 2012 Summer Release and you sales will keep growing! Stay tuned during the next period for the mobile shopping experience we are working on and for more exciting developments.
This particular choice of developments could not be made without your constant feedback and feature requests, which guide and help us shape the Avangate solution. Big thanks to all of you who kept in touch! Keep the feedback going and let us know what’s next on your agenda.
Following last year’s successful Munich event, we’re even more into A4U Expo Europe – this year in Barcelona. Starting from June 18th until June 20th, 2012, we will be available to meet and share insights into how to optimize your online buying experience, as well as how to grow a software business internationally.
We are among the conference exhibitors this year: we have our own place on The Street – stand #52. Don’t hesitate to drop by and say hello – we have a lot of surprises for you.
See you there!
2011 – A year of tremendous expansion in how we serve our Software and SaaS customers
We launched our new SkyCommerce Suite, expanded our overall service with close to 1.000 new features and enhancements, delivered new marketing and optimization services, and extended our global presence with new team members and offices, including our new North American headquarters in Redwood Shores, California. All of this with the aim of helping our customers sell more software through any channel and any model.
It is not too surprising that the software market continues to grow as software plays an increasingly important role in our world (see Andresseen’s view on how “Software is Eating the World“). More interestingly is the massive shift in how software is being distributed and sold. The market size of ESD and SaaS will grow from $45Bln to over $120Bln by 2014. The 3TS Cisco Growth Fund recognized this opportunity with a $6 million investment in Avangate in March of this year, accelerating our growth and strengthening our global presence.
We’ve been honored to serve this market – we participated in, sponsored or organized over fourteen events this year to network, share ideas, and help our customers grow their businesses. We now have over 2,000 clients, from some of the largest vendors of consumer software titles, such as Bitdefender and Kaspersky, to SaaS vendors including Terapeak and TeamLab.
In addition, our affiliate network has grown to over 27,000 software members – Majorgeeks, Siliconaction.com.br and TopTenServices.net are three power affiliates that joined in 2011. I’m incredibly proud of the Avangate team for continuing to deliver a mature platform with the scale and flexibility to serve shareware, mid-market, and enterprise software and SaaS companies. What’s more, we are honored to be recognized in Forrester’s recent report on Solutions For Digital Commerce.
2012 – Prediction, Cloudy with a Chance of Significant Growth
The cloud is not a new concept, but we see this trend accelerating to dominate future initiatives (8 out of 10 new software start-ups are SaaS). The software market will only continue to be driven and disrupted by the rise of the cloud.
What does this boil down to? I particularly liked a blog post by Louis Columbus talking about “stripping away the hype by asking how these technologies [analytics, big data and cloud computing] contribute to excellent customer experiences and greater customer engagement. Those are the real catalysts of market growth and the greatest disruptive forces at work in enterprise software today.”
While there are many predictions for 2012 (many articles are mentioning growth for next year which is good news – here’s one example about the antivirus sub-vertical; and also check out this Boxing Day treat by Ray Wang), let us spotlight one that is specifically apt for software companies: the transition from systems of transaction to systems of engagements and experience.
Software: engagement across the lifecycle
We feel this is important and has many implications for a software company. As many ISVs transition from perpetual to pay-as-you-go models such as freemium, rental, or subscription, they need to also experiment with new partners and affiliates and manage sales worldwide through any channel, online and offline. The challenge is to do this while providing a flexible and frictionless customer experience across the software lifecycle. We have focused on this in 2011 with our integrated SkyCommerce solution and are continuing this focus into 2012.
Software companies need to have the platform to effectively engage and create the right experiences for their customers and need to be able to do it in a way that complements, and not alienates, the resellers which still make up over 50% of software sales today.
Likewise, software resellers and distributors need to be able to take advantage of these industry shifts, continue to increasingly migrate their businesses online and focus on emerging trends, such as aggregating cloud services.
Meet with us
Stay tuned for new and exciting things we’ve planned for 2012. To start with, meet the team at the first industry event we’re attending next year: Affiliate Summit West, January 8-10, Las Vegas, USA.
Happy 2012 and best wishes from all of us here at Avangate!
P.S. Your point of view for 2012?
We would love to hear what you think are some of the key trends that will drive your sales in 2012. We will continue to build upon these issues into the New Year on this blog and look forward to continuing the conversation!