Zuora buys customer analytics provider Frontleaf, unveils Z-Insights

Zuora, a business set up to help other businesses manage their online subscription models, said it plans to fully incorporate Frontleaf's employees and resources into its own engineering and sales teams.

Enterprise software maker Zuora is expanding its analytics capabilities with the acquisition of Frontleaf announced on Wednesday.

Founded in 2013, the Oakland, Calif.-based startup produces analytics software honing in on customer usage and lifecycles for the purpose of bolstering freemium and trial-based subscriber models.

Thus, Zuora, a business set up to help other businesses manage their online subscription models, said it plans to fully incorporate Frontleaf's employees and resources into its own engineering and sales teams.

That includes Frontleaf founder CEO Tom Krackeler, who will join Zuora as its new vice president of subscription user experience.

"Frontleaf's technology will enable Zuora to provide subscription-based businesses with the comprehensive analytics they need to understand their user base in a far deeper and more meaningful way so they can design truly compelling subscriber experiences," wrote Krackeler, in prepared remarks."

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

With the acquisition completed on May 18, Zuora is already moving full speed ahead with its burgeoning analytics toolset. The Software-as-a-Service company unveiled Z-Insights on Wednesday as an analytics service dedicated to subscriber experiences.

Scheduled to debut in a limited pilot program this fall, Z-Insights consists of real-time metrics about subscriber demographic and identity (i.e. recurring revenue value, social data, and user counts), important milestones (cancellations, new sign-ups, offers accepted, etc.), and engagement triggers such as in-app messages, mobile alerts, and tasks assigned in a CRM system.

Last week, Zuora also launched a new app marketplace of its own.

Dubbed RBM Connect, the marketplace hosts more than 50 apps dedicated to configure-price-quote (CPQ), financial planning, e-signatures, ERP integrations and other billing and finance solutions.

For Zuora, the debut of RBM Connect marked another strategic move in light of what the Foster City, Calif.-based company frequently refers to as the growing "subscription economy," or the demand for more agile systems pumped with customer data and metrics -- all in all producing far more revenue for less (or at least easier to manage) work at the end of the day.

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