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On Demand Webinar

How to Revamp Quote-to-Cash in a Changing IT and Business Landscape

Managing Quote-to-Cash (Q2C) processes is one of the top and most complex challenges for growing companies. Fast and accurate processing is crucial to close deals faster, drive positive customer experience, improve cash management and visibility, and increase operational efficiency.

Through every sales cycle, there is a need to share information from different teams: from sales, accounting, customer success, and more. Without automation, companies find themselves dependent on manual processes, such as manual data entry, quote creation, and data uploads downloads across software via spreadsheets. Not only are these activities resource intensive and prone to error, but they slow sales cycles and increase the risk of deals having to be resigned.

Aryaka Networks, a Cloud-First WAN company, has streamlined its Quote-to-Cash processes by integrating its tech stack around NetSuite, Zuora, and Salesforce, leading to improved operational efficiency.

In this webinar, Venkat Ranga, Head of Business Information Systems, at Aryaka, will join experts at Celigo to discuss best practices in streamlining Quote-to-Cash processes for growing companies. Watch now and learn:

  • An overview of Quote-to-Cash (Q2C)
  • The changes in Q2C process as companies mature
  • How Aryaka streamlined their Order-to-Cash processes
  • Key business results Aryaka obtained through automation
  • Automation through Integration with Celigo’s iPaaS
  • And much more!

Register now!

Full Webinar Transcript
Welcome everybody to the Celigo and Aryaka Networks joint webinar on how to revamp Quote-to-Cash in a changing IT and business landscape. Today, we are honored to be able to host, Venkat Ranga, who from Aryaka Networks. He is the head of business information systems and he’s going to share his wealth of expertise in B2B processes to be able to explain to us everything about Quote-to-Cash from his own experience. So before I jump into the webinar just a couple housekeeping items. So this session is being recorded so we will be sending out a recording afterwards. And we’re also taking questions throughout and there’s also time for Q&A afterwards. So if you do have a question, please put the question in either the chat or the question portion of the go to webinar interface and we will be taking these questions as we go along. So before we jump into the agenda, quick introduction to Venkat that really honored to be able to have his expertise here. Venkat is the current head of business systems at Aryaka, a global leader in managed SD-WAN and previously led business systems delivery at Malwarebytes and VMware with nearly a decade of experience between those roles. In this capacity, he spent a lot of time thinking about how and why business technology teams need to exist and often shares why an SMB stands to benefit from adding one to their [org?] structure. He believes in continuous learning and motivates teams to learn and experiment in fail fast. He is currently spending time on getting himself abreast of security. So quite a wealth of expertise here and we’re excited to get started. So let’s go ahead to the next slide and talk about the agenda here. So we’ll do a quick introduction to the companies and the topic here and then jump right into quite a bit of detail in terms of the process, what is Quote-to-Cash and why it is important? And the different components that take part of it and special considerations into the areas of quoting, discounting approvals, contracts, order, and billing. We’re going to go into quite a bit of depth there and then Venkat is going to share his own experience at Aryaka so the Aryaka Networks Quote-to-Cash journey. And after that, we will have time specifically allotted for Q&A for the questions that we don’t take along the line. So let’s go ahead into the next slide. So why is this topic something that Celigo is interested in and wanting to bring an expert to speak about it. Main reason is Celigo is an integration platform and so integration is all about automation of different processes across an organization by connecting the different applications together. And so Quote-to-Cash is one of the most critical processes that any business can take today because it really covers the sales cycle from the time that a quote is first created all the way to where the money is in the bank and through renewals and Venkat is going to share everything about that. So because of that Quote-to-Cash is a process that we see amongst our customers as a key integration need. And so Venkat is one of Celigo’s customers who uses Celigo specifically to automate these processes across Salesforce, Zuora, and NetSuite. So Venkat is going to start by describing in some detail what Aryaka does and it’s operations to set the context as to where and why this quote-to-cash automation is important. So thanks for joining us, Venkat, and take it away. Thanks, Rico. I really appreciate you and Celigo giving me an opportunity to share my journey with your audience. My goal by the end of this 30, 45 minutes, to take away some pointers for you guys to quickly look at quote-to-cash– I’m not sure where you are and your quote-to-cash journey. Look at what areas to focus. What areas to enrich and the areas to watch out. If I can accomplish that, I think I leave the meeting fully satisfied. That’s my goal. Let’s see how will I do it then. Before we go into quote-to-cash, let me quickly introduce what our Aryaka is. Why quote-to-cash is an important part of Aryaka Just a background of Aryaka, we are a fully managed SD-WAN provider. So software-defined wide area network. Some of you may be familiar with it. Some of them are not. We can connect your corporate entities across the globe in an instant manner. We are a 10-year-old company close to 400 employees. A global presence. We have a 50 percentage of the other customer are global. So you’ll see why and they know there are– global customers are really jumping on the bandwagon of Aryaka. We are very well-funded, good amount of money in the bank, solid product, and we have a distributor network called PoPs off of our own. Data Center on our end. Our product sitting in 30 different data centers has a PoPs which enables the customer to get that instantaneous high availability network connectivity. Our objective [inaudible] we are continuously growing. We go after the MPLS segment. Some of you probably know. The MPLS network is that enables this global connectivity and that’s coming for a replacement given the world of technology and a non-tax [inaudible], and then that’s the market we are growing. Picking why we differ, why Aryaka is needed. If you really look at the bill with connectivity they [inaudible] for, what, 20, 30 years? I mean, the whole world runs on the global connectivity. However, there is a lot of change happening. It is a fast. There is a [inaudible], and then traditional, on-prem, off-prem. There are many things happening but you need to have the connectivity. The technology which connects also needs to come alive. In a traditional world of the telcos of the MPLS, they are complex, inflexible, but they have a great performance. No question about it. Traditional SD1 providers run off these MPLS networks, so there is another challenge out there but they can get to the time to market. Many services are there [inaudible]. So many service companies, we do see as the competitors when we go in and sell, but their expertise lack. And the kind of expertise we have put in over a decade – it’s 11 years in the company and in the product – to the level of maturity product has, takes all the pros of our competitors, and then also look at the cons and then solve those cons. That is how the Aryaka comes in. If you really look at it, we fall right between the SD1 technology companies and the global network, as a global network as a service company. It’s right in between. We do both and we do well. That’s why the SD1 company like Aryaka needs to be there. What this mean? So one of the things– Sorry. Give me a second. Before I go into what offering of our services are. So over the 10 years, we have built this massive, great product. But our competition is also certainly coming along, the service is coming along. One of the challenges, what our leadership team felt around 24 months ago, is we have a solid product, but we have not packaged and messaged to our customers for their needs. It has been a– typically, any organization, they grow a technology organization, then they start to look at the business, and then they grow. So we started to look at our portfolio of the products and see, how do we package them? How do we message right so that our customers see the value? It is not possible, because the real value they see when we are saying that this is what we can do, and then we do. But there’s a disconnect. So our product team came along and then said, “Okay, let’s see what we have,” and then, “How do we manage it? Bring the new flavor to it.” And this is what led to the quote-to-cash initiative internally as well. So I’ll kind of give you the connecting between what the product team or what the tech leadership team is doing with our products, and then how as a business technology team we are marrying their vision to take it to fruition. So this is what you typically see as a global connectivity across the different providers. Then, that’s what we call a smart connect. It is the bandwidth, typically, at the end of the day. Then what we do is, on top of it, if we have certain products, what we call optimized, what they do is if you purchase X amount of bandwidth, by using these optimized techniques we can give you 1.5 X or 2 X – it depends on the data you are transferring – the value that we can generate. Similarly, we can do a smart cloud. Now we live in a SaaS world. Everything I do and that I think most of you do is depending on a SaaS application. Applications are hosted in AWS, are in Google, are Salesforce, are whatever those are, they are all in a SaaS world. So now, all of a sudden, the traffic is going from the internet to the SaaS application. So we have connectivity to the SaaS providers within our platform, so it enables you the speed in which your customers need it or the internal employees need it to do their job. It’s maybe in engineering or business teams, they can get right away. So that’s a smart cloud offer. Then on top of it, we have a smart secure. We secure it. We have all our own products. We have partnered with top-notch security products to bring that side of it so that your data, regardless of where it is moving, we secure that. And then on top is, then we have smart insights, where you, as a customer, can log in and then start to see what is really happening in your network. What data is being transferred. Where it is starting and where it is ending. Are we really within the limits you have? Are you getting the performance we promised to give you? All of that is going to be showing through this portal called Smart Insights. And it is all fully managed by Aryaka. One of the things we are very good at is, before even customer realizes that their network is not performing well, we will know. And then we can inform them that, “Here are the reasons why,” and then they know what the time to resolution is and whatnot. So when a product is shifted from just a connectivity to a multitier multilayer product, and then serving our customers, requires a transformation within an organization and in the business technology. That is how my quote-to-cash process or Aryaka quote-to-cash process came alive. And I will talk through as we go on that. Just a quick glance of where we are. These are all our beginning thoughts you see, our own paths and then that’s we have connectivity. And we just recently signed an agreement with Alibaba so we can connect Alibaba Cloud. We can provide any services needed in that Asian geography. Just another quick glance at our lay of the land. These are all of our installations and, as you can see, across the globe then, each point–if a green point is there, our presence. And other dots are a presentation of how we can connect the dots in respect to clouds and the public clouds, like KWS or Microsoft Azure, Google, from those locations. It is growing. And this is a happy time and a good time to be part of this company and then seeing the vision come true. And, again, I’m very happy to initiate this whole transformation at the quote-to-cash. And my team learned a lot and contributed and worked long hours; no question whatsoever. But they all come out and say, “Yes, this is the product, I think, we want to be in. And we can then happily brag about that.” So with that, now, you saw what Aryaka was doing. And as a technology– as business technology leaders, how do we take that, what business wants, and then turn it into a quote-to-cash process to enable them to sell? That’s at the end of the day, quote-to-cash. It starts at the quoting, all the way to then collecting the cash. There are many business functions involved and many processes involved and many people involved. So how do you orchestrate? How do you build each of these pieces in the puzzle to make it happen is what it takes quote-to-cash alive. 12 months into it– I think I just finished 12 months in the organization, in the year, the day when I walked in, I had very heart-to-heart discussions with my leadership team and then talked about what their core issues are. When I started the financial leadership team– let’s say, for example, I’m in charge of the sales leadership team. Their main question is, “We are changing, and I want to create a frictionless quote in a fast manner.” I cannot have a quote going out to a customer after asking for four days, five days. I’d like to get it in 30 minutes to an hour, how complex it is– or even less. Speed is essence for them. And accuracy is important. Even though it is a draft quote, you do not want to give quotes to go out– make sure that all the terms and conditions and the production language is already in. Otherwise, once you give a paper to the customer, it is very difficult to take it back. It might be a pricing or it might be a discount or anything. So you need to be having a very highly accurate quote to go in a fast manner. That’s the sales we’re looking at. Legal wants to protect our company assets; there is no question. So they want to make sure the terms and conditions which go along with the legal language are, indeed, embedded as the quote going out. Our CSM teams had the same concern. They wanted to have a frictionless [inaudible]; no question there. They also would like to see what the customer 360 degree is, what they want, when they’re coming for renewals. At the same time, they look for [inaudible]. So in the new sense, renewals and success at becoming a CSM, not everything comes out of the quote-to-cash. But the outcome of the quote-to-cash will enable them to do things in a much better way, like customer 360. And that’s kind of an add-on. That’s their challenge. Finance is very simple. In the world of sales, they want to see the clear customer traits, what they missed. I understand, in the perpetual business, we don’t change, not in that way. The reason I said that is, in my [inaudible] business model you get all the money upfront from the customer. So there is no– it’s just in case customer cancels and leaves, you’re okay to the extent. But in the way of sales, you are not getting the return from the customer on month-to-month. They are going month-to-month subscriptions. Some of you, you may know there is a term called CAC, customer acquisition cost. In the sales world, they look at it as a minimum 4 to 18 months. If you can get a [inaudible] CAC, the amount of money you spent to acquire a customer can break even within a 12 to 18 months if you are doing well. Imagine if you don’t look at your customer traits, worthiness, and then you haven’t checked [inaudible], and getting into the agreement with the customer and then customer leaves, you’re basically losing the money. So you have to see what your customer traits, worthiness before you even sign the papers. That’s the finances about it. I know they want to make sure billing forms are clearly articulated, drafted so that we can maintain the margins and the cash flow. I know you certainly need to pay the bills, so they want to look at the cash management. So those are all the most important for the finance. Leadership team, they are very clear. They just want to create a favorable outcome for a company by setting that right behavior for the sales reps. It’s not that they’re not doing right, but, sometimes, if they have the rates, sales to the sales to the sales. So we want to make sure we influence the customer and sales at doing right which are part of the company. And they do want to foster the inflows and then high customer value to the [inaudible], so that on the [inaudible] we can get to. There’s a [inaudible] the organization was looking at. So this is my view into what I have done out of what we have taken the organization– is to look at every business function. We started with the quoting and, quote, it looks a simple act but there is a lot up meat behind it. We have to make sure our product team really packages the product, price of the product, and then the features and then everything goes least of what the business is asking or what the customers are asking. So that’s the functional group. Product team is an important functional group make a difference in that. Sales and sales reps, they bring the money, information, insights from the customer, and say what customer is asking. What kind of a behavior on the system functionality we need to enable during the quoting is normally defined by the sales reps. Certainly, the CSM because they are the ones who go and then do the renewals and then other things, so they have a certain expectation on the whole system to be hit. And then leadership. They’re the four different groups to have the influence. The [inaudible] the requirements comes through that. Primarily, do it sku pricing models, considering the [inaudible] quotes and then the discounting and then the approval. Those are all the things kind of come into the quote module as a quoting goes on. Contact Management, typically the legal entity, however, there is a lot that goes into that. It’s a legal determines what the contract should look like, but finance determines what type of a billing and requirements they want to sure– they want to ensure. Certainly, sales have a say in it. So those are the three departments or the groups who would come into the picture and then use the requirements in that. Then, comes to order. Product team will be looking at an order. The engineering team release and [inaudible] in the product and engineering team coming in. It depends on what business functions. The business you are in. If you happen to be in a software business model, provisioning is simple. You just ship the product or send the link, customer downloads, up and down [inaudible], but yeah, because have a provision. We need to go and the provision that link which customer has purchased, there are steps we need to follow. Means, we need to engage our engineering teams and our operation teams to connect. There are certain requirements from them needs to come along so that all we go into, all that are in the fulfillment, it’s also sometimes looked at as a booking, so. Because the booking and a order are two different things, who you are. Yes, I see there are differences. So that’s all kind of coming to the order fulfillment area then followed by building. Building requirements are clearly defined by the finance, the different building plans, and the collection and the taxation. And all of them is needed. Those departments and those functional groups are needed to influence how the building margin’s to be built. And we will look at many things, especially in the SAS world [inaudible]. You are talking about the usage models. There are the stats out there, the companies who just do SAS are growing. In the last five years, I think that starts with around 700 percentage, the growth. But the companies in the SAS with the utilization, this building are growing 1.5X. So there is a need for looking at those type of buildings to be introduced in the system which comes to the building. That’s the backend function, but integrated with one of the engineering systems [inaudible] and a custom systems internally built to bring that data set. Then finally the [inaudible], which is the finance function this is the main function. This is how a company reports the revenues that are required. There are certain rules government ask us to do it, so do that all the things coming, the 606 in the month. The idea I lay down, this is, each department doesn’t matter, typical in a business, they look at the front end and the back end, the front end being the customer. The back end is who supports the customer, is the finance has it’s say in it how the front end needs to do. So there is always the paid feedback loop goes in building this whole customer code to testing the new that would expand on that, based on that we should be collecting. We could alert certain billing methods that are not– we cannot allow certain– we can have some rules to follow. They may influence that. So we need to know what those are. Similarly, the building plans, the taxation, the incentives we provide clinics, we give it to customers that are partners per se, also needs to be incorporated. So there are some rules around that, that would influence how do you place an order. And an ideal placement is influenced by the customer [inaudible], what payment, the provisioning the timing updates to provision, and again, goes to the legal which protects [inaudible]. So the feedback loop goes from every department from the start to the end in this whole [inaudible] cash process. So identifying what the department needs and what profits we need to enable and followed by technology. I do understand most of the teams think that in the business things that technology can solve problem. I do agree technology can solve, but at what cost? So when you put the cost is a factor that’s when discussion will change. Some of those things can be done through process and some of the policy can be done through people. So one way of– my way of saying is always people, process, technology, is probably you always heard. The way I [inaudible] it is, the limitations of the technology must be enabled through the process or the cost. Which we are spending it too much money, then process will overcome that. The limitations of the process must be enabled to people. That’s how we should look at it. I know people look from a people to process, to process the technology. I like to look at from the other way around too. So those are my in tidbits of how by design or how I work with my team to enable this. We just kind of went through all of these again in the landscape of SMBs. I’m only talking SMBs. This landscape, system landscape, even applicable for many enterprises with my experience in enterprise and SMBs is the same such capacity. The magnitude of the problem is the same but how we work in the technology we use it differs. Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics you probably heard to CPQs or big machines and then all of them within the opportunity code area. Fulfillment is I’m kind of thinking especially in the SaaS companies it might be an [inaudible] is most of the time it’s being a custom. If you go into the traditional manufacturing companies, there’s huge fulfillment systems and then they can do way better supply chain and I’m not going there. Building because of SaaS building, there is a Salesforce, Avid, Zuroa has it. NetSuite has it. There are some other systems are coming and looking at the building modules. And Rev Rec also are some of the common names I’ve seen in the area is Zuora [inaudible]. Those are very smaller scale SMBs kind of place. These are all the system landscape but this is backed by a most important is what I call a IPA solution. If IPA solution is a very important goes back to the automation piece I’m referring here because that’s the only way you can integrate the system. So even though automation is an afterthought but I do want us to think that has to be looked from day one and that is going to be the longest pole in the tent for any of the O2C projects you take up. So let’s look at what this means. I want to take you guys one level down and see what else I need to look at when I’m having a discussion with my business users, where do I need to keep a focus on? When you’re talking about coding, some pointers for you guys. Simplify your SKU setup. I walked in with close to 750 SKUs. Not many products, but there are so many SKUs because there’s a SKU proliferation is a very common in organizations where partner have a different SKU, specific customer has an agreement so we give it a different SKU, resellers have a different SKU. This is a very common notion when the company is small because they want to get this going quickly. But when you’re really looking at the transformation, you need to start simplifying how many SKUs we want? How can we consolidate the SKUs and then simplification? That’s the most important. And maintain a bundle, just create such a way that bundles like I described, smart optimize, smart connect, create those bundles in such way, grouping in such a way that it’s easy to communicate to the customer or even internal communication to the salespeople or product people. It makes it easy. When you have 250 SKUs, it is very difficult to communicate but if you have five and your categories are as groups, it is easy to do so. So you’ll need to think to how do we create that nicely looking logical bundle. And develop an Excel model, don’t go straight into the product and then start implementing. Just see Excel model, see how this all fit, you just make sense, then you start to build it. Another thing I would say is another discount structure. Because the reason the SKU proliferation happened in the past is every SKU you discuss with a partner, you came to an agreement and then you say, “Oh, I would like to give this partner at 25% discount per se.” Then you did not really discount, you basically reduced the price and a special price what you created for the partner. But I don’t recommend. You need to move that discounts from the SKU’s price to literally take it into a partner level per discounting. So you attach a partner what the discount you agree, or the reseller or the customer. So [inaudible] account level. That’s a big account level. Similarly, when you start to come into– sorry just a call came in and just had to kill that. So then, you also need to start looking at the SKU process, the cradle to grave process for SKU. This is typically not looked at. We have to look at how the products are maturing. Organization producting will tend to sunset some of these legacy SKUs. When it comes to the renewal, you you were contacted in the queue. You need to start thinking, “What happens when I’m coming for renewal? How do I quote a new quote based on which– that means you have to reestablish this queue cradle-to-grave process. That is something it’s not easy but you guys have to start to think about that. And make one application. I know every application out there; it’s a Zuora, NetSuite, or Salesforce. Everybody wants to be a queue master because that’s the only way they function. But don’t make everybody the queue master. It’s going to create a lot of problems. So decide which application you want to make it as a queue master and run from there. Extending more into– look at the different price books. If you need to build a price books for a different offering, build those price books so it is easy for your sales reps to pick up the price book and then start quoting. Don’t make too many price book. And I’ve seen tons of price books for the sake of created– eliminate it. Just a handful. Then again, this is a one problem I have come across as I’m evaluating all the systems is, I don’t know how many queues you have– sorry, how many lines you will have in your quote. So you have to see your system will allow you to accept a maximum number of lines in whatever the product you pick it up. It doesn’t make sense for Zuora. You need to make sure your quote can handle that many lines, whatever the system you’re picking. Check on other application limitations and make sure you are guided selling would really easy enough. You are pleasing enough for your customers internally. I mean again, your salespersons to quote easily. So that needs to be looked at it. And another pieces which I got into a lot of debates or discussions– healthy debates, I would say, what is the information we need to capture for a customer to do my downstream systems to function? So what it tend to happen is our friends in the back and center, in the finance or the billings teams, they tend to push a lot of customer information to be captured very upfront when the quoting process starts. I would say relax a bit because the sales goal is to send a quote out. You may not need all the information when you are started quoting. It needs to be staggered in such a way that you start with the minimal information collected. Quote goes out. After quote may choose from a stage one to stage six, or a stage seven. Whatever you have. Collect the additional information so by the time quote is closed, one, you have the necessary information going down. So you need to design a system to be incrementally collecting the information as it goes. And the last and the most important thing I would dispatch and I have seen in all SMBs. SMB’s intent is to collect– if they’re worried their customer is going to leave them. So they create such a busy contract are expires in different dates. Let’s say, if a customer comes to the 24 month contract and then all of a sudden in the midway they want an amendment, they type the renew again for those lines for a 24 months. It tend to be within the same contract some lines end on some day and some lines end on different dates. That creates the lot of complexity around how to do things. So I would insist, do core timing. Customer is not leaving. Customer is– is there to protect you. But if you do the core timing it would be much cleaner when you come to renewal. It is not an easily acceptable concept by the most of the business users, but you got to highlight the issues by not accepting and what kind of a pain it is going to do on the back end. Again, discounting in my approval clause. You have to really sit down and then look at all the discounting. Who should they approve? When do they approve? What level do they approve by who? Can the approvals can be done in parallel? All of that needs to come through this in the discounting time, and mostly what I said even in the past. And so agreed to pay discounts upfront and then associated the customer account level, so when a customer comes next time, the discount is already agreed so it doesn’t need to go through [inaudible] So you can just look at what are those standard approvals doesn’t need to go through the approval process. That cut down the time for the quote to go out and enabled parallel approval. Sometimes there’s some rules need to be approved by finance. Some will be by legal some will be by engineering and some by sales leadership. Look at what those are. Try to get an approval in parallel so that you can speed up a quoting process. The most important thing I would like to highlight, and it becomes more and more important, is, capturing the discounts and the percentage of the dollar at the line level and the header level, that is most important thing because this information is being used by product team in the future for the reporting purposes. So anything you are doing, you need to do it in incremental manner, but at the same time, capture that so that our reporting can come out pretty clean and well. So it should be a multi-year rank downs, rank of discounts. There are very crazy things. Our [inaudible] just does it, but we just have to accommodate that. Ensure the approval close taking an order and at a certain discount levels only. So those are the kind of [inaudible] I would say while you’re doing the quoting. It’s a big chunk of it. Contract. Again, decide what the standard and a non-standard contract and the terms are because these are very important. You don’t want to be putting cost standard and non-standard contracts on the same paper, and sending it to every customer creates some more confusion. So you need to decide what should go on a standard. What should be in the non-standard? A vendor non-standard should come up– who has enough right to bring a non-standard contract under the [inaudible]. These all need to be discussed and prepared that. So if we agree on a finance, legal, sales, upfront, the terms and conditions, again, who is going to do the redlining? Are we going to [inaudible] the redlining? That, itself, comes through the contract. Similarly, development of NDAs and, let’s say, [inaudible], this varies from partner to partner. It is a [inaudible] and you need to see all of those [inaudible] and then bring that together. Certainly, you look at the electronic signature, everybody does it and then to emphasize on that, and then decide, now, what system is going to be your contract content in a [inaudible] because that’s the living document which has signed between you and the customer, so it can be accessed and then shared with a customer in the future. So I’ve seen so many systems, Box Folder, Office 365 folders, God knows, so we need to make sure– one system which holds them together, so that’s on the contract. They would be able to look at it. Other fulfillment and in talking to the other as you are fulfilling, you need to make your other table– or the object has to be a single source of truth for your execution and reporting. In whatever it is, you can’t have a multiple [inaudible] of information. If your other object just happens to be in salesforce, put every effort in your hand to make sure that is really good. [inaudible], level, [inaudible] level, use, one-time subscription, everything needs to be there. In terms of the billing, some clients will be billed on a monthly basis. Some, you might have been discounted and then you willstart the billing in the future, so all those billing terms, billing start, they can just clearly capture. And the last the most important thing is the list prices, sales price, discount, CCV, all of that captured at a line level so we can roll up and then report on that. And these are getting much more important within the world of SaaS. Some of you’re probably familiar with the churn and the expansion, and then, all of these metrics are really needed. You should start capturing at the line level. Don’t try to get that at the header level so you will not be able to report as you would like to be– or your leadership team asks in the future. And develop custom objects and bring in a fulfillment status. This is where the whole custom system comes in. If it’s an engineering system, you have to really look at how the data goes from your system to an engineering system when they provision how they get back to it. There are a lot of loose ends there. You need to tighten that up. That integrity of the order, you have to really protect and make sure you take care of that. Billing? We talked about the billing. Again, it goes through the different types of billings. The customer saw something– if billing friends, something being real. You want to make sure that those billings come out, how the data flow in. It needs to be captured and make sure that kind of [inaudible] orchestrated as the systems go on. Set up the cues that reflect the product grouping. Family to support [inaudible]. Here is where I really want to touch on the [inaudible] a bit. The idea of the [inaudible] is you need to be recognizing the revenue as the cash is being collected out of what’s been generated, so you have to see how that [inaudible] rules need to be applied and the walkthrough with your finance team is very much salvaged, and then they call it the SSP. They configure that if it’s a skill level, all of that needs to become alive. If there are any specific requirements that need to be fulfilled, billing functionality should be enabled to catch that– again, identified billing methods between the partners, resellers, and data customers. There are many different tools. Some customers move with the online. Some of you may be doing the online billing. Some of you may be doing the people-based billing. Look at all of that. That influences the coding process. And the last and the most important thing which everyone gets caught into is the taxation package, and it’ll still be the big subject. It’s so complex. Then, it’s not only US taxation. Global taxation taxes will differ from a zip code to a zip code. There are partners who have an exemption or exemption certificates. There’s so much growth around that, so you just need to watch out and then pay closer attention to that. So what this means, as they’re going back to the longest pole in the tent, what I said is typically the challenges when I walked in and– these are the couple of challenges. We looked at multiple service vendors with a disjoint view of how they see the data from one system to the next. Each system is, of course, different vendors– or an example of a billing is being zoned out and that’s where Salesforce is being [inaudible]. They don’t really talk to each other. The way they think is that the presentation of the data in one system does not reflect exactly– then, we have to do a lot of transformation. So the multiple vendors’ disjoint data is one of my challenges. And of course, the unique requirements of the [inaudible] process and product enablement also influences how the data are to be transferred as it goes through system-to-system. Availability of knowledge resources– of course, my team is just in there again. We all started at the same time and we are understanding what other product offerings are. And then, how do we enable that at the same time taking the technology which is available to overlay on that? So that’s the one– and the cost is always the factor. And especially, today, as they say, the [inaudible] which means an afterthought but I want this to be a starting [inaudible] the project. Because this is the only thing connects and make you look good and your business be happy because the data is transferred from one system to another system without glitch. So this is a quick layout of our [inaudible] architecture. We used to go with Salesforce [inaudible]. We have connected ourselves to [inaudible] custom integrations we have. We’ve built it up. That’s how the data flows. Every order in Salesforce [inaudible] their subscription in [inaudible] and that’s some of the integrations we have built. We also have a Net Suite integration [inaudible]. We have used a out of the box [inaudible] Net Suite connector to do the Salesforce data moving into Net Suite, with some customization on our side. Again, we are looking at right now [inaudible] how do we integrate our internal systems. We are just the early stages. We’ll see where it goes. What we have used the [inaudible] Net Suite connectors for the Salesforce integration and the other one for a custom. Just to quickly take you one level down., what you see is our internal Salesforce. We have an order object product in [inaudible] this is our stuff. We could not take that Salesforce data as [inaudible] what Net Suite is, because of various reasons. One I said was the requirements, and then another one is our own fulfillment and our flags which comes from engineering systems. So we had to build our own custom modules within the Salesforce to bring that data in the way Salesforce, Net Suite [inaudible] needed. Once we have established that, it was easy for us to use out of the box [inaudible] on a connector to push it out. And again, this is all to do with my [inaudible] to [inaudible] custom build, which we have done, and that’s kind of– we went live probably two months ago. This whole project took a close to 8 to 10 months. We just went live at the [inaudible]. We just went live last week. And our CPQ order to cash enablement went live a month and a half ago. So pretty much we are on this platform. Major features are being established. Now we are going into more of a roadmap, and new features we are trying to introduce. With that I think we can take a Q&A. Rico, anything? Apologies, I was trying to unmute myself. Yes, we do have questions that have been piling in here. So, first off, yeah, thank you for that, and we’re glad to be part of this journey. But, first question, how do you monitor progress and success in these areas after the automation? My measure is very simple. I talk to a couple of my team members. Before automation was going in, how much manual work being done. I mean, it was before I put in automation, these people were doing literally copying the data from one system to another system. So I had a third party company which was helping me. And there is no longer they are there. We are able to automate, and that’s the first measure of success. Now the next method of success we are looking at is I’m working with my team members to– we have certain goals we put in. Today, when an order gets created, before it goes to [inaudible] we are doing a manual check to make sure our business has not made any mistakes creating the sales order. And again, remember I’m talking about three big platforms going in less than four months. Everybody’s trying to understand how the business works and how they need to create. So there are some training gaps, and the process gap’s also out there. So we have a certain checklist we go through every day and then make sure the accuracy of the same [inaudible] is good, then only they will turn on. Might goal with my team is over the next six weeks to go back in and see how many of these checks can we automate so that there is no one every day looking for an hour to see are there issues are still popping up. So that’s the next. Set up our metrics where we put it in that would enable closer to fully automation. This is a journey we just got to plug in running. It’s been a month now and we are looking at enabling– and that’s the only way I can measure. My goal is by the end of the quarter as I coming into next quarter, if I can sit back. Data flows from every system just by on a periodic basis and once a day – and some extract on once a day or some [inaudible] hourly manner – no issues I’m good. But I don’t think I can achieve that within the next six weeks. But we are working towards that. That’s the one way I saw it. Great. Another question. How does this work with a self-service workflow where there is no contract involved? That’s very good. So what the self-service involves is now what you are doing is not self-service. A couple of things I would make sure. All the data needed for other departments– I talked about the billing, other finance and then their [inaudible] are contract teams. If they can be fulfilled in the process of while in a self-service registration, then you are good. Which means you are basically collecting the customer addresses, the location. It might be a credit card address, it might be a place where they are buying. As long as that information is captured, then you are good. What’s different in a self-service was that this the taxation. Now you have the [inaudible] must be integrated with the taxing [inaudible] or tax [inaudible] so you can tax it right then. So you don’t have that issue. And it also makes it easy on the one side that comes in. You don’t need it is a provisioning. If it’s a software, then in the provisioning it’s much [informed?], much easier to just send a link. But if you are doing with a credit card, then it is even much easier because there is no even payment. It’s already paid before even the service start. So you have you have that advantage. That’s where most of the B2C customers come in. As once you are dealing with a B2B then getting a salesperson in all this and what this involves. Great. Thank you. How do you decide what you do yourself versus leveraging consultants or buying new tools? I have a very simple math on this. This comes from me practicing in a boardroom in Fortune 500 companies and the naught. I normally set up my team to be very clear. 60 points. 60% is a [inaudible] employees and 40% is a [inaudible] consultants. I am not in an engineering bid. I need 10 Java developers and I found PHP developers to continue to build my product. I am in the business of serving my internal customers. And the tools and technologies I need changes every project I take. So typically I look at it as a 60-40-60 percentage of the employees on my portfolio on supporting operational. And then 10 take up a good chunk of enhancements in that. The 40 percentage comes through the project execution. And so if I’m taking up a whole new project or we’re just about to get on a couple of new projects. And then the project we have a budget and so the consultants will come in with their expertise and they will execute and move on and then that knowledge will go back into my team. And so that’s how I paired up with my employees and the number of consultants to drive that. And I also take that to a further extent and I have a team even globally distributed. I try to keep again 50/50 of my team members and so I get a lot more done for the buck. And then also my customers and internal customers are happy because my all internal customers are not local, they are all geographically located, but by having my team geographically located, they get the support. And so I take it one step down and say my employees also 50/50. 50 in US and 50% agents globally [inaudible]. Questions are still coming in. How does business reporting get handled since data are in three different systems? Do you combine them into one place? Yeah. That’s my next goal and that is where we are trying to focus this year. And the challenge, I could not do that and when I walked into the organization, the data integrity is not that great. But one of the effort my team did is we put some real guidelines to ask why we are doing this project and then whatever the actions we do, they should benefit the company in the future. And so we literally cleaned up all of our data and I would say 90 percentage of the data as of last month. And we have teams and it is sitting on Legacy and others are sitting in Salesforce. And so this month we are looking to kind of clean up another 10 percentage and that gives a picture of a customer and what they own. And so we have just– if once that is done and we can certainly build up in one of those sites based on API tools and [inaudible] and Snowflake are one of those and that’s where we’ll dump and then start putting the reporting on top of it. But it’s not about the reporting at the end of the day, we need to have the data quality and that’s the most important. At which points do companies typically prioritize automating quote to cash processes? I guess is that a maturity question? And so here is where I’ll tell you. If your business is not trying out, if you go and then try to sell them, they don’t buy it because they have to see the pain. The things which I described is the same thing some clients they are taking a week to create a court and you’re finances and I have no idea who to bill and who not to bill. When your leadership team is really unable to see this is the bigger problem, they don’t invest the money. How much you try. And so the punch for me is are they ready to invest so they can see the benefit. Those are the questions I would ask and then coming into this company and then I have seen the strategy of what they are trying to do and where they want to take it, it’s the right time for me to come in and do this. Otherwise, it would have been me pushing and business may not realize it. And so ask the tough questions. If your leadership team is not looking at this as a bigger issue, they can run with few people. I’ve seen the companies who have done it. I’ve seen the companies who have not having it fully mature on a order to cash process and bank public. I’m not saying that. They have to realize that this is the payment. Probably just one or two more here. What kind of team do you have to support these processes? I have a team members across. And my team has a project manager and a sales force and a VAs and then a developers, as well as the next [inaudible] on a VAs and developers to sort out the scene. Plus, I also have a small QA team in India who not only thoroughly test the whole own processes and then also does the supporting from operation sites, support, also, they provide, so pretty much spread across the EMs, VAs, and subject matter experts and queue. And I do have the needed resources. It comes from a third party who is helping me to fill those integrations. Okay. I think we may have one more here. How is quota cash evolving? So I guess a question about– is this process changing or is it gonna look different with all the new applications that exist out there? I don’t see it is changing. It’s a backbone of any company. The change come from the type of business you are in. If your business is pretty much a B2C web-driven commerce, then your quoting might not be as complex. Okay. It’s different from number of products and then how you are packaging. That ships from the printing to mostly the [inaudible]. But if your business is a customer-centric, as a salesperson, need-to-go, and then sell and commute and sell, it requires some tailoring for your own product needs. As I said, there five to six different groups of products introduced as Ariyaka. They were all one before. They were happy to use the system they have. It’s not that they’re [inaudible] to just introduced as Ariyaka. It will [inaudible] in five years now. T hey are able to function. But now our business is changing. So now how we sell is going to change. That is what is forcing us to change. It is applicable for every company. One of the enterprise company I was with, they have a mighty, full coding system. I mean, they have an enterprise coding system different than in a [inaudible] coding system. It’s different than an online coding system. But they all eventually come in and get plugged into the booking, which is a whole custom-build booking, and then takes to the outlet. So your business is what is changing. The tools are available. It can give you 60, 70 percentage of the basic functionality. You still have to modify for your needs. Great. So to close this out, can I ask you to go back one slide? Yes. So, yeah. So again, the role that Sligo plays in this is the connectivity and automation and transformation of the data between the different applications. And so, well, as Venkat shared on the previous slide there with the architecture, certainly, some of these are out of the box and some of them are custom as he did. And certainly, it expands to thousands of other applications, especially through RESTful APIs or other ways that can accelerate how you connect. But I think that’s it. Thank you so much for joining us. Maybe we’ll stay on the line for another 30 seconds in case any more questions come in but really honored to have such a deep presentation on everything on quota cash. And if anyone has questions on this, feel free to reach out at [inaudible]. We’ll be happy to provide more information. And if you want to actually try the actual connectivity, go to sligo.com. Then sign up for a free account as well. So thank you again, Venkat, for all the time you put into this and really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. Again, if anyone wants to contact me directly, please, you can send a message on the link and we’ll meet there.

About The Speaker

Venkat Ranga

Head of Business Information Systems
Aryaka Networks

Venkat is the current Head of Business Systems at Aryaka, a global leader in managed SD-WAN, and previously led Business Systems delivery at Malwarebytes and VMware, with nearly a decade of experience between those roles. In this capacity, he’s spent a lot of time thinking about how and why Business Technology teams need to exist and often shares why a SMB’s stands to benefit from adding one to their org structure. He believes in continuous learning and motivates teams to learn and experiment and fail fast. He is currently spending time on getting himself abreast of Security.

Rico Andrade

VP of Marketing

Rico oversees Celigo’s marketing organization, where is he is responsible for the company’s brand, messaging, demand generation, outreach programs, events, and communications. Prior to joining Celigo, Rico was VP of Marketing at iCharts, significantly enhancing the company’s visibility and reputation inside the NetSuite ecosystem. He spent 13 years as the Executive Producer at Transvideo Studios, where he worked closely on marketing strategy with some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley. In addition, Rico also ran his own consulting company, traveled the world teaching innovation and design as part of the Stanford d.school’s d.global initiative, and helped launch Unreasonable at Sea with the Unreasonable Group. Rico holds degrees in Computer Science and Communication from Stanford University.

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