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Zuora, Cornerstone unveil new cloud analytics software

Zuora aims to help providers better understand their subscription customers, while Cornerstone presents predictive analytics and platform as a service.

Zuora, which provides subscription billing and management software, said it has acquired a subscription analytics company to boost its core product.

Zuora purchased Frontleaf and will use the technology in new cloud analytics software to provide subscriber use and behavior analytics to customers.

Zuora's core software, called Z-Business, helps companies manage their subscription business including sales, pricing, billing, collection and renewal.

The new product, Z-Insights, will provide analytics to allow companies to capture subscriber information from the core Zuora product and integrated applications such as Salesforce.com and Mixpanel, said Guillaume Vives, senior vice president of product and marketing for Zuora. The cloud analytics software will be available in the fall and will be fully integrated with Z-Business, he said.

Z-Insights will help Zuora's customers consolidate important information about their subscribers to better understand them, Vives said.

"We are hoping to give the information live and in real time," he said.

Z-Insights will help companies keep their subscribers through improved service and sale of new products, he said. Z-Insights will also provide historical and current information about subscribers, including when and how often they are using certain products. The analytics will monitor a subscriber's use of a product and offer suggestions for improving service or acting on a potential problem.

Businesses will be able to respond more quickly to their customers, listen more closely and make faster changes and improvements, he said. Users can access the analytics through a series of new tabs inside the Zuora application.

To illustrate the benefits of Z-Insights, Vives mentioned Schneider Electric, which would know if a customer is using certain controls for access or air conditioning.

"If I am Schneider and I am introducing a new product, I want to see if it is successful. I want to see if people are struggling with it; if, for instance, after three days they stop using the air conditioning and use something else. I want to know about it in real time."

Vives said users of the new analytics will be different from users of the core Zuora offering, which is typically used by finance teams, billing specialists or sales representatives.

The new cloud analytics software will be used by people seeking to better understand their customers, including people in product marketing and company executives, he said.

Zuora will offer online training and on-site training and other services with implementations for larger organizations, Vives added.

Cornerstone unveils predictive analytics, platform as a service

Cornerstone OnDemand has announced two new products; one for predictive analytics and another that provides tools for building new applications on its talent management platform.

The predictive analytics software, which will eventually provide 20 to 25 different insights into employees, arises from Cornerstone's purchase last year of Evolv, a machine-learning company.

For examples, the cloud analytics software will allow users to predict flight risk of leading employees, measure the effectiveness of current managers and potential hires and alert manufacturers or financial services companies if employees are in danger of being out of compliance with rules or regulations, said Jason Corsello, vice president of corporate development and strategy for Cornerstone.

If there is any risk an employee could be out of compliance -- a lapse of a certification or license, for example -- the software would send an email alert to the employee and a follow-up to a manager, he said.

The software will also benefit by interacting with Cornerstone's talent database, which includes aggregated and anonymous data from about 2,200 organizations and about 20 million users, he said.

Called Cornerstone Insights, the product will be rolled out with regular releases, according to Corsello. Compliance risk will be the first insight available on a dashboard in June, followed by several others in October, including predictive insights into manager effectiveness and possible loss of top talent.

Cornerstone, based in Santa Monica, Calif., currently offers a software-as-a-service talent-management platform that includes recruiting, onboarding, performance management, succession management, compensation, learning management and social collaboration via a tool called Connect.

The company also said it is opening up the Cornerstone platform to allow users to build and deploy new HR applications and integrate existing ones.

Named Cornerstone Edge, the platform-as-a-service product will provide access to drag-and-drop development tools and open APIs to allow users and developers to quickly build and obtain applications, he said.

"Our ultimate goal is to make it very user-friendly in that we want to be able to enable our clients, whether technical or nontechnical, to build applications on top of the platform," he said.

Cornerstone said its online apps marketplace is on target to offer more than 50 applications by the end of this year including those from companies such as Workday, ADP, Jibe and eQuest.

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