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Zuora "Business Cloud" Could Spur New Cloud Computing Apps

Zuora.com's new Enterprise Cloud platform is designed to make it easier for developers to sell subscriptions to the cloud-based applications they create. Eventually, that could attract new developers and lead to a wider selection of cloud apps for your company.
Zuora.com's new Enterprise Cloud platform is designed to make it easier for developers to sell subscriptions to the cloud-based applications they create. Eventually, that could attract new developers and lead to a wider selection of cloud apps for your company.Formed in 2007 by former Salesforce.com and WebEx execs, Zuora.com already markets business tools for cloud-based developers, including Z-Billing, Z-Payments and Z-Force (which integrates with Salesforce.com). But acording to CEO Tien Tzou, Zuora's "broader goal is to move any company with a services mindeset to create a subscription business model."

That's where the Z-Commerce Platform comes in. The free service is designed to ease the surprisingly difficult aspects of subscription payments and billing, so developers can focus on creating their applications. "We are the engine in the background that knows how to collect the money," Tzou says. Unlike with other systems, if a customer misses a month's payment, for example, the Zuora system knowes enough to double the bill the next month. "We make it all very easy," Tzou says.

Of course, many Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) outfits include "stores" that offer billing and payment options. But Tzou says those proprietary solutions "are never flexible enough to handle all the different business models out there... We think payment has to be independent" and use public APIs.

The Z-Commerce Platform includes: