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Data Archiving: Why It Slipped Your ERP Vendor’s Mind

Why Some ERP Vendors Slip Up

You might be thinking, “Why would a vendor overlook something so important?” Well, there are a few reasons:

Lack of Awareness

Sometimes, vendors may focus too much on the core ERP features, forgetting about the long-term impact of not including data archiving. They might not fully grasp the benefits it brings to the table.

Infographic on 5 Key Steps to Secure Payment Processing

Consequences of Neglecting Data Archiving

If your ERP vendor misses the data archiving boat, you might encounter some not-so-fun issues:

Slowpoke Performance

As your database grows, performance can take a hit. Sluggish response times and increased system complexity could be a daily frustration.

Storage Nightmare

Hey, storage isn’t cheap! Keeping heaps of unused data in your operational database might lead to skyrocketing storage costs. Not the best way to allocate your budget.

Infographic on 5 Key Steps to Secure Payment Processing

Compliance Headache

If your business operates in a regulated industry, data retention is a big deal. Neglecting data archiving can put you at risk of compliance violations and the legal woes that follow.

What You Can Do

Don’t worry; there are steps you can take to handle this situation like a pro:

Be a Savvy Shopper

When looking for an ERP system, keep data management capabilities in mind. Ask vendors about their data archiving features, automation possibilities, and how they seamlessly integrate it all.

Explore External Options

If your ERP vendor lacks data archiving features, don’t fret! External solutions can come to the rescue. Just ensure they play nice with your ERP system.

The evolution of payment processing: what’s next?

Infographic on 5 Key Steps to Secure Payment Processing
Latest payment processing technologies and their benefits.

Help Desk Software at the Helm: Trends for 2023

The help desk software solution trends for 2023
The features that are going to shape help desk software solutions in 2023

Why modernize your subscription business?

Read the case study: Estuate modernizes subscription services of a supply-chain-risk-management global leader
A subscription management platform can help you achieve all of these and more.
Read the case study: Estuate streamlines closing (accounting) and collection processes for Mindvalley
Download the FREE E-book – The Subscription Economy: An Executive Overview

Selling subscription services online? Pro tips to follow!

The art of selling subscription services online has come a long way. Consumers in today’s subscription economy are more aware than ever before. That’s in part because millennials make up a large portion of the consumer-facing market. Being tech-savvy and financially smart, they prefer the convenience of use over ownership any day. So if you want to spur your recurring revenue business growth, understanding today’s consumer psyche is paramount. And say, you are running your subscription business through a platform like Zuora, make sure to plug in a reliable Zuora billing and revenue partner. Brownie points if this Zuora partner is compliant with PCI-DSS.

What are the best tips for selling subscriptions online?

  1.  Make your customers see value
  2. Make your pricing flexible
  3.  Make friends with freemiums
  4.  Make smart use of social media
  5.  Don’t make it too salesy
  6.  Don’t forget about buyer experience
  7.  Don’t put off customer service

Like we said at the very onset, the new-age customer is smart. With hordes of options all around offering a similar bundle of conveniences, the interest span of the average customer is dangerously short today. From clicking to reordering, a smooth experience is non-negotiable for today’s buyer experience. This necessitates a smooth quote-to-cash process for you to grow at scale. Here is what you can do:

  • Leverage a robust subscription platform handler (if you use Zuora subscription solutions, then it must be a Zuora billing and revenue partner company)
  • Ensure the compliance-fitment of the Zuora partner (a PCI-DSS compliant Zuora partner is deemed best)

The world of throttling competition in subscription commerce may also lure you to enter the infamous ‘race to the bottom’. You start lowering your prices to attract new buyers, and at some point, you will have to start compromising on quality. But, no recurring revenue businesses can see growth in the face of such qualitative and quantitative losses. The way out? Apply a few tricks to the way you sell subscription services online. Here is how you can get started:

1. Make the customers see value in your subscription packages

Do you know how your customers perceive your services? Do you know their exact pain points? Creating and analyzing the ideal buyer persona can help you with the answers. With soaring subscription commerce, consumers are becoming increasingly subscription-curious. They try and test offerings from various subscription providers and cancel those that fail to thrill. So, analyze what extra value you can provide that your competitors do not – and add the same to your bundle.

When it comes to selling subscriptions and signing-up customers online, the wind also blows in the direction of value bundling. Create value-for-money combinations of complementary products and services using your existing offerings.

2. Make pricing flexible for selling subscriptions online

Consumers today want flexible pricing options, custom payment methods, multiple billing frequencies, and everything that suits their convenience. Especially to satisfy the needs of millennials and bridge millennials, offer different price plans and convenient billing cycles. A sturdy Zuora billing and revenue partner company can help scale your recurring revenue business growth. A PCI-DSS compliant Zuora partner will further ensure the stringent safety of your credit card data.

Master the art of selling subscription services online
The top tips for increasing your recurring revenue subscriber base

4. Make smart and skillful use of social media platforms

The world today lives and breathes social media. With competition intensifying, it’s no longer enough to just have a profile on digital channels; you need to gain a foothold there. Though the conversion rate from social media may not be impressive, you can use this marketing channel to draw your target market closer. Create awareness and engage with your audience to keep your offerings at the top of the consumers’ mind. Be it informational blog posts or updates about your subscription packages, staying active on social media is synonymous with staying relevant today. Recurring revenue business growth can get truly recurring if social media is utilized skillfully.

5. Sell subscriptions but don’t make it too salesy

Everyone is selling something today. Ask yourself: how do you stand out? Shifting from a transactional mindset to a value-driven mindset needs a culture change altogether. It may sound confusing, but when selling subscription services online, do not focus entirely on selling! Create value instead – be it in terms of customer experience or customized offerings or something else you see fit. This will not only help you acquire new subscribers but also retain the existing ones for the long term.

Citing another example pertaining to the Financial Times: with the shift of focus from mainstream news from print to digital media, FT needed to improve its value proposition for its user base. The company tied up with a European media organization to bring in more customer-centricity. This saw a 29% rise in subscriber base with a 6-month timeline.

6. Sell subscriptions but don’t forget about buyer experience

A seamless buying experience will always be an unmatched quality. From easy-to-use UIs to guest checkout options, always look for adding that extra convenience for your users. Turn these users into subscribers by empowering them with the option to start, restart, pause, and even edit their subscription purchases.

According to a SUBTA study, the modern subscriber is highly focused on getting exclusive access. People sign up when they find high-quality content that is not available anywhere else. For growing your recurring revenue business, revaluate your present offerings and see if such capabilities can be added.

7. Sell subscription but don’t put off customer service

As competition soars in the market, a tiny bad experience can be detrimental to your recurring revenue business growth. Always communicate your product/service-related updates, post detailed guarantee and cancelation policies, and make your privacy policy very clear. Train your CRM team to go beyond the minimum and build relationships with the clients. Selling subscriptions online today demands emotional engagement. It increases the lifetime value (LTV) of your products/services.

Understandably, the subscription economy is expanding rapidly with a rise in both seller and buyer bases. Having a unique product/service bundle is the bare minimum today for spurring your recurring revenue business growth. You must ensure the entire experience you hand out – from the first site visit to the repeat order fulfillment – everything is squeaky clean. Platforms like Zuora can be the single touchpoint for your order-to-revenue process.

Zuora is the world’s leading subscription management platform

Reinvent your quote-to-cash and revenue management with the world’s most reliable subscription management platform. Leverage Zuora’s SaaS solutions for your recurring revenue business growth. The subscription economy evangelist has been simplifying subscription businesses worldwide since 2007. Join forces with a Zuora billing and revenue company to ace the art of selling subscription services online.

Estuate is a PCI-DSS compliant Zuora billing and revenue partner

We at Estuate host a dedicated Zuora center of excellence. We are proud to be the most trusted Zuora billing and revenue partner company. We have the following Zuora capabilities in our ambit:

  • Advisory Services:We help you transform your business – from strategy consulting to implementation – and provide expert guidance with tangible business benefits.
  • Implementation and integration services:Our experts help businesses connect their systems to the Zuora ecosystem and transition from traditional systems to subscription models.
  • Billing Revenue and operations:Our certified consultants have deep industry insight and proven experience with cloud billing solutions with a long track record of delivering Zuora solutions.
  • With over 400 Zuora implementations and extensive Zuora billing and revenue experience, we are successful in maintaining a CSAT level of 9.7 over the last 9+ years.

Why do subscription businesses need a PCI-DSS compliant IT partner?

PCI-DSS compliant IT partner: A subscription economy growth catalyst
Security is no secret sauce – especially if you are one of today’s subscription businesses. It is probably the first thing your customers think of when they give you their payment data. What’s more, the data is often shared with third-party integrators who manage your subscription management platform. The smart save? Cue in credit card data security solutions with a PCI-DSS compliant IT partner. For instance, if you use Zuora for your subscription management needs, it’s smart to seek support from a Zuora implementation partner that is PCI-DSS compliant. The accredited IT firm will take care of your payment information security via its secure credit card processing. It’s that simple.

What does PCI-DSS compliance mean for an IT company working with credit card data?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of stringent global security requirements to ensure the safety of credit card data. Any organization that handles, processes, stores, and/or transmits cardholder data must be PCI-DSS compliant.

PCI-DSS is administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), an autonomous body formed by five international banking moguls (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB).

In today’s subscription climate, businesses need a modern implementer for their subscription management platform. For top-notch solutions, this IT partner company needs to access your customer base’s credit card data. Herein, a PCI-DSS compliant IT partner can be key.

Zuora is the world’s leading subscription management platform. A PCI-DSS compliant Zuora implementation partner can be a game-changer for your subscription business.

What qualifies as tough credit card data security solutions?

PCI-DSS compliance is the single global standard for cardholder data safety. Any enterprise stamped with this accreditation is treated as a world-class provider of credit card data security solutions. Not to forget, this is a payment data security standard mandated by five major players in the international banking field. Hence, a PCI-DSS compliant IT partner is the sturdiest padlock you can find for ensuring your subscription payment data’s security. And in today’s subscription climate, a PCI-DSS compliant Zuora partner might just be what you are looking for.

PCI-DSS involves a rigorous twelve-step action plan. Organizations eyeing secure credit card processing and vying to be PCI-DSS compliant partners must meet the following requirements.

What are the twelve steps to becoming a PCI-DSS compliant partner?

1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration
2. Implement strong settings for passwords
3. Ensure the security of stored cardholder data
4. Encrypt data transmitted over public networks
5. Use anti-virus programs and update them regularly
6. Maintain and update all systems and applications
7. Limit access to cardholder data on a need-to-know basis
8. Assign a unique ID to each person with system access
9. Restrict physical access to payment information data
10. Track and monitor all network and cardholder data logs
11. Regularly audit security systems for vulnerabilities
12. Maintain an enterprise-wide information security policy

The ultimate goal of each of these steps is to ensure credit card data security. Here is a brief run-down:
1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration – Properly placed firewalls and router policies control incoming and outgoing data. To be PCI-DSS compliant, partners must install such configurations in, out, and around the card data environment.
2. Implement strong settings for passwords – Devices such as routers and POS systems typically ship with factory-set passwords and usernames. The manufacturer’s default settings are easily hackable, so a strong password configuration of all operating devices and systems is non-negotiable for secure credit card processing.
3. Ensure the security of stored cardholder data – Partners who wish to be PCI-DSS compliant must be clear about the scope, location, and retention period of the payment information data they intend to store. Data must also be truncated, tokenized, or encrypted using acclaimed algorithms (like AES-256, RSA 2048). For the safety of PAN card data, the partner should regularly run data discovery tools like PANscan or PIIscan.

These actionable insights on how to avoid data breaches can also come in handy.

4.  Encrypt data transmitted over public networks ­– Cardholder data is primarily passed to payment gateways and processors for transaction processing. TSH, SSH encryption, etc. can prevent the possibility of data theft and secure credit card processing.
5.  Use anti-virus programs and update them regularly – An up-to-date anti-virus routine helps keep malware at bay. Anti-virus and anti-malware programs on a PCI-DSS compliant partners site must always be active, using the latest versions, and generating timely logs.
6.  Maintain and update all systems and applications – PCI-DSS certification calls for applications regularly updated with the latest security patches. For secure credit card processing, all pathways in the PCI-DSS landscape – from browsers to operating systems to POS terminals – must be covered under the updates.
The 12-point requirement for a PCI-DSS compliant partner
Required actions to become a PCI-DSS compliant partner
7. Limit access to cardholder data on a need-to-know basis – Role-based access control (RBAC) must be in place in the PCI-DSS compliant partner’s ecosystem. Names of team members with access to data along with their respective roles must be documented.
8.  Assign a unique ID to each person with system access – All team members with organization-provided system access must have a unique and complex password. Remote employees must adhere to multi-factor authentication.
9.  Restrict physical access to payment information data – Physical pathways to locations where cardholder data resides must be secured using electronic access controls like CCTVs. A potential PCI-DSS compliant partner establishes electrical access controls to distinguish authorized employees from general employees and workplace visitors.
10. Track and monitor all network and cardholder data logs – All systems in the PCI-DSS landscape must have updated audit policies. They must also be connected to a centralized Syslog server. The latter must be reviewed daily to detect and address anomalies and ensure secure credit card processing.
11.  Regularly audit security systems for vulnerabilities – Security audits like wireless analyzer scans, quarterly examination of external IPs and domains (by PCI ASV) along with annual application & network penetration tests, and internal vulnerability scans must be an integral part of the PCI-DSS compliant partner’s security routine.
12. Maintain an enterprise-wide information security policy –The IT company’s information security policy must be reviewed annually and shared with all stakeholders. This will maintain the basis for secure credit card processing. Alongside, there should be an annual risk assessment identifying all critical assets, threats, and vulnerabilities.

Does your credit card data service provider really need PCI-DSS certification?

Yes, it does! Tying up with an IT partner known for the most secure processing of credit card data brings numerous benefits to your business table. A PCI-DSS compliant partner not only helps you build better customer trust, but also arrests data breaches, threats, and losses.

A PCI-DSS compliant Zuora partner that keeps itself updated with the latest industry trends on payment data security is the perfect fit. The partner must be aware of the evolution of credit card data security over the ages. Watch this video by PCI Security Standards Council for a perspective.

The stringent security checks mandated by PCI-DSS ensure holistic payment card data security. With subscription economy on the rise, this can be a trailblazer for your subscription business.

A modernized subscription business ultimately is the key to the world of customer engagement.

Estuate is the first-ever Zuora partner to receive the PCI-DSS certification

We are the first global system integrator in the Zuora ecosystem to receive PCI-DSS certification. Numerous businesses around the world rely on us for the security and governance of their data, including payment and credit card information. The PCI-DSS certification is an added layer of protection to ensure the secure processing of credit card data.

Ensuring compliance with PCI-DSS is one of the strategic initiatives of our Zuora practice team. Over the past 9+ years, this group of Zuora-certified consultants has driven 400+ successful Zuora implementations worldwide.

To reach our Zuora center of excellence, click here.

Check all our certifications in detail, click here

Does pairing up with a PCI-DSS compliant IT partner sound smart to you? What else do you look for in a subscription platform enabler? Let us know on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. We would love to hear from you!