"Today, it is no longer a question of whether the ABB Ability™ Marketplace service team can provide a particular subscription setup because the answer will always be yes.” —Sinan Keilani, Assistant Vice President of ABB Ability Marketplace.

Company ABB
Industry High Tech

The Customer

ABB is a global sustainability-focused technology company. Its software, robotics, power, and automation solutions appear in over 100 countries and across more than 24 industries, including energy management, building, infrastructure, and transportation.

The Challenge

When the company first launched its SaaS marketplace three years ago, it placed a strong emphasis on products. But with so much variety in business models across industries, ABB realized it needed a more customer-centric approach. To make back-end processes more efficient, the company needed a flexible subscription service with alternative problem-solving functions.

The Solution

The technology giant relaunched its ABB Ability Marketplace in 2022 with Zuora subscription management software. Now it can map any new or customized business model with agile subscriptions and pricing models and meet the individual needs of customers in 50+ global markets.

The Benefits

With Zuora software, ABB can use real-time insights to build better customer relationships. Sales reps can deliver quotes to prospective customers in minutes instead of hours. And the new marketplace design can accommodate new offerings, opening the door for ABB to grow and tailor services to new and existing customers.

“For customers, the ease of reaching ABB sales or product specialists (demonstrated by leads), and the speed in which a quotation is prepared, revised, and finalized, has dramatically increased. We’ve reduced the quotation process from hours to minutes.” —Sinan Keilani, Assistant Vice President of ABB Ability Marketplace

Productivity and sustainability go hand-in-hand for ABB’s global business. With a history going back more than 130 years, the company plays a critical role in many industries, including places like electrical substations and industrial plants, where its technology supports existing assets and enables steps toward renewable energy. ABB provides advanced technology designed to make production more efficient and sustainable, and the company needed its own SaaS marketplace to function just as efficiently and adaptively.  

ABB fully embraced e-commerce by launching a SaaS marketplace in 2019. However, they quickly realized it was difficult to meet the complex needs of individual customers while also establishing and measuring steady revenue streams. The monetization team, led by Sinan Keilani, Assistant Vice President of ABB Ability Marketplace, learned that a product-centric approach was too inflexible. 

The team decided to start with customers instead, and to do that, they needed a subscription service that could map and match offerings to any new or customized business model. “The greatest opportunity lies in the underlying potential to radically improve customer operations on already existing operations,” said Keilani. “The challenge is to make the technology required to connect these assets as available and affordable to customers as possible, and to offer software services that quickly unlock value.” 

To unlock value for their customers, Keilani’s team turned to Zuora. They relaunched the marketplace in just seven months and saw a chain reaction of benefits for internal operations, customers, and the company’s future.

Internal impact

With back-end Zuora subscription management and a CRM integration, internal processes are now more efficient and effective. New products, contracts, and business models don’t require the same enormous increase in staff availability and assistance, including field sales and quotation efforts, because the software can more easily adapt its variety of SaaS offerings to unique business models all over the world. 

One of the internal impacts, according to Keilani, was the ability to “accommodate subscription growth through any sales acquisition channel—be it ecommerce, or field sales CPQ, in-app sales, or site-driven activation.” Plus, “the speed of productization and iteration of products [was] reduced from months to weeks.” 

While the software helps Keilani’s team adapt their services more easily for customers, it also provides more streamlined and reliable information for the internal team. The change has provided a single source of truth for all sales channels, unified key metrics, and improved lead-to-cash metrics. 

Customer impact

Zuora has made it possible for ABB to develop better customer relationships. “We have come to understand that the commercial back is more connected to the customer experience than it seems,” said Keilani, “and the key to a good customer experience is an efficient back-end.” Because internal operations are more efficient, customers get faster results. 

Customers benefit from faster access to the value of ABB products. “The ease of reaching ABB sales or product specialists (demonstrated by leads), and the speed in which a quotation is prepared, revised, and finalized, has dramatically increased,” Keilani explained. “We’ve reduced the quotation process from hours to minutes.” 

In addition to getting faster results, customers are getting better quality. After ABB migrated 50 solutions and over 700 customers into the new system, the number of inbound customer incidents dropped by 40%, and the number of technical incidents dropped by 70%. 

Looking to the future

Building a marketplace that can respond to complexity has helped ABB develop a foundation for continued growth. In China, the volume has doubled since 2021. Using Zuora has also increased its visibility. Their new hybrid automated and manual process is attracting customers with more complex business models, said Keilani.

The new marketplace design will accommodate new offerings, opening the door for ABB to grow and tailor services to customers. The company is making plans to extend its marketplace offerings beyond its software to its hardware, consulting, and staffing services. 

Other new offerings will focus on helping companies extend the life of existing assets with data and insights in cloud technologies. These complex, relationship-based services are possible because ABB used Zuora to create an end-to-end, integrated process capable of managing continually reimagined business processes and customer relationships. 

With its special emphasis on transforming society and industry toward a future that is more productive and sustainable, ABB took an important step forward by using Zuora to adapt its subscriptions across business models and plan for a more sustainable and productive future. 

“We realized that a customer-centric approach instead of a product-centric one needs a much more powerful and, above all, far more agile solution in order to be able to orchestrate all our various global SaaS offerings in an efficient and compliant manner.”
–Sinan Keilani, Assistant Vice President of ABB Ability Marketplace.

“This is about far more than software-as-a-service. It is about anything as a service.”
–Sinan Keilani, Assistant Vice President of ABB Ability Marketplace.

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