April 17 by Eric Dreshfield

As has been covered in some detail on this blog, Gartner published their first-ever Critical Capabilities report for Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) Application Suites, a companion report to its Gartner Magic Quadrant for CPQ. Gartner Critical Capabilities for CPQ can help organizations in their evaluation and selection of a CPQ platform by identifying their primary use cases and features needed to support their business requirements. In this blog post, we’ll focus on the Subscription Management, one of the 6 CPQ use cases examined in the report.

Gartner describes the Subscription Management Capability as subscriptions with recurring pricing models that can be sold, amended, terminated and renewed. Gartner further described that the product should support multiple different prices of different types. It must be possible to place an order for a future dated change and to enforce contractual commitments. Gartner evaluated vendors for functional completeness, usability, ease of administration and response times, using the following criteria:

Fixed recurring prices – Prices can be charged on a recurring basis over various time periods (e.g., per day, per month, per year).
Simple usage-based recurring prices – Prices can be charged on a recurring basis based on actual usage (e.g., per GB, per 1,000 texts).
Billing system rate plan – Associate a billing system rate plan to a transaction line for complex, usage-based pricing (e.g., phone tariffs).
Subscription Ramps – the possibility to negotiate a gradual increase in subscription charges in the first months of a contract, or the gradual ramp down of charges at the end of a contract.
Multiple price types for a single transaction – A single transaction line can have multiple associated charges with multiple price types. Each charge is calculated by the system and can be manually discounted.
Declarative, flexible totals that work for all price types – Transaction totals can be customized to reflect customer requirements. They work correctly for one-time, recurring and usage-based price types.
Renew subscription – Allows selection of an existing subscription and generation of a renewal order.
Amend subscription – Allows selection of an existing subscription and generation of an amendment order that changes the delivered service and updates the service contract.

Additionally, Gartner weighted several critical capabilities when scoring vendors in the Subscription Management Use Case evaluation. Those capabilities include: Configuration, Sell tangible Goods, Extensibility, Pricing, Direct Sales Channel, and more.

We’re proud to share that Gartner scored Apttus CPQ the highest of any vendor solution for Subscription Management Use Case.

For a complete view of Gartner’s research report, download your complimentary copy of Gartner Critical Capabilities for CPQ Applications Suites today.