What inspired you to get involved with Gentreo?
Gentreo has been my passion project, since the day my sister and I realized that it simply isn’t affordable and accessible for the everyman and everywoman. That is why over two-thirds of Americans don’t have current will and over 80% of American’s don’t have a proper estate plan.
When we launched the business we started with a consumer facing website. It was the quickest way to get something live so we could start getting feedback on what we built and begin iterating. As the platform evolved we realized that B2B/B2B2C was the future for our business and in order to properly service that market we were going to need a platform that offered flexibility and a diverse set of special skills.
What are some of the challenges you have confronted as the B2B side of the business has grown?
With the Gentreo Business offering, we work with large multi-national financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies, insurance companies, national and regional benefit providers, banks and credit unions, and companies as small as three people. As you can imagine the needs for our various companies are pretty diverse.
Think of all the permutations and complexity between company paid or individual paid, group vs individual sale, and what happens when people switch jobs/providers. Processes such as subscription management, monthly billing, and revenue recognition have all gotten more complicated in a B2B environment. There are new registration workflows, new pricing models, and new payment options to accommodate.
The business driver
What platform did you start with for billing and subscription management?
For the first few years of our journey, Gentreo had been using Recurly for subscription management and payment processing. Recurly worked well for our direct-to-consumer model, but it was not the best platform for the more complex B2B processes. We needed a technology platform that worked well for both B2C and B2B use cases.
”“There were a number of strong vendors that responded, but we could only find one with the flexibility to accommodate the diverse range of subscriptions, pricing models, and recurring billing scenario we support. That company was Ordway.”Jon QuickCFO
The evaluation process
What led you to make the switch to Ordway?
Earlier in the year, I began a search for a new vendor for billing and revenue automation. There are a lot of vendors on the market. Making things more challenging was the fact that there were plenty that specialized in B2C, and plenty that specialized in B2B, but very few who could accommodate both It was also challenging to differentiate them based upon their websites. We decided to issue an RFP to allow us to better understand the specific features each provider offered. There were a number of strong vendors that responded, but we could only find one with the flexibility to accommodate the diverse range of subscriptions, pricing models, and recurring billing scenario we support. That company was Ordway. They were more expensive than the other providers on the market, but worth it in my opinion. No one else could offer us a one-stop shop that offered the flexibility to support the diverse range of use cases we require.
What have found to be different about Ordway?
Ordway is smaller than many of the other billing and revenue automation vendors on the market. However, we have found them to be a lot more innovative and forward thinking than others we have worked with. In fact, Ordway was the only provider that could meet the requirements we had to scale our rapidly growing B2C and B2B channels, more specifically they were the only provider that had figured out how to properly implement parent/child billing relationships in a B2B environment.
The early wins
What are your biggest initiatives so far?
Over the past few months we have been prepping to launch relationships with three major partners (announcements to come). As you can imagine these are seminal events for the Company. These strategic partners need to know that we can handle the volume. More important than simply handling the volume we need to be airtight in our ability to onboard and properly bill customers at scale. We’ve spent the past few weeks working with the Ordway team to transition everything over.
What are some of the things you like best about Ordway now that you are live?
Whenever you select a new technology provider, there are always concerns about whether the vendor will deliver on the promises made during the sales process. While there were some bumps along the way, we are up and running and very happy with where we are.
A few things I like about the Ordway platform:
- Central Reporting – I have a single centralized system I can go to view all of our customers including partner agreements, new subscriptions and upcoming renewals.
- SaaS Metrics – Ordway helps me automate all the reporting on key investor metrics such as Monthly Recurring Revenue, Bookings, and Customer Lifetime Value.
- Billing Automation – We have a single system to process new subscriptions and renewals for consumers as well as to generate invoices and commission disbursements. One system that can handle any customer need.
What is the biggest benefit you have realized from the transition?
Most important to me is that I have flexibility in how I build my business. At Gentreo we are building a new category, Estate Planning as a Service instead of a one and done transaction. This an important win for customers as they don’t have to worry about expensive documents that become outdated or obsolete. Our partners want their employees/customers protected. For some that means bundling with other products. For others, it can include paying for it and providing it free of charge, or as a pass through. There is no one size fits all and with Ordway I have no restrictions on how I can work with my partners to deliver the best experience possible for our end users.
If you are thinking about implementing a new recurring billing system, Ordway is worth considering. Feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to share additional details about our experience.