Subscription Billing Meets Tax Management

Q&A with Ryan Gladstone

Digitize, store, and access the sales and use tax documents needed to improve compliance and streamline audit defense.

Successfully managing your subscription business means having the right partners and solutions to enable you to meet your customer’s needs, while also meeting your tax and regulatory responsibilities. Together Vertex and Arc XP provide integrated solutions that enable businesses to be more flexible, scalable, and agile, while delivering the best possible user experience. 

As a valued partner, I recently sat down with Ryan Gladstone, Director of Product Management at Arc XP to talk more about how our businesses and solutions work together to drive value for our joint customers. Here is an excerpt from that conversation:

Can you share a little background about your business and the areas that you are most focused on for those who are not yet familiar with Arc XP?

Absolutely. Arc XP has a digital experience platform (DXP) focused on helping businesses modernize their content operations and site experiences. Our platform started as a content management system (CMS) and digital subscription platform built by The Washington Post to simplify the content development and delivery process for their own journalist and editors. Because of the strength of the tools, The Post began licensing to other news publishers and Arc XP was formed. Today, our platform has grown into a full end-to-end DXP, serving the needs of media and entertainment industry as well as enterprise and commerce companies. 

What do you see as the primary challenges facing your customers today?

The number one challenge, by far, is speed. How quickly can an organization react and proactively plan to keep up with changing consumer expectations? 

This includes the speed of the site, and how quickly their teams can launch compelling campaigns and brand moments in a more self-service manner – without needing tons of coordination between marketing and engineering at every turn.

A barrier of speed for many of our customers is the mounting complexity of their existing digital experience stacks. They switch to Arc XP to simplify their content management process and their website management, eliminating outdated and multi-point solutions that cause complex workflows, inflexibility and added cost. 

What led you to partner with Vertex?

Arc XP has customers on five continents, so when it came time to choose a tax technology partner and solution to integrate with our platform, we needed one with the on-the-ground knowledge to service a global customer base. Many of our customers operate across multiple jurisdictions and countries, so we needed a service that could meet the complex needs of global tax management in one solution. 

We were also very impressed with Vertex’s support and professional services teams who make onboarding our clients a breeze.

What are some of the biggest challenges organizations are facing from a subscription management perspective?

All of our digital subscription customers have seen strong growth over the last few years, and so naturally there is a strong focus on retention. Our clients are looking for ways to reinforce the value of their offering while having marketing and consumer options in place to help customers re-size their subscription when needed instead of churning.

How does the integration of Vertex’s solutions with Arc XP’s subscription platform help to address this challenge?

Our integration with Vertex enables the customer to offer a robust set of user journeys, complete with upgrades and downgrades, with the confidence that their tax obligations will be properly calculated and handled. With one less thing to think about, they can focus on the customer experience which is crucial at these touch points.

What do you see as the combined value of our integrated solutions?

With Arc XP and Vertex, our customers can offload the day-to-day subscription and tax management tasks and focus on what is really unique about their business and crafting customer journeys that will delight.

Can you share an example of a customer that has benefitted?

Yes, absolutely! We have a client who moved from a brittle, homegrown solution to Arc XP and was able to launch their modernized site in record time with confidence that their tax obligations were being handled, all in a matter of months instead of requiring a more involved custom engagement. 

Deploying their new, digital-first solution helped them move their business more quickly and concentrate on new investments and bets instead of spending time working through a complicated integration. With Vertex in place, the team spends less time on tax management each month and has confidence that the business is staying up to date with tax law updates.

Can you share a little bit about what you see as the emerging trends and challenges for our joint customers?

Thanks to Arc XP and Vertex, e-commerce and publishing strategies that were once the domain of a small number of industry players are now accessible to a much wider audience of businesses. 

We are seeing some exciting creativity with legacy businesses rethinking the service offering they put forward. They are able to do that and be more ambitious because Arc XP and Vertex take care of so much of the behind-the-scenes orchestration. It’s fascinating to see what our clients can achieve now that they’re able to move fast and refresh their entire approach into compelling new business models.

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Steven Johnston

Technology Product Marketing Manager

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Steve Johnston is a Technology Product Marketing Manager at Vertex, focused on helping customer understand innovative ways to integrate Vertex solutions with their other transactional systems. He has spent more than 20 years working in the tech industry, having worked with industry leading organizations such as IBM, Vitalyst and RealMedia.

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