The Systems Behind ZoomInfo’s Chart-Topping Tech IPO

Tony Kontzer, Contributing Editor

December 10, 2020

ZoomInfo’s IPO earlier this year was noteworthy for a number of reasons. Topping the list was the fact that it occurred at all: It was arguably the first major, successful U.S. IPO undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic. ZoomInfo’s also happened to be the biggest tech IPO of the year at the time — and it continues to rank highly at year-end.

And a big factor in ZoomInfo’s IPO success was its readiness to pull exactly what auditors and regulators needed from its financial systems at the drop of a hat.

“Morgan Stanley was very impressed with our turnaround times for pulling data,” said Cameron Hyzer, CFO. “NetSuite played a significant role in our ability to quickly deliver the data that investors wanted to see.”

To fully understand NetSuite’s impact on ZoomInfo, it’s vital to understand the systems the company ran before it was acquired last year by competing marketing database provider DiscoverOrg. 

At the time, DiscoverOrg was a small, fast-growing software-as-a-service (SaaS) company with an eye on more growth. It had been running on NetSuite since 2015. ZoomInfo, meanwhile, was running on an instance of Microsoft GP that still required significant manual work. 

DiscoverOrg set about integrating its acquisition into its NetSuite environment, a process that was complete in three months. The two companies fully merged, rebranded under the ZoomInfo moniker, and began preparing for the IPO.

Tweaking to Meet the System

The smooth integration process was due to the simple approach DiscoverOrg had taken with NetSuite — the same approach it used when integrating ZoomInfo. The company adapted its financial processes to the way NetSuite set them up rather than customizing the system in an unnecessary way, per Hyzer.

“Organizations have a tendency to overcomplicate implementations by trying to make them work with their current processes,” said Hyzer. “Given that most back-office processes aren’t proprietary or differentiating, it often makes more sense for the organization to adopt best practices built into the system, rather than forcing the system to bend to our idiosyncrasies.”

The strategy has continued to work for the new ZoomInfo. For instance, even though the combined companies would mean five times more transactions—DiscoverOrg focused on larger contracts with customers—the new ZoomInfo was able to accommodate that volume without adding significant incremental staff.

NetSuite scaled through that growth without issue.

Ready for an IPO … and Then Some

ZoomInfo’s NetSuite environment positioned it for IPO success. On top of that, the merger meant that DiscoverOrg would transform from a West Coast organization — it was based in Vancouver, B.C., while ZoomInfo was based near Boston — into one with bicoastal operations and clients all over the world. It was able to do so with without missing a beat.

“In addition to helping scale the business and position for the IPO, NetSuite has also helped us position for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, as we will immediately become subject to its requirements as an accelerated filer in 2021,” Hyzer said.

Customizations? No. Integrations? Yes!

ZoomInfo’s appreciation of NetSuite doesn’t mean it hasn’t looked to boost its system with capabilities from NetSuite partners. The company has integrated NetSuite with CRM, payments, and procure-to-pay solutions. It is also using a compliance and change management tool and partners for sales tax calculations and expense reports.

“NetSuite does its homework when they’re vetting vendor partners,” said Hyzer. “It’s nice to work with a vendor that understands that their tool does not function in a silo. The recommendations NetSuite has provided us over the years have helped us scale our operations without any unnecessary customizations.”

? Learn more about how companies get IPO-ready with NetSuite(opens in new tab), and download an e-book(opens in new tab) on building resilience with cloud ERP.   

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.