One impression from the recently held SuiteWorld 2013 conference was that NetSuite’s partner ecosystem is becoming extensive – Autodesk and ClickSoftware Technologies being only some of the company’s novel high profile alliances. On the conference expo floor I was able to note several existing configure, price, quote (CPQ) or quote to order (Q2O) partners such as CallidusCloud (which acquired Webcom Inc. in late 2011), Experlogix, and Configure One.
Selectica, a public provider of software that both accelerates sales cycles of configured products and streamlines contract processes, announced at SuiteWorld 2013 the integration of Selectica CPQ with the NetSuite cloud computing platform. Selectica CPQ for NetSuite brings a constraint-modeling interface, patented product and sales configuration engine, and guided selling capabilities to NetSuite’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Built using NetSuite’s SuiteCloud development platform, the combined solution aims to give sales teams the power to configure more accurate product and service offerings and build faster and more intelligent quotes for customers. Epec Technologies was the first publicly announced joint customer, with many more in the works.
Pearson, a global education company, has selected Cameleon Software’s Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solution as part of a business transformation initiative aimed at enhancing the customer experience. Anticipating the growing need for customized and personalized services, as well as the shift from paper to digital content, Pearson adapted its business processes to the market changes and, as part of its strategy, implemented a CPQ solution. Read the rest of this entry »
We’re trying out a new feature on you this week: snippets of supply chain news designed for quick and easy consumption, including insights and sound bites, perhaps occasionally bordering on the irreverent. We’d like to think of this as a conversation with you. Let us know what you think.
Oracle held its Value Chain Summit last week in San Francisco. Were you there? Rick Jewell, Oracle senior vice president for applications development, with overall responsibility for supply chain applications kicked it off. Read the rest of this entry »
BigMachines announces that BigMachines Express is now available on the Salesforce.com AppExchange. This solution targets small and medium-sized businesses that want to create product profiles, assign desired prices, and further generate proposals in Salesforce CRM. The solution is built on the Force.com platform, which allows for easy installation and configuration for Salesforce CRM users. The solution will be showcased at Dreamforce, September 18-21.
During my several years of attending events organized by the cloud computing evangelist salesforce.com, such as Dreamforce and Cloudforce, Xactly Corporation has always had a prominent stand at the expo floor (another fixture at these events has been BigMachines, and not surprisingly the two vendors are close partners). In a nutshell, Xactly’s on-demand software lets sales professionals know, well, exactly what they are getting out of their sales wins.
The company’s flagship software, Xactly Incent, helps sales representatives and other sales professionals determine compensation for sales transactions. Additionally, sales executives can use the company’s analytics software to analyze post-sales information such as what, where, and to whom their product lines have been sold and how profitably.
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my very first attendance of BigIdeas, BigMachines’ annual user conference that takes place in the fall in Chicago. I wasn’t the only one that attended BigIdeas 2011 for the first time, as in May 2011 the company’s financial backers brought in David Bonnette, a seasoned Oracle executive in the customer relationship management (CRM) realm, as the new president. Mr. Bonnette has since gradually replaced the company’s founder and former CEO Godard Abel.
The highlights of Bonnette’s keynote presentation were that BigMachines has recently moved towards acting as an established company with more structured processes rather than as a slightly disorganized rapidly growing startup. Predictable results for both the vendor and its customers should come from more simplified and prepackaged offerings, and the upcoming BigMachines 12 release was previewed.
The fall of 2011 marked Theo Epstein’s move from Boston Red Sox to Chicago Cubs, whose fans have been yearning for a championship ring for well over 100 years and are fervently hoping that Theo’s curse-breaking success as the general manager in Boston will be repeated in the desolate Cubs nation. Well, 2011 also marked a much less important detail: after having to regretfully decline a few previous times, I was finally able to clear my calendar and attend BigMachines’ annual user conference dubbed BigIdeas, also in Chicago as the company’s base.
I have to confess that the attendance has changed my perceptions of the upbeat cloud software vendor somewhat. Namely, every time when we would meet in the past (most often at past salesforce.com’s Dreamforce and Oracle Open World events) the company’s staff struck me as too formal and somewhat standoffish. My earlier opinions on the vendor can be seen in this blog post from 2010 here.
My recent attendance of the PlanetPTC Live 2011 event was a great learning experience. Look for an article with my impressions on the conference and on PTC’s strategy with regards to the novel PTC Creo suite of design applications leveraging both the direct and parametric modeling (and in the wake of the release of nine Creo 1.0 applications), embedded software lifecycle management (with the MKS Integrity acquisition), mobility, etc. coming soon.
This blog post, however, will discuss handling configurable products in both the back-end engineering/design & manufacturing departments and on the front-office/sales side (including direct sales, resellers and the indirect channel, and consumer self-service).
Many recent TEC articles have talked about quote-to-order (Q2O) or configure, price, quote (CPQ) solutions that facilitate business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales, thus helping companies sell more products and services faster. A number of thriving vendors provide on-demand product configurator, pricing and quoting, proposal generator, and B2B eCommerce (self-service portals, product catalogs, etc.) software solutions. These Web-based offerings facilitate sales across their customers’ diverse channels by streamlining their sales processes, from opportunity to order.
Using Q2O/CPQ solutions, dispersed sales teams and channels can quickly configure products, generate quotes, proposals and contracts, manage complex pricing, and manage orders. Most recently, I’ve reported on Cameleon Software’s bullish posture. The company was visibly present at salesforce.com’s annual Dreamforce 2010 user conference expo floor, making hay out if its Apple iPhone- and iPad-enabled sales application and integration to the Salesforce Chatter cloud collaboration product.
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my recent reunion with Cameleon Software (formerly Access Commerce) a provider of on-demand and on-premises configure, price, and quote (CPQ)/quote-to-order (Q2O) solutions. Prior to analyzing the recent events at Cameleon, Part 1 first established the need and market drivers for such software solutions.
I then analyzed how Cameleon helps product managers and marketers during the design phase of new product and service offerings, with the focus on being amenable to business (vs. power IT) users in these departments. Part 2 continues with the analyses of how Cameleon helps the sales process (often via multiple channels) and a discussion of recent developments at Cameleon.
In this fast-moving world, use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Cloud Computing has grown rapidly owing to its straightforward subscription-based pricing model and relatively quick deployment. Nowhere has that been more evident than in the niche quote-to-order (Q2O) or configure, price & quote (CPQ) market segment. Indeed, BigMachines, FPX (formerly Firepond), Webcom, and Experlogix continue to report notable on-demand software subscription and accounts growth even during these economically depressed days.
Part I of this blog post series talked about my encounter with BigMachines, a provider of slick software-as-a-service (SaaS) configure, price, and quote (CPQ)/quote-to-order (Q2O) solutions during my recent attendance of Gartner’s CRM Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona (US). Prior to analyzing recent events at BigMachines, Part I explained the general value proposition of on-demand Q2O and CPQ software solutions. Part II will continue with a discussion of recent developments at BigMachines.
I recently attended Gartner’s CRM Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona (US). During the conference, I bumped into several old acquaintances who are working for various customer relationship management (CRM) software vendors. One of the vendors that attended the conference was BigMachines, a provider of inventive software-as-a-service (SaaS) configure, price, and quote (CPQ)/quote-to-order (Q2O) solutions.
Generally speaking, Web-based product configurators empower user enterprises to sell more, faster to their customers. These customers can be either other businesses or individual consumers.