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 »
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.