Demand Management Inc. has been very busy as of late, with a recent flurry of new products and features. In a series of press releases, Demand Management has recently announced the availability of the Demand Solutions platform as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering; configurable workflows that provide alerts for exceptions and escalations; a new predictive lead time capability; and new industry-specific business intelligence capabilities. With more press releases in the past five weeks than in all of 2012, TEC decided we should check in with Demand Management’s president, Bill Harrison, to find out what this is all about. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week in the TEC blog we talked about up-and-coming Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider BizSlate Inc. The company offers small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in distribution- and retail-centric environments a solution for managing customers, vendors, orders, inventory, logistics, and supply chains. To further discuss BizSlate’s ERP philosophy and product offering, we spoke to BizSlate CEO Marc Kalman, an experienced business leader and supply chain expert who has been recognized as a leading authority in the supply chain space. (Kalman has been included as one of the top supply chain professionals in the country by Supply and Demand Chain Executive magazine for the past five years!)
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Sage recently announced the results of the Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey, which examined the hiring outlook of U.S. small and midsized businesses in 2013. The survey found that of the 973 businesses surveyed, 25 percent reported that they either have hired or will hire in 2013; 47 percent of businesses expect their staffing levels to remain the same in 2013, and 7 percent said they would decrease their staff in 2013.
The Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey found that the biggest factor influencing whether a small or medium-sized business (SMB) has hired or will plan to hire is increased demand for its products or services (81 percent). The biggest factor influencing those companies that have not hired or are not planning on hiring in 2013 is lack of demand for their products or services (40 percent).
A year ago Intuit acquired Demandforce, an online marketing and communication product, to bolster offerings that help small businesses attract and retain customers. Intuit recently celebrated several Demandforce milestones, not the least of which is that Demandforce has helped Intuit’s Small Business Group achieve 17 percent revenue growth for the quarter over this time last year.
Like in real life, while old on-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are either going into retirement or getting major facelift procedures, new cloud-based ERP startups and products keep cropping up left and right. One such product is BizSlate Inc., a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering that aims to improve the way small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in distribution- and retail-centric environments manage their customers, vendors, orders, inventory, logistics, and their overall supply chains. Established in October 2011, BizSlate ERP is designed and developed under the collaborative efforts of a management team possessing small business supply chain expertise and a customer steering committee comprised of 20 small apparel, footwear, and housewares businesses that have between $1 million and $200 million (USD) in revenue.
The company’s management team has a wealth of supply chain and software experience, and a proven track record for success. BizSlate CTO Michael Park was formerly VP of technology of FreshDirect, the U.S.’s largest online distributor of fresh produce and grocery products. Marc Kalman, BizSlate’s CEO, has a background comprising a 25-year career in distribution supply chain and operations technology. Prior to BizSlate, Kalman was co-founder and CEO of eZCom Software Inc., a SaaS Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) provider that he ran successfully for 10 years. Under his leadership and with little outside capital, eZCom evolved from the ground up into a well-respected and competitive company. Read the rest of this entry »
The “little” SAP Business One solution is an unsung hero of sorts at SAP. Indeed, more than 38,000 customers worldwide in nearly 30 languages and over 630 partners are often ignored as less newsworthy by market observers. The business management solution for small businesses (with 10–20 users, on average) can be deployed on premises or in the cloud, and is accessible via mobile devices.
During the SAPPHIRENOW 2013 conference, SAP announced the general availability of the 9.0 version of the SAP Business One running on Microsoft SQL Server (which is the product’s original database). With more than 50 new features, the latest version offers enhanced capabilities for warehouse management, infrastructure, and inventory management, as well as improved systems performance.
Sage North America yesterday announced the results of its mobile device survey, which recently polled 490 small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the United States. The Sage SMB Survey on Mobile Devices showed that employees accessed work-related information when they were not in the office most commonly using laptops (80 percent) and smartphones (81 percent), followed by tablets (57 percent).
Per Intuit’s most recent Small Business Employment Index, the employment rate is gradually improving. Intuit and LinkedIn have agreed to host the first “Hire Smart” event for small businesses looking to hire their first employees. This free event at Intuit’s HQ in Mountain View, California, is slated for April 27, 2013.
SAP is steadily and consistently expanding its SAP HANA–powered business software offerings. As it has been announced at CeBIT 2013, one of the world’s major computer and electronic industry trade shows, in Hanover, Germany, SAP’s Business One version for SAP HANA is now available in restricted shipment mode. Obviously, it will become a commercial version pretty soon. Read the rest of this entry »
After engaging in a soul-searching exercise a while back, which has lately resulted with more coherent strategies in some regions, and with the recent public statement of its commitment to making customers happy, Sage Group announced at the opening of trading at the London Stock Exchange on February 15, 2013, that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell Sage Nonprofit Solutions to Accel-KKR, and ACT! and SalesLogix to Swiftpage. Accel-KKR has extensive expertise in accelerating the growth of software companies in vertical industry segments, KANA Software being one example. The investment firm brings a wealth of operational best practices and strategic insight to its portfolio companies and is a good partner to help these businesses reach their full potential.
As part of its ongoing quest for innovation, Intuit recently announced that QuickBooks Online is now available for mobile devices. QuickBooks Online for iPad (the name is somewhat deceiving given that the product runs on multiple mobile devices and not only on the Apple iPad) is the newest addition to the QuickBooks Online suite. Through a single QuickBooks Online account, a business can access and interact with its data from a computer, tablet, or other mobile device. There are native apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones (but no native Android tablet app yet). Data automatically syncs between devices and users, so small businesses can manage their finances anytime, anywhere.
2012 was a whirlwind year of influences on the business landscape—some of them good and some of them not so good. The fiscal cliff, the U.S. presidential election, an anemic economic recovery, the debt ceiling and proposed sequestration cuts, along with Hurricane Sandy’s effects on business are a few things that come to mind. But despite the ever-changing business landscape, one central tenet always rings true: keep your customers happy.
Sage’s professed focus has for some time been the customer experience, and the company has done a number of things in the last year to further its goals in this regard. We talked to Joe Langner, executive vice president of mid-market solutions at Sage North America, about what Sage has learned in this arena, and what the company is planning for 2013 to continue following this mantra. While Sage is a large company with over 6 million customers worldwide, many of the lessons it has learned can easily be applied to any business—small or large, in services or manufacturing, bricks-and-mortar or ecommerce.
Intuit recently released its “December Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes” as well a special 2012 look back report. All data cited in the blog post and year-end report are based on a combination of government data and an anonymized subset of Intuit QuickBooks Online, Intuit Online Payroll, and QuickBooks Online Payroll users.
The most recently certified enterprise resource planning (ERP) software product by TEC analysts is offered by the Brazilian company TOTVS and is called Protheus. Although the vendor is not very well known in the North American and European markets, it is extremely well represented in the corporate solutions market of Latin America, particularly in Brazil, where the vendor holds nearly 50% of the entire business applications in use. Its influence in other countries in the region is also impressive—with nearly 34% of the Latin American market share overall. In addition, the sales figures continue to grow by double digits every year, particularly in the last 10 years.
In addition to verifying the typical software features and functions, during the certification process, TEC analysts wanted to see what was behind the vendor’s great success. Read the rest of this entry »
Kronos is one of the most important players in the human resources (HR) software market, with a global presence (serving 100+ countries), $820 million (USD) in annual revenue, more than 3,500 employees, and 30+ million users worldwide.
Until recently, the vendor had mostly focused on large enterprises, with its flagship product, the Kronos Workforce Central suite. This changed with the recent acquisition of SaaShr, a software-as-a-service provider specializing in workforce management for small to medium businesses (SMBs).
The solution has been rebranded as Kronos Workforce Ready, and I had the opportunity to learn more about it from Bob DelPonte, product line director for Workforce Ready. Here’s what I found out, along with my commentary on the new solution. Read the rest of this entry »