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.
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.
The first part (Part II) of this blog series described the opportunities for software as a service (SaaS) or on-demand applications, especially in the current difficult economic milieu. Part II and Part IIa then analyzed the top five SaaS assumptions (misconceptions) recently outlined by Gartner.
Part IIa and Part IIb also analyzed the major technical considerations that any vendor has to go through before it can embark on delivering a SaaS offering. This final part will will conclude with the Internet hosting service considerations as well as with key success factors (KSFs) for SaaS providers. Read the rest of this entry »
The first part of this blog series described the opportunity for software as a service (SaaS) or on-demand enterprise applications, especially in the current difficult economic milieu. But before any vendor can embark on delivering a SaaS offering, it must understand several misconceptions about SaaS.
Part two then analyzed the first two of the top five SaaS assumptions that Gartner recently outlined in its research. Read the rest of this entry »
Part IV of this blog series further analyzed Webcom ResponsAbility, the on-demand workflow automation and business process management (BPM) solution. Anyone interested can take the product for a free trial test drive here. The vendor just released the ResponsAbility p4 release.
Competitive Offerings Do Exist
Still, Webcom’s first-to-market (or close to) BPM on-demand advantage has already been challenged by the solutions from Skemma, Appian [evaluate this product], Lombardi [evaluate this product], Colosa ProcessMaker [evaluate this product], Pipevines, and The Process Factory (powered by Cordys), to name only a few. Read the rest of this entry »
Part III of this blog series introduced Webcom ResponsAbility, the on-demand workflow automation and business process management (BPM) solution. Anyone interested can take the product for a free trial test drive here.
Other Real Life ResponsAbility Use Examples
In addition to the examples described in Part III, another example of the ResponsAbility software in use can be found in Grayhill, Inc. an electronics manufacturer from Lagrange, Illinois (US), servicing industrial and government customers. While the company has been a long-term WebSource CPQ user for sales configuration purposes, the ResponsAbility sibling was later introduced for managing several processes, among them for product returns or return merchandize authorizations (RMAs). Read the rest of this entry »
Part II of this blog series continued the introduction of the concepts of workflow automation and business process management (BPM). It also zoomed in on similarities and subtle differences between the two related software categories. Finally, the idea of on-demand workflow and/or BPM solutions was introduced.
To that end, Webcom Inc. has leveraged its vast expertise earned while addressing many complex sales quote-to-order (Q2O) process issues (i.e., channel quote approvals, special pricing approvals, special non-standard product feature request approvals, etc.) and has created a brand new workflow engine, which can be (and is already) used for many generic business processes. Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog series introduced the notions of workflow automation and business process management (BPM). It also tackled the similarities and subtle differences between the two related software categories.
Microsoft, for example, informally demarcates the Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) focus on “internal processes” from Microsoft BizTalk Server’s “external BPM” use. Namely, the first tool (somewhat of a BizTalk spin-off) is used for automating processes within an enterprise (and its enterprise resource planning [ERP] system), whereas the latter is intended for inter-enterprise process orchestrations across several disparate enterprise applications. Read the rest of this entry »