The new version provides a self-service applications builder so users can customize their own applications without the assistance of IT or expensive consulting services.
The on-demand software services model enables rapid product upgrades that can be released simultaneously to all users because the software is hosted on the Nsite Web site, said Rosie Hausler, Nsites vice president of marketing.
That is why Nsite is releasing version 5.0 just six months after it released version 4.5, she said.
The software-as-a-service model eliminates the need to send individual product CDs to customers, which results in wide lag in the rate at which customers choose to upgrade their software.
Nsite officials contend that using AJAX for customizing business applications can save time and money and provides better security than other, more established, frameworks for application customization that require complex server-side programming.
Furthermore, AJAX has been proven an effective development tool for on-demand business applications and has grown well beyond its consumer uses, such as in Google Inc.s mapping applications or Amazon.coms product search applications.
The channel management component combines pre- and post-sales activities into a single application that includes lead referral, deal registration, opportunity management, product configuration, price, quoting, order entry and special price request features.
The quote management component includes a whole range of features such as quote creation, product configuration, pricing, PDF conversion, reporting and analysis, and versioning, along with Web services integration with Salesforce.com and Siebel CRM OnDemand.
The new pricing and quoting feature is particularly valuable because it helps organization with Sarbanes-Oxley Act regulatory compliance, said Denis Pombriant, founder and principal analyst with Beagle Research Group in Stoughton, Mass. The act requires senior executives to legally vouch for the accuracy of their corporate financial statements.
"What is really nice about this solution is it provides an option for a relatively small company as well as large companies to better quote their products," Pombriant said.
The new version of Nsite not only helps companies with SarbOx compliance, "But it also ensures that nobody leaves money on the table," he said. The system helps with SarbOx compliance because it helps standardize the quoting and pricing process, he said.
This reduces the chance that the pricing will be arbitrarily determined by a sales representative "who is trying to jam in a sales deal at the end of the quarter" that is too generous according to the companys pricing policies, he said.
If a company is going to grant substantial discounts from the standard price list, "the decision should be reflected up the chain of command rather than being determined by a hungry sales rep," Pombriant said.
Another point in Nsites favor is that the new version is "part of the Salesforce.com ecosystem" for customers that need an effective quoting and pricing system that is well integrated with the other companys on-demand sales force automation applications.
Nsite is offering a starter edition that is free for up to five users and includes the channel and quote management applications along with 14 additional application templates for all functional areas of a typical SMB.
The Nsite 5.0 professional edition is sold on an on-demand subscription basis, costing $40 per use per month for up to 100 users and $10 per month for each additional user over 100. Customers can acquire satellite accounts for partners and suppliers for $5 per month.