Apps Automate the Business

By John S. McCright  |  Posted 2003-07-28

As software vendor Oracle Corp. enhances its namesake enterprise resource planning suite for large enterprises, Icode Inc. and Deltek Systems Inc. are readying upgrades to their business automation software for small and midsize businesses.

The upgrades in Oracle E-Business Suite 11i.9, which was released last week, center on the corporate finance arena. Oracle Financials now features a new credit management application that helps companies continually monitor and evaluate the credit worthiness of customers and prospects, said company officials in Redwood Shores, Calif. Version 11i.9 also provides new functionality for nine vertical industries.

Meanwhile, Icode, of Chantilly, Va., late next month will release Everest Advanced Edition 2.0, which comes with more than 70 new features and upgrades aimed at SMBs, such as QuickBooks Import capabilities. (See eWEEK Labs review of Everest Standard Edition 6.0 on Page 39.)

Everest Advanced Edition 2.0s CRM (customer relationship management) Studio feature allows users to define and automatically monitor business activities and trigger actions and alerts.

Everest has enabled online computer store BCD2000 Inc. to have all sales associates work from home and access its server remotely. This arrangement—as well as the automation of many back-office functions—has enabled the company to shrink its employee base from 30 to 10 while maintaining $8 million in annual sales, said CEO Lee Vaccaro, in Tampa, Fla.

"One of the biggest additions in 2.0 is in their mail merge ... where all communications coming and going from Everest will correlate to a particular customer profile, so when anyone corresponds with a customer, all that is tracked and documented," said Vaccaro.

Separately, Deltek, of Herndon, Va., this week will release upgrades of three of its business automation applications for SMBs. Vision 2 is targeted at professional services companies and adds new resource planning functionality. Version 5 of Costpoint has several enhancements for managing subcontractors. Web-based Time Collection 5 has new accounting and scheduling features.

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