Apttus Launches New Cloud-Based E-Commerce Service

Cloud service provider adds e-commerce functions to its automated business-process platform that runs on Salesforce1.

Apttus Accelerate 2014

SAN FRANCISCO--The catchphrase "Quote-to-Cash" is being bandied about this week at the Apttus Accelerate 2014 conference at the Palace Hotel, and, as one might expect, the term is not parsed by everybody right off the top.

"Quote-to-Cash" signifies a standard business process from start to finish: from having a buyer interested in a company's product to the realization of money in the bank as a result of the transaction. In enterprise B2B transactions, there are a lot of steps along the way that need to be processed, stored, accessed with efficiency and modified as needed in an application of record, and that's the automation Apttus provides.

Apttus, the name of which is a combination of two Latin terms meaning "deep capabilities" and "speed," is a B2B cloud service running on the Salesforce1 platform. It provides a slew of features as needed to fit the customer's needs, including Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ), Renewals, Contract Management and Revenue Management.

Connects Office and Salesforce

Apttus also has a patent-pending app called X-Author, which enables Microsoft Office to become a user interface with full interaction and control between Salesforce and Microsoft Office. That one stands to become a popular app, given the high usage of both in the marketplace and the fact that they do not natively work together.

Competitors, such as Oracle, IBM, SAP and others, offer point products and require integrations in order to assemble the considerable IT functionality that Apttus provides with its single Salesforce-borne platform.

"We are a very customer-driven company, and part of that legacy is from Salesforce," CEO Kirk Krappe (rhymes with "frappe") told eWEEK. "In our case, the business processes that we address, which we call 'Quote-to-Cash,' are large processes, and they mostly have not been automated, because there are a lot of complexities around them.

"We are the only player that does all of that. There are lots of very good apps that do quoting, contracts, rebate management, bidding--all these different elements of the 'Quote-to-Cash' process, but none that does it all. That's because the historical thinking was that these are separate spaces."

Ahead of the 'User-Centric' Curve

In the current "user-centric" trend of enterprise IT, San Mateo, Calif.-based Apttus finds itself ahead of the IT business-process automation curve, since it has been developing its platform for eight years.

On Day 2 of its annual conference June 17 before about 1,000 attendees, the company unveiled a new e-commerce application to go with its business-process ware. Apttus E-Commerce supports complex product-and-pricing models across multiple channels on the Apttus/Salesforce1 platform, which is designed specifically for line-of-business users.

The new app enables brands to present their own online "user experiences" that boost transaction volume and top-line revenue, Krappe said. It utilizes Apttus' configuration and pricing features on the Salesforce1 platform.

Key Feature List

Other features in Apttus E-Commerce include:

--a product catalog that also includes services, bundles and accessories;

--customizable e-storefronts that allow for real-time updates to products, configurations and promotions;

--a recommendation engine that fully takes into account users' past transactions and purchases;

--enablement of multichannel lead sharing with partners; and

--streamlined sales cycles (including guided selling) with built-in upselling and cross-selling capabilities, boosting revenue by creating new opportunities and leveraging existing ones.

The Accelerate 2014 conference continues through June 18.The Apttus E-Commerce application is available now; go here for more information.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...