Apttus’ New Omni Middle Office Platform Manages Sales, Cash Flow

With the new Omni platform, Apttus is taking its “middle office” concept to the next level including support from IBM’s Cloud and Max Proactive, which is a set of proactive artificial intelligence features designed to help enterprises manage their sales more effectively.

Apptus Accelerate Show

SAN FRANCISCO—You may never have heard the term “middle office” before, but Apttus is hoping its new Omni Middle Office Platform makes the term as familiar to enterprises as back-office Enterprise Resource Planning systems and “front office” Customer Relationship Management.

At the company’s Apttus Accelerate conference here on May 15, Apttus described how Omni provides a single data view to help companies more efficiently manage revenue, contract and procurement operations across sales, finance, legal and operational groups across the enterprise.

“We don’t want you to think of us as a provider of an application. Our goal is to deliver a business outcome,” said Apttus CEO Kirk Krappe in the keynote.

Omni uses artificial intelligence to help companies boost revenue generation and manage key relationships. Apttus has long been a leader in Quote to Cash software that manages revenue flow from a customer’s intent to buy to completion of the transaction as well as Contract Lifecycle Management.

While some of this may sound like CRM, Apttus said it augments what CRM leader Salesforce offers. During a press lunch with reporters, Krappe said Salesforce’s Einstein AI features are “extremely simple” compared to what Apttus is doing.

Salesforce supports Apttus as both as an investor and partner. IBM has also invested in the company and announced a partnership that makes Omni available on IBM’s Cloud in addition to its established support for Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

“We are moving the Apttus intelligent cloud to take advantage of the advanced features of our platform and capabilities that we’ll continue to advance in Watson,” said Inhi Cho Suh, general manager of Watson Customer Engagement at IBM, in a keynote.

Separately, Apttus also announced Max Proactive, a set of new AI capabilities for the Omni platform that automatically initiates and orchestrates essential business processes and uses interactive voice responses to notify customers of additional offers, such as the value of an extended warranty. IBM is supporting Max on its own Watson AI platform. “We want to help Apttus make every engagement personalized as they innovate on Max,” said Suh.

Apttus said Max Proactive is designed to help sales teams, revenue managers, digital commerce teams, and executives spend less time and effort searching for new opportunities and focus more on closing deals. Properly set up, the service can notify sellers when an action must be taken with suggestions like: “I’ve found a new sales opportunity in your territory” and “It’s Friday morning, here is your pipeline forecast.” 

In a sometimes goofy demonstration on the keynote stage, an Apttus executive drove out on a golf cart and had an accident that resulted in a flat tire. He was able to order a new tire on his phone using Apttus software that was able to figure out what tire he needed based on his golf cart purchasing history. 

Max Proactive then begins a dialogue with the golf cart owner noting that he had already replaced several golf carts and made a sales upgrade suggestion to the customer, much to the crowd’s amusement: 

“I’m not questioning your driving ability, but I would highly suggest you consider a premium warranty and you would save $637 on the replacement rate of tires at $500.”

The tire than arrived via a faux delivery person and the exec used augmented reality that’s part of Max to guide the driver through the process of replacing the tire.

Krappe minimized any disruption enterprises would face in deploying Omni. “The bulk of middle office applications today like rebate management and promotions are home-grown and many are from the 1980s,” he said in the press briefing. “Our biggest competition is inertia and legacy software and that’s something we can really help with.” 

Editor's Note: This article was updated to correct the spelling of the Apttus company name in the headlines and abstract. 

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...