Manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers are driving growth at Apttus, an enterprise software provider designed to run on the widely used Salesforce.com Internet-based customer relationship management technology platform.

About 225 business-to-business customers, or three-quarters of its 300 total customers, are using the platform to sell online, says Shreyans Parekh, market manager of digital commerce.

Parekh he says that during the past two years uptake from business-to-business customers has driven what he calls the “really rapidly growing” sales for Apttus, a provider of software applications such as e-commerce and configure-price-quote that is built on the Salesforce1 platform. Users do not have to deploy Salesforce to use Apttus.

Parekh says growth has been driven primarily by distributors buying online from original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, that make components used in other companies’ products or items that others rebrand and sell to end users. These OEMs are often interested in using Apttus’ configure-price-quote technology, he says. With configure-price-quote, or CPQ, an online buyer can design a product order according to his specifications—such as a particular mix of components and power in an electric motor—and see a price for that customized product; if the buyer doesn’t agree to the price, he can then use the CPQ feature to request and negotiate for a different price.

“The configure-price-quote technology allows business buyers to configure very complex products online, like industrial machinery, to their exact specifications,” Parekh says.

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Apttus’ business customers are involved in such industries as communications, media and entertainment; healthcare and life sciences; high tech; manufacturing; and financial services. Examples include Neopost USA, the North American arm of Neopost SA, a global provider of mailroom equipment; Motorola Solutions, a manufacturer of mobile phones and headsets; and Pace Industries, a provider of die casting services for products made of aluminum, zinc and magnesium.

Apttus plans to build on its B2B growth by spending more on marketing and refining its strategy for developing its manufacturing and healthcare technology, Parekh says. During the next year, the technology provider also plans to open offices in such emerging markets as South America and Asia.

“We are pushing ahead really aggressively on the B2B space, whether a customer’s on Salesforce or not, and we are trying to tackle many use cases across a wide variety of industries,” Parekh says.

Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazine Internet Retailer. Follow Nona Tepper, associate editor for B2B e-commerce, on Twitter @ntepper90.

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