Apttus Corp. is building out its footprint in digital commerce technology, reaching beyond its roots in software designed to help big companies offer complex product configuration and price-quoting tools.
In several announcements in recent weeks, the software vendor has laid out its renewed technology suite—including self-service e-commerce software, selling tools for sales reps, and artificial intelligence—designed to better help companies coordinate sales and interactions with customers across online and offline channels. Apttus clients include such companies as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Motorola Solutions, Lenovo and LinkedIn.
Industry analysts have recognized Apttus E-Commerce software as a competitive application integrated with configure, price, quote (CPQ) and contract management software that has been gaining recognition in the B2B e-commerce technology market. But the vendor also faces competitors—notably SAP SE and Salesforce.com Inc.—that have been expanding their own suites of e-commerce, CPQ, contract management and related software.
“Apttus’s commerce application is gaining traction,” says Penny Gillespie, a research vice president and analyst covering digital commerce at technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc.
Its strength, she says, is in blending its e-commerce software with its core CPQ, contract lifecycle management and “quote-to-cash” tools that keep records of the steps from when a customer requests a price quote to the final payment. But SAP and Salesforce also offer their own versions of these software applications, and they’re strong in CRM technology for managing customer relationships, marketing and service, an area that Apttus has not developed, she adds.
But in its recent product announcements, Apttus has pushed ahead in ways designed to make its technology more complementary to CRM. It released last month Apttus Omni as an “intelligent middle-office platform” that manages interactions between sellers and buyers on software that sits between CRM and “back-office” enterprise resource planning, or ERP, systems that maintain financial and inventory records.
Apttus Omni combines software for such applications as digital commerce, quote-to-cash and contract lifecyle management. It’s also designed to address industry-specific applications for manufacturing, healthcare/life sciences, oil and gas, and high tech businesses.
Omni operates on several cloud software platforms, including Salesforce, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud, where it can integrate with multiple CRM applications.
Apttus also launched recently Max Proactive, a set of artificial intelligence capabilities that use information from the vendor’s e-commerce, CPQ and contract lifecycle management applications to assist an Apttus client company’s sales efforts. By learning a particular customer’s interests and the current status of its contract, the Max software might send an automated alert to a sales rep about making a product offer that customer would be likely to accept.
“If a company’s sales force is made up of 100 people, it might have 10 all-stars, while the others are just OK or underperforming,” says Neil Becker, vice president of worldwide marketing at Apttus. “Now that company can put a sales tool in every sale rep’s corner, putting them in a position to perform better.”
Apttus doesn’t publicly release the costs of deploying its software. It makes its technology available under a software-as-a-service, or SaaS model, with subscriptions based on the extent of features used in each of its software applications.
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