Salesforce exclusive Apttus now plugs into Microsoft Dynamics

“Built on Salesforce for Companies of All Sizes.” That’s how quote-to-cash solutions provider Apttus describes itself on its website. But that’s changing. As the company eyes an IPO, it has extended its support to Microsoft Dynamics. Quote-to-Cash connects a customer’s intent to buy and a company’s realization of revenue, and encompasses the entirety of sales, contract, and customer relationship lifecycles. While CRM tools provide a way to maintain the basic customer record, quote-to-cash tools help you put together a quote, sign a contract when the customer has decided to buy, and take care of billing once the deal is done. Even though, Apttus has been a Salesforce loyalist (since 2006), and still is, as the former extended its OEM agreement with the latter up till 2023, last week; the quote-to-cash provider must have been caught off-guard when Salesforce acquired another quote-to-cash vendor SteelBrick in December last year for $360 million. With Apttus lending support to Microsoft Dynamics, it’s clear that the former certainly doesn’t want to put all its eggs in one basket and is looking at opportunities outside. However, Kirk Krappe, CEO, Apttus, would like to show a different picture. “When you’re going through IPO, you don’t want to give investors the idea there is a constraint on the platform. When you get to hundreds of million of dollars, you need to expand on other platforms,” Krappe was quoted as saying by TechCrunch. Meanwhile, Jujhar Singh, General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, said, “Our customers are leaders in their respective markets and require enterprise-level Quote-to-Cash applications. We are delighted to introduce them to Apttus’ Intelligent Cloud, which adds value to their existing investment in Dynamics CRM. Our customers can benefit from Apttus’ Configure Price Quote, Contract Management, and Revenue Management solutions.” According to Gartner, Salesforce is an undisputed leader in the CRM space leading with a market share of 18.4 percent. SAP and Oracle command the second and third spot with a market share of 12.1 percent and 9.1 percent respectively. Microsoft takes the fourth position with a market share of 6.2 percent.

Adding intelligence to quote-to-cash

Apttus also announced the launch of The Apttus Intelligent Cloud that combines the company’s Quote-to-Cash suite with its other offerings — Incentive Compensation, Rebates and X-Author. Apttus Intelligent Cloud applies artificial intelligence using Microsoft Azure Machine Learning service to discover and recommend actions that will help sales people increase the size and speed of deals. Artificial intelligence looks into historic data and suggests what a sales professional should do in a similar situation. Machine learning looks into what makes certain individuals more successful over others and suggests actions for others to emulate the success patterns. Apttus has been in thick of action particularly in the last one year when it announced a $41 million Series B funding in February last year. The Series C funding followed up in September with the company raising $108 million. The Series A $37 million funding had come back in September 2013.

Talent hunt for market expansion

Clearly looking to disrupt the quote-to-cash market globally, the company announced a strong team of senior hires — as much as 11 — a few days ago. Prominent among them include Elizabeth Baker and Arthur Chiang. The former has been appointed as General Manager of Global Sales Strategy and will be reporting to Krappe. She brings her experience working directly with the CEO at Oracle and CEO of SAP to the company. Meanwhile, Chiang was named as the Executive Vice President of Professional Services, who comes in from Oracle, where he served as SVP of Global Services. Ganesh Ramachandran, who has been appointed as Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology, will incorporate artificial intelligence and machine-learning into Apttus. Apttus clearly has its eyes set on Japan and the Asia Pacific. Mitch Kristofferson joins in as General Manager, Apttus Japan; and Ian White as Vice President, Asia Pacific.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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