Salesnet Extends App, Reaches for Enterprise
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Given the taste of success Web-native ASPs in general and sales force automation (SFA) ASPs in particular have enjoyed in the last year, it's no surprise that companies like Salesnet are hungry for a bigger piece of the pie.
Like its closest competitors, Salesnet wants to tap deeper into the enterprise market a market once thought to be the exclusive domain of PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel and other enterprise independent software vendors (ISVs).
To help address the needs of large companies with complex sales processes and to better compete with the client-server giants, Salesnet today announced Salesnet Extended, which features a Web services application programming interface (API) and an offline component. The new version also adds field access, multiple screen layouts and enhanced process builder functions.
The API is built using the Microsoft .NET framework. "We are a very pro Microsoft shop," Richard Perkett, Salesnet's chief technology officer and co-founder, told ASPnews. "We share Microsoft's vision of Web Services becoming the platform for application integration. Tomorrow's applications will be constructed using multiple Web Services from various best-of-breed applications like Salesnet."
Like competitors Salesforce.com (see Salesforce.com Goes Offline and Big Biz and Upshot (see UpShot Mixes CRM With Microsoft Office Apps), Salesnet has also realized that the mobile nature of salespeople makes offline capabilities important when competing for enterprise customers.
Perkett described the offline version as "the same software as the Web-based application. Users can create new information, synchronize, pull down new information."
The offline version, according to Salesnet, includes the following features:
- Users can create new accounts, contacts, deals, appointments, tasks while offline. That information is then synchronized with the central database the next time the user is online. "All data is captured, but conflicting data goes to a confliction resolution manager," Perkett told ASPnews. "User can synchronize 100 records in about five minutes."
- To help allow for better sales forecasting, mobile workers can update their opportunities offline.
- Like the online application, companies can design multiple screen interfaces for each department, team or user within a company. "You could have different screens based on departments for geography," Perkett said.
- To help reduce synchronization time, users can select the data they want to work with offline. Salesnet says that this enables team-selling because users can subscribe to any data they normally have access to online, including information owned by other users.
The new software's expanded process builder features are designed to let managers and administrators set which sales processes users can select from when starting a deal, preventing them from using processes designed for other departments.
Like Salesforce.com and Upshot.com, Web-based Salesnet appears to be well-positioned as more companies outsource applications (see Web-Native Architecture Pays Off for ASPs). Perkett points to affordability and speedy deployment as advantages over client/server CRM applications applications requiring customers to "spend millions on a product that takes nine months to implement."
A privately held company, Salesnet was not willing to provide details on its current financial status. "We are doing very well," Donna Rovetto, Salesnet communications manager told ASPnews. She said to date the company has raised $20 million in venture capital. Rovetto also hinted that an initial public offering (IPO) may be in the company's near future. "It's not a good time for an IPO, maybe early next year."
Rovetto told ASPnews that Salesnet's average enterprise customer subscribes for 380 seats and that 80 percent of its top 10 users upped their number of users/seats in the last year.
Salesnet Extended will be available in the third quarter for $99 per user, per month. The company will continue to offer its standard application for $59 per user, per month. Those users can add the offline option for an additional $15 per month.
Salesnet is listed by ASPnews as a Top 20 Provider.
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