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Jamcracker Expands Service Platform

Jamcracker Inc. this week announced partnerships with leading back-office service providers BizTone, Icarian and OpenAir.com, expanding its service offerings to include business services such as accounting, recruiting and workforce management, time tracking and billing.

"Until recently, we've been adding mostly horizontal tools, like email, HR and web-based collaboration services," Bruce Hartsough, Jamcracker VP of Product Development, told ASP News. "Now we're moving into more vertical areas, while fleshing out those core areas with complementary products."

BizTone Enterprise Financials is a full-function financial package consisting of General Ledger, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Sales and Invoicing, Procurement and Management Planning modules.

Icarian Workforce is an online workforce management service that streamlines and integrates recruiting, hiring and workforce management functions.

OpenAir.com's Project Tracking, a web-native professional services automation (PSA) suite, lets service professionals manage all aspects of their client engagements, from business development to post-sales relationship management, including time management and invoicing.

Other OpenAir.com services include Proposals, Project Tracking, Time Sheets, Expense Reports and Time Bills, which can be used individually, in any combination or as a complete suite of business services depending on a company's needs.

The addition of these services helps round out Jamcracker's offerings, which currently include Employease Inc.'s Human Resources management and benefits administration, Managemark, Inc.'s expense management service, Connected Corporation online backup service, Internet messaging and collaboration services from Critical Path, Inc. , Email service from United Messaging, Inc. or USA.NET, iPass remote access service and WebEx Inc.'s global communications services.

Jamcracker finds it necessary to choose its partners carefully, Hartsough said. "I think we're up to about a 23-page questionnaire. Then we go talk to their service delivery managers, talk to their engineers, discuss business development and co-marketing -- It's a very rigorous process," he said.

Once the partner offerings are pre-tested, they are integrated into Jamcracker's service delivery platform. Through its new and existing partnerships, Jamcracker provides its customers the flexibility to select IT services from a variety of vendors; quickly deploy them as a single, integrated IT environment and easily manage these services via a single sign-on workspace.

Jamcracker's target customer is small to mid-sized, but more important than size is that the company be fast-growing, Hartsough said. "Those are the companies who see first-hand how hard it is to nail down an IT staff when the company itself is moving so quickly."

Currently Jamcracker has over 30 customers in various stages of development, Hartsough said. Depending on which of Jamcracker's services a company chooses, implementation of basic services could take as little as 2 weeks, but typically about 4 weeks, according to Hartsough.

Of course, this time frame also depends on how quickly the company can give Jamcracker the internal resources it needs to set the company up. "Our primary need is to get information, "Hartsough said. "Not so much from their IT department, since we provide much of that infrastructure. We really need to work with the functional staff that will be using the services."

Jamcracker will be formally announcing the first of its customers using its services next week, including sales channel management firm