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Tiova Rises from the Trenches

Dallas-based professional services ASP Tiova Inc. is expanding its ePlatform for the professional services industry with the addition of Great Plains accounting software.

The addition of Great Plains to Tiova's ePlatform reflects the latest in a series of alliances the company has made to broaden the range of services offered in its offering for professional services organizations (PSOs), a field in which the Tiova's management team's direct experience is a key differentiator, Brian Walker, Tiova founder and CEO, told ASP News.

"We've lived in the trenches, we've been in those businesses. There's a crying need for someone who knows what they're doing," Walker said. "Because we know what our customers are going through, we're viewed as allies, not as a vendor."

The ePlatform includes Great Plains accounting and Changepoint Corporation's PSA software. Tiova will soon offer solutions for all areas of a PSO's business, including project management, personnel, sales, customer service, accounting, finance and banking, and is developing its own proprietary software to complement its partner offerings.

"We're offering software to fit the way people do business, rather than forcing them to do business the way the software was written," Walker said. "In my experience, I didn't want someone selling me a product -- I wanted something to help me run my business."

Tiova also offers a portfolio of "Accelerators" designed to take advantage of the integrated operating environment. Aegis allows clients to view and manage all aspects of their business, with custom channels for the CFO, COO and others. Cash flow can be monitored and enhanced with Tiova's Cash Manager and Invoice Today, Cash Tomorrow offerings.

e-Metrics allow real-time benchmarking against industry peers in several categories. Another, called CEO SleepWell, monitors core processes to make certain a business is running well, minimizing fraud and error. "It does just what the name implies," Walker said.

Tiova's platform draws together professionals with their clients, project teams and suppliers to manage sales, knowledge, projects, personnel and back-office functions. Because Tiova has been tailored specifically for the professional services industry, products are ready for implementation in days using the Live-in-Five deployment methodology.

"Because we focus on one industry, and customers in this industry have very similar needs, we are able to have them up and running very quickly," Walker said. "By definition, these firms get paid for their time, so speed of implementation is key."

Tiova derives its funding from "some institutions, some angels," said Walker. He hinted that a Series A round of funding could be in the cards for early next year, but he's in no hurry. "We don't need the massive infusion of capital that a product-based company would need. We're working with customers now; we have revenue. We'd like to hold off as long as possible," he said.

See related ASP News story on InternetNews.com, Changepoint Broadens ASP Strategy, Sept 5th 2000.