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Xactly Planning For More Intelligent SaaS

Business intelligence relies on clean data and a single version of the truth. On-demand sales compensation management software vendor Xactly believes that kind of valuable information can be extrapolated from sales data.

The company has thus turned to new partners, including business intelligence software vendor Cognos  and enterprise data integration specialist Informatica , to roll out a new set of applications built on aggregated sales information.

Those new modules include Xactly Data Management, which customers can use to integrate data from disparate sources and applications like enterprise resource planning (ERP) , customer relationship management (CRM) and human resources applications; Xactly Analytics, which helps executives identify trends through sales compensation data and create reports based on that information; and Xactly Modeling, for forecasting the impact of their compensation plans.

Xactly hosts an on-demand repository that uses technology from Informatica to pull data generated by various on-premise applications, and uses technology from Cognos to produce analytics and reports.

Xactly CEO Chris Cabrera said that customers had asked his company for more ways of using the sales compensation data they were generating from the vendor's core application, Xactly Incent. In his view, that data gives the truest picture of the business. For example, the way that commissions are split between different sales reps can tell executives which incentives drove the final sale.

"Post-sale data is the most accurate and important data, because it reflects what actually happened in the field" he told internetnews.com.

The company is planning to roll out other sales compensation-related modules such as territory planning, quote management and price management applications in the coming months.

Jeff Kaplan, managing director of SaaS consulting firm THINKstrategies, said Xactly is attempting to create sales-driven business intelligence. "BI tends to look at almost all dimensions of the business activity and tries to correlate them all. In many cases, driving that BI process through sales activity might make it even more effective and easy to generate actionable results from," he told internetnews.com.

Kaplan also noted that Xactly's approach demonstrates why SaaS is an attractive business model. SaaS vendors can observe their customers' behavior and release new versions more quickly and uniformly than their on-premise rivals because they're working off a single code base.

"SaaS makes it easier to react in an agile development process, and this is allowing them to change how they're viewing their own application."

In other words, Xactly is getting BI from its business model and using it to build a BI application.