APLICOR CRM SOFTWARE REVIEW
Note: This software review is focused on Aplicor's on-demand CRM software product. Reference other SaaS CRM reviews, and in particular the Microsoft CRM software review, for the most direct competitor comparison.
Founded in 2000, Aplicor is a global software publisher of on-demand CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) business software solutions for high growth, middle-market and enterprise organizations. The company headquarters is in the United States and the company operates additional regional offices in London, England, Sydney, Australia and San Jose, Costa Rica. Aplicor CRM is priced at USD $89.00 per user per month. Pricing includes the entire CRM software suite, customer support and upgrades.
Aplicor strengths among the competitive market of CRM SaaS solutions include the following:
- Best in industry ease of use; although an enterprise application, the CRM system is simple and intuitive. The one-click-to-anywhere capability and the many-to-one viewing permitted by the Navigator display will be greatly appreciated by more mature CRM users.
- A robust business intelligence (BI) suite facilitates powerful information gathering and visual analysis. While several CRM applications offer flexible dashboards, Aplicor has raised the bar with data warehousing and online analytical processing which are unmatched in the SaaS CRM software industry.
- Sales order processing. The CRM suite includes an order entry module which empowers sales professionals to create quotes and sale orders. The order component can be fully integrated with back office functions such as Accounts Receivable and Inventory Management.
- Back office integration. Aplicor's CRM suite can be complimented with Aplicor's fully integrated ERP and accounting software suite. The CRM suite also includes packaged (XML web services) integrations to a number of third party ERP software and accounting software systems such as Microsoft Dynamics (GP and Nav), Sage MAS 90/200, Oracle Financials and SAP.
- The workflow visual designer is extremely powerful and effective in automating business processes. Unlike the more traditional SaaS CRM systems which simply permit modification to basic workflow configurations, Aplicor visual designer tools provide a complete infrastructure to create new automated workflows or customize existing business processes without resorting to programming.
- Simple yet powerful software customization. Aplicor's designer tools (Forms Designer, Menu Designer, View Designer, Query Designer) are all extremely easy to use visual tools. Further, the tools are meta-data based, meaning that a change made in one place automatically propagates throughout the system. For instance, if you change a field caption on a form, that new caption name is also automatically updated on any referenced views, queries and reports.
- Market share presence. Despite being a smaller software company that several of its competitors, Aplicor has acquired (and retained) some of the largest hosted ERP and CRM customers in the SaaS industry. The company has several Fortune 500 and Global 1000 customers, 9 customers with more than 1000 users each and one global customer with approximately 8,600 users.
- Outstanding customer support. The company enjoys a very positive corporate reputation and an impressive 98.1% customer retention rate which is most likely the best in the SaaS CRM industry.
- Software stability and uptime. The company delivers its CRM SaaS system from data centers in the US, UK and Australia. The data centers are Tier 4 facilities and ISO 27001 certified. Aplicor has achieved 100% system uptime since April 2003.
- A high quality business partner program. The company has clearly taken a quality over quantity approach when it comes to adding business partners. Aplicor's business partner channel is not as large as several others, however, the expertise, tenure and quality of the partners is impressive.
Aplicor weaknesses among the CRM SaaS systems include the following:
- Company brand and name recognition. Aplicor is a global SaaS ERP and CRM company, however, its company recognition is hit or miss depending upon the country or location.
- No outreach for small businesses. The CRM product is designed based on the business and technology requirements of the mid and enterprise markets. The company does not reach out to small businesses.
- Lack of vertical market support. The company's only vertical market editions are for Government / Public Sector and Financial Services. Additional vertical market and industry specific solutions will be required if the company is to continue its growth in an increasingly competitive market.
- Not enough business partners. While the company's business partners are quite reputable, there are not enough business partners to provide truly global representation.
- Marginal on premise delivery. The high majority of the company's customers are hosted. The company does sell an on-premise product, however, it comes with a 100 user minimum.
- Private company. Aplicor is a private company and does not provide the transparency delivered by publicly traded companies.
Aplicor's primary CRM software competitor is Salesforce.com. However, for prospects evaluating CRM and ERP software, Aplicor's primary SaaS competitor is NetSuite.
Other competitors include Microsoft Dynamics, Sage and Salesboom.
CRM SOFTWARE REVIEW FROM TMC LABS
Note: The below article is reproduced from the CRM software review and editorial performed by TMC Labs and printed in the September 2008 edition of Customer Interactions Solutions magazine.
Aplicor offers a subscription-based hosted CRM and ERP Web-based software solutions for mid-market and enterprise organizations. The CRM application includes separate but integrated software modules for Sales Force Automation (SFA), Marketing Management, Customer Support and Partner Relationship Management (PRM). The ERP application automates accounting practices and delivers real-time and enterprise-wide performance visibility with dashboards, data warehouses and scorecard reporting. The ERP application is fully integrated with CRM and includes back-office software modules for finance & accounting, distribution & supply chain, human resources & payroll and light manufacturing.
Aplicor Enterprise is a zero footprint on-demand system requiring only a browser. The company operates synchronized and globally redundant data centers in the US, UK and Australia. The application is hosted using SQL Server database clustering, highly redundant Web farms and a multiple layer information security infrastructure that is audited and certified by ISO (27001) and NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology Certification and Accreditation) annually.
Aplicor was one of the first to deliver enterprise-wide on-demand business software systems targeted specifically for middle market and enterprise companies back in July 2001. Since the first release, the company has acquired over 150 global customers and over 20,000 subscription users.
Aplicor Enterprise was the first on-demand solution to offer an isolated tenancy hosting model. This delivery option is often viewed as particularly important by government, financial services firms and other companies with more stringent security requirements.
Unlike the more traditional multi-tenant delivery model, which requires all customers to share a database and upgrade in mass without their consent, Aplicor's isolated tenancy delivery model grants each customer their own autonomous database. This architectural difference provides physical data segregation (from other clients), more flexible integration, more customization, predictable performance, increased security, assured privacy, and sure-safe backup. This architectural shift also facilitates software version control whereby customers have the option to upgrade to the next software version based on their schedule and not the hosts schedule.
Aplicor demonstrated to TMC Labs, "Perhaps the ultimate litmus test of this unique delivery architecture model is Aplicor's unmatched delivery uptime history. Since implementing this architecture in March 2003, Aplicor has incurred no downtime whatsoever. Since April 2003, Aplicor has maintained its performance visibility online with a public dashboard that displays uptime, latency, packet loss, jitter and host system speed."
Lastly, in the last six months they have added a new graphical ad-hoc report writer, PPC (Pay Per Click) integration to marketing campaigns, new Asian languages, including Japanese, Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional and Korean, enhanced dashboards by role, and more.
Aplicor CRM Software Evaluation
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