Apttus: An Intelligent Middle Office Platform to Enhance Business Processes

As enterprises grow more flexible to accommodate the changing needs of a customer-centric world, incorporating them for generating quotes requires more than simple changes to internal workflow. It necessitates a thorough revamping of the quote-to-cash (QTC) process, which serves as a vital instrument of revenue growth by establishing the required levels of visibility. Given the importance of QTC in business, it is imperative for enterprises to leverage the latest technology to optimize the process to ensure transparency into all transactional parameters, thereby convincing buyers to expedite the purchase. Further, in the competitive era, enterprises are expected to generate quotes in the shortest time without introducing additional delays or risks, to win over a customer or avoid losing one, to a competitor. Among the first to move in this direction by leveraging cloud-based technologies to optimize QTC, was Apttus, in the year 2006. Apttus is a combination of “Apt” which refers to being capable, while “us” denotes speed, in Latin. True to its name, Apttus offers an array of solutions that help enterprises generate faster and accurate quotes for a variety of product configurations, thereby catering to industries across several verticals.

Today, Apttus has emerged as a category-defining QTC software company with over 600 customers, including a 100 among the Fortune 500. With operations spread across several countries and multiple patents pending, Apttus is also among the 10 startups that recorded a billion dollar revenue in record time. Fully mindful of the ‘make-or-break’ role played by QTC in the revenue recognition for an organization, Apttus has integrated its applications with some of the major players in the market like Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft, IBM, Adobe and ServiceNow among many others for end-to-end automation of revenue operations. The establishment of a seamless link between the clients’ ERP and CRM by Apttus Intelligent Cloud, has successfully simplified the QTC process for several complex businesses.
Apttus Intelligent Cloud

The Apttus Intelligent Cloud is a suite of enterprise-level SaaS-based applications that are integrated with each other to optimize the QTC process for companies of all sizes. Offering the same degree of flexibility and scalability as Salesforce, Apttus Intelligent Cloud also allows multichannel sales operations on a single platform, along with providing the most advanced level of security for customer data and processes. The synergistic unification of process-based applications like the CPQ, Contract Management, and Billing & Order Management, with behavioral applications such as Rebates, Promotions and Compensation, drives the revenue-winning behaviors across all sales channels— leading to faster incorporation of client demands, and eventually faster closure of deals. Hastening of the QTC process maximizes sales strengthening customer relationships and allows process based and behavioral applications to be enriched through machine learning algorithms for recommending relevant and intelligent actions for sales personnel.

Apttus CPQ handles product and pricing configurations of varied complexities incorporating multiple rules and constraints, with no upper limits on the number of attributes for configuring a quote.


The establishment of a seamless link between the clients’ ERP and CRM by Apttus Intelligent Cloud, has successfully simplified the QTC process for several complex businesses


It prevents discounts from cutting into margins by ensuring compliance of each deal with the business and pricing rules. Apttus CPQ also provides visibility into the revenue operations at each stage of the sales cycle. “Apttus CPQ is a core building block for customers in the Middle Office space, and it is the most advanced solution in our industry,” says David Murphy, Executive Chairman and CEO at Apttus.

Users having access to the Apttus Intelligent Cloud get to interact with all of Apttus’ QTC applications using Max—the world’s first and only Quote-to-Cash virtual assistant. Designed specifically to help companies create optimal deal proposals, configure solutions and prepare price quotes, Max provides a conversational user interface that simplifies interacting with QTC applications over mobile, virtual and social environments.

X-Author Solution

Apart from Max, another key highlight of the Apttus Intelligent Cloud is Apttus’ patent-pending X-Author solution, which transforms Microsoft Excel into a user interface for the CRM system, thereby increasing the user adoption of QTC. It increases the speed and efficiency of data input, manipulation and reporting along with Excel productivity manifold by automating processes throughout the organization, saving several administrative hours.

X-Author even updates records for any number of Microsoft Excel objects, without compromising on the rules, permissions and security of CRM systems resulting in the faster completion of tasks like data migration. Using Excel in X-Author, users can build and deploy productivity applications that are scaled to accommodate users across the globe or even install pre-designed (CPQ or other) applications. X-Author also manages data with one-click control through functions to sort, filter, and perform calculations and saves the results on CRM system.

The feature-rich nature of Apttus and its products proved to be a boon for Aesynt, a provider of integrated pharmacy automation solutions for hospitals and healthcare centers, based in Cranberry Township, PA. The inability of the homegrown tool to automate the preparation of specific product configurations, pricing, and quote conversions, necessitated arduous manual operations, with employees reworking on a majority of the deals. The problem further accentuated with the company’s growth leading to unpredictability; process visibility, control and collaboration between operations, emerged as major challenges for the sales and legal processes.

When Aesynt found its homegrown tool insufficient to handle the increasing workload, the company decided to engage Apttus for a CPQ solution.
Built on The Salesforce Platform, Apttus CPQ not only offered Aesynt a familiar and user-friendly interface but also quickly integrated with the existing systems. Elimination of several manual processes through automation, reduced the sales time significantly, leading to better visibility of the process, along with improving control and collaboration between tasks carried out by multiple teams.

"Apttus CPQ is a core building block for customers in the Middle Office space, and it is the most advanced solution in our industry"

Implementing Apttus CPQ solution improved the efficiency and effectiveness of operations as Aesynt witnessed a significant increase in its responsiveness to customers, apart from increasing the accuracy. The responsiveness, enabled by easy-to-use interfaces resulted in deal sizes tripling within a short period of time.



Impressive Trail Continues

Apttus links its own growth to that of customers. An impressive track of customer satisfaction has begun to show results. The company had its first initial public offering in January 2017 and was recognized as a leader in the QTC space by the likes of Gartner and Forrester. In May, Apttus unveiled an entire suite of its applications for the manufacturing sector to provide accurate quotes and negotiate contractual terms apart from managing complex pricing requirements and channel partnerships. The Business-to-Business (B2B) E-commerce enabled by Apttus’ CPQ solutions for manufacturers, delivers revenue generating digital experiences, along with reducing compliance risks in contract management. Furthermore, the B2B Order Management & Billing feature provides visibility into the back-office orders and billing, to increase sales performance and renewals.

The 2017 edition of Apttus Accelerate, the annual user conference hosted by the company, saw the announcement of a new evolution of software and cloud platform improvements called Snap Performance that increases the speed of CPQ operations by up to 90 percent. Operations that previously took seconds now take less than 300 milliseconds with Snap Performance, putting Apttus CPQ on par with some of the world’s fastest and most effective enterprise solutions. As a sought-after name in QTC, Apttus has a responsibility of driving the industry forward and Snap Performance is a step in this direction.

Company
Apttus

Headquarters
Austin, TX

Management
David Murphy, Executive Chairman & CEO

Description
The B2B E-commerce enabled by Apttus’ CPQ solutions for manufacturers, delivers revenue generating digital experiences, along with reducing compliance risks in contract management