Aplicor CRM & ERP System Review
Review by Ian Charmichael on June 6, 2008
Aplicor ERP & CRM System Review
Aplicor began delivering hosted business software in 1999 from its headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida and has since expanded to provide a near global coverage from company offices in London, Sydney and San Jose, Costa Rica as well as business partner locations around the world. While the company hasn't earned the notoriety of its main competitors, it has surprised many in the software as a service (SAAS) industry by gaining significant SaaS market share, acquiring some of the largest SaaS customers in the world and replacing several of its more recognized competitors in many customer accounts.
The company's hosted CRM software includes the marketing automation, sales force automation (SFA), customer support and partner relationship management (PRM). In addition to on demand CRM, Aplicor also offers integrated accounting software and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. The hosted ERP software suite includes financial accounting, project accounting, distribution and supply chain, human resources and payroll, and light manufacturing. The combined CRM and ERP software suite facilitates a single source supplier relationship for organisations seeking an enterprise wide hosted software system.
The company's SaaS CRM software suite is clearly aimed at decentralized and global midsize and enterprise corporations and governments. The company has a minimum user count of 20 users and it's average user count for the year ended 2007 was well over 100. Based on Aplicor's price point, which is much lower than most SaaS competitors, we are disappointed Aplicor doesn't pursue small business organisations and hope the company expands its target market to include small businesses in the future.
Much of Aplicor's operations outside the United States and Europe are managed by business partners (mainly management consulting firms and value added resellers (VARs)) of the company. We find both positive and negative experiences when not dealing directly with the software publisher. Aplicor directly owns and manages the data centers in North America, Europe and Asia which deliver its hosted software to all global clients. Maintaining control of the data centers has been key in the company achieving the highest system uptime in the SaaS industry.
Aplicor typically faces competitor Salesforce.com when pursuing new middle market or enterprise customer prospects seeking hosted CRM software, however, not considering hosted ERP software. Aplicor's key weakness against Salesforce.com is its much smaller brand recognition. While Aplicor is well known within the CRM industry, the company is not as well known to buyers looking into the CRM software market for the first time. Aplicor's advantages against Salesforce.com include simpler customization, business process automation, business intelligence and lower cost. While Salesforce.com can facilitate software customization and some minimal workflow creation, the tools are technically challenging, difficult to use and never work as well as shown in the sales demonstration. Aplicor's graphical, drag and drop customization and workflow tools are very flexible and extremely easy to use by non-technical staff. Aplicor is typically priced at about 55 percent to 65 percent of Salesforce.com.
Because Aplicor offers integrated ERP, it also competes with NetSuite which also offers a combined ERP and CRM software suite. Aplicor's weakness against NetSuite is again a lesser known brand, however, it scores advantages in the areas of ease of use, workflow automation, customer support and cost. While NetSuite's trend of excessive client turnover continues, Aplicor has achieved a 98.1% client retention (for the three years ended December 31, 2007) which demonstrates the company's commitment to customer support and satisfaction.
A interesting Aplicor benefit for many midsize and enterprise organisations is its isolated tenancy hosting model. Instead of the earlier multi-tenant hosting architecture approach used by Salesforce.com and several other on-demand CRM systems, Aplicor uses an isolated tenancy (i.e. private database) for each customer in order to facilitate improved information security, data privacy, system integration, consistent performance and system uptime. Aplicor is the only hosted system to provide certified 100 percent uptime for the last four years. While most small business companies do not seem to have concerns or preferences about the multi-tenant shared database model, the trend for midsize and enterprise companies is clearly to prefer the isolated, private database, hosted delivery model.
1615 South Federal Highway
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
Telephone: 561. 347.0300
Chuck Schaeffer, Aplicor CEO
Chuck Schaeffer was previously CEO of three software technology companies prior to assuming the leadership role at Aplicor. His educational certifications include an undergraduate degree in Economics, an MBA degree, a CPA (certified public accountant) certification, Six Sigma black belt and several CRM and ERP industry certifications. Schaeffer is also a member of the Malcolm Baldrige Board of Examiners and FBI Infragard. His Aplicor CEO blog is a candid conversational tool directed to the company's customers as well as friends of the company and has been awarded one of the top blogs by InsideCRM and ERPsoftware360.
Aplicor Reference Sites