Apttus: Transforming Opportunity into Revenue

Kirk Krappe, Chairman & CEO In an era that is witnessing an upsurge in customer expectations, catering to the customer’s niche requirement is critical for a successful business. Rewarding engagements depend on sales teams that accurately incorporate customer’s suggestions to clarify pricing and timeline for completing the projects in minimum time. It is here that quote-to-cash (QTC) assumes tremendous significance, emerging as a vital instrument for revenue growth.

As product pricing and configurations undergo repeated revisions, managing QTC processes becomes complex, necessitating more than just simple changes to internal workflows. A thorough revamping of the QTC process by leveraging the latest technology becomes inevitable to provide transparency for customers and also to optimize QTC activities which allow employees to work without introducing delays or risks. With a vision of redefining QTC using the latest technology, Kirk Krappe—an early innovator with decades of experience in enterprise SaaS software is connecting a buyer’s interest to a seller’s revenue recognition. Krappe’s endeavors toward transforming QTC began in 2006, when he turned an entrepreneur with the inception of Apttus. The name ‘Apttus’ refers to the driving principles of the organization with, “Apt” meaning capable and “us” signifying speed in Latin. The highlight of the company's solutions is speedy generation of accurate quotes for a variety of product configurations to achieve 100 percent customer satisfaction.

"We’re proud to bring the world’s leading Quote-to-Cash solutions to Microsoft’s customers, and deliver these transformative capabilities to the most innovative companies in the world"

Under the stewardship of Kirk Krappe, chairman and CEO, Apttus has emerged as a category-defining QTC software company with over 600 customers, where over a hundred are from the Fortune 500 companies. With operations in several countries, Apttus is also among the ten start-ups that recorded a billion dollar revenue in record time. 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 such as 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, Apttus has developed multiple patent-pending solutions that are a part of the Apttus Intelligent Cloud—a flexible and scalable SaaS solution for maximizing revenue operations—and have successfully simplified the QTC process for several complex businesses.

Cloud-based Solution to Empower QTC

Apttus Intelligent Cloud is a suite of enterprise-level SaaS-based applications designed to optimize the QTC process for companies of all sizes.
Built on the Salesforce platform, it offers the same degree of flexibility and scalability as Salesforce, allowing multichannel sales operations on a single platform, besides the most advanced level of security for customer data and processes. The synergistic unification of process-based applications such as 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. Accelerating the QTC process maximizes sales, strengthening customer relationships and allowing process-based and behavioral applications to be enriched through machine learning algorithms to recommend relevant and intelligent actions for the sales personnel. Apttus CPQ—available on Apttus Intelligent Cloud, provides the latest product and pricing information to support faster preparation of quotes. It handles complex product configurations by incorporating multiple rules and provides the most appropriate pricing solution with no upper limit on the number of attributes for configuring a quote. Apttus CPQ prevents discounts from cutting into margins by ensuring that each deal complies with the business and pricing rules, apart from providing visibility into revenue operations at each stage of the sales cycle.


Max has demonstrated its value to enterprise organizations and QTC solutions continue to demonstrate their immense value


Apttus Intelligent Cloud allows users to interact with all of Apttus’ QTC applications using Max—the QTC virtual assistant from Apttus. Designed to help companies create optimal deal proposals, configure solutions and prepare price quotes, Max provides a conversational user interface that simplifies interactions with QTC applications in the mobile, virtual and social environments. “Max has demonstrated its value to enterprise organizations, and QTC solutions continue to demonstrate their immense value,” says Krappe.

X-Author: Boosting User Adoption

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; Excel productivity also receives a fillip through automation of processes throughout the organization, saving several administrative hours.

X-Author updates records for multiple Microsoft Excel objects, without compromising on the rules, permissions, and security of CRM systems that results in faster completion of tasks such as data migration. Using Excel in X-Author, users can build and deploy scalable productivity applications to accommodate users across the globe or even install pre-designed (CPQ or other) applications.
X-Author simplifies data management by allowing users to sort, filter, and perform calculations apart from provisions for saving the results on the CRM system.

Apttus’ solutions portfolio and its feature-rich quality proved to be a boon for Aesynt, a provider of integrated pharmacy automation solutions for hospitals and healthcare centers, based out of 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.

Aesynt decided to engage Apttus for a CPQ solution. Built on the Salesforce platform, Apttus CPQ not only provided Aesynt a familiar and user-friendly interface but also quickly integrated with their existing systems. Eliminating several manual processes through automation resulted in significant reduction of time for closure of deals, leading to better visibility of the process, along with improving control and collaboration between tasks carried out by multiple teams. Implementing Apttus CPQ solution improved the efficiency and effectiveness of operations as Aesynt witnessed a significant increase in its responsiveness to customers. The responsiveness, enabled by easy-to-use interfaces resulted in deal sizes tripling within a short period.

Continued Enrichment of QTC

Apttus measures its growth through customer satisfaction. In May, Apttus unveiled an entire suite of applications to provide accurate quotes and negotiate contractual terms while managing complex pricing requirements and channel partnerships for the manufacturing industry. “We’re proud to bring the world’s leading Quote-to-Cash solutions to Microsoft’s customers, and deliver these transformative capabilities to the most innovative companies in the world,” remarks Krappe. The Business-to-Business (B2B) E-commerce enabled by Apttus’ CPQ solutions for manufacturers, delivers revenue generating digital experiences while 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.

With operations spread across nine locations in the U.S., UK, Japan, India, Australia, and having over 25 certified partners for training and deploying solutions, Apttus continues to remain the trusted advisor for QTC business transformation. The 2017 edition of Apttus Accelerate, the annual user conference hosted by the company, saw the announcement of Snap Performance, which further improves the speed of CPQ operations by up to 90 percent. Operations that previously took seconds now take less than 300 milliseconds with Snap Performance. Krappe states that as a sought-after name, Apttus, with solutions such as Snap Performance, strides ahead to fulfill its responsibility to improve QTC further. “Apttus has a long history of advancing revenue operations far beyond what anyone believed they were capable of, and today we honor that legacy once again,” concludes Krappe.

Company
Apttus

Headquarters
San Mateo, CA

Management
Kirk Krappe, Chairman & CEO

Description
A provider of cloud-based applications that automate the quote to-cash process