June 3 by Gopkiran Rao

The count down to the first of its kind Apttus Manufacturing Summit on June 18th is now in its final two weeks. There are many exciting reasons to be part of this important event, not the least of which is the number of industry leaders attending and speaking at Accelerate 2014, the Quote-to-Cash event of the year, at the historic Palace Hotel. At the forefront of the knowledge sharing will be keynote speaker Vivek Kundra, salesforce.com EVP of Industries and formerly the first CIO of the U.S.

For attendees, especially from out of town, there will be plenty to take in from the San Francisco cityscape. New buildings and corners coming to life on the back of a technology-fueled construction boom. Massive, elevated cranes, mobile power transformer centers and excavators meld with miles of 100-year old street car rails and archaic accordion-pleated Muni buses streaking orange through downtown streets.

Most will only glance up briefly at this collection of industrial wonders, focused instead on an influx of emails and texts, Google maps directions to the nearest garage or frantic pleas to turn right from the car GPS. Some, traveling on public transportation, might even find time to hit a mobile shopping site of choice and check out ‘recommended products’ or deals of the day. In other words, in 2014 it is nearly de rigueur for a consumer products company to be customer and smartphone friendly.

In contrast, companies making industrial equipment or infrastructure products with their pull levers and hydraulics may still have one leg planted in a time before the internet age – a realm of dense printed catalogs and forms, pedagogic sales people and multiple dealer and distributor office visits – limiting the customer’s most basic ability to personalize or avoid paper-bound ordering and fulfillment processes.

Many of the companies that will be at the manufacturing summit have however chosen to forge a new path. These leaders have caught on that innovation is not limited to manufacturing design and production techniques alone. They watched consumer-focused products companies successfully overcome pricing, channel and sales effectiveness challenges over the last decade and realized they too could apply technology on the frontlines to enable product configuration and choice. While it would be impossible to list out every type of company to whom this applies, a few sectors stand out because of their roots in complex configuration and product/service mix:

  • Construction machinery and equipment
  • Industrial controls and systems such as electronic controllers, communication and networking products and industrial computers.
  • Automotive assemblies and infrastructure
  • Durable medical equipment and devices

I’m excited at the opportunity to hear from these sector leaders  including King Ou of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Vernon Terrell of Alcatel-Lucent, Tina Phillips and Andy Main of Deloitte, Achuyt Jajoo and Shubber Ali of salesforce.com  at the summit about how they are capitalizing in particular on three key trends in manufacturing: e-commerce, automated contract management, and building out complete solutions portfolios.

On June 18th Salesforce, Apttus and Deloitte and a host of industry experts present this new reality with the launch of ‘Inquire-to-Order’, a new solution on the Salesforce1 Platform aimed at global manufacturing companies. The solution will seamlessly create a unified experience for managing the most complex, configured solutions inside a saleforce.com implementation and drive to an end-to-end customer buying and experience lifecycle. I’m excited to watch this amazing event play out in the story of how the manufacturing industry is getting its mojo back.

Follow this link to learn more about the Apttus Manufacturing Summit on June 18th in San Francisco.

Please visit https://www.apttus.wpengine.com/accelerate2014/ for more information on Apttus Accelerate 2014.

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