July 18 by Katy Rudd
Thinking about CPQ? What about the other steps in the Quote-to-Cash process? Are you evaluating solution providers? Is one of your criteria ongoing innovations? If not, it should be. At Apttus, innovation is built into our DNA. Case in point: one of the key announcements Apttus made last year was the introduction of the Apttus Intelligent Cloud. The Apttus Intelligent Cloud is an Enterprise-Grade, Quote-to-Cash Solution Delivered on a purpose-built platform, powered by the best available cloud infrastructure.
Apttus Quote-to-Cash runs on the Apttus Intelligent Cloud – This is a natural evolution for our product and will provide all our customers with more options, flexibility and reliability, which allowed us to begin to extend the functionality of our applications by introducing micro services.
Some key examples include Smart Search, Commissions, Machine Learning and Max.
Innovations in Quote-to-Cash
Now let’s dig more into what’s new in CPQ. Over the last 12 months, the themes have been Performance, Usability and Intelligence, and Behavior Innovations. For performance improvements, we have introduced Client-side processing, Faceted search – think Amazon search for QTC – Unlimited Attributes, and Auto-approvals. In the usability space, the introduction of CPQ Admin Console, Quote Collaboration, Favorites, Mass actions, upgraded mobile app, improved Multi-language support have made the toolset not only easier to use but empowers the sales rep to collaborate and get in and out of tool quickly. To drive behavior optimization, our Intelligent cross-sell/upsell, Price optimization, Deal scoring, Cost & Profitability Analysis tools are second to none.
Before, we get into the details I want to make sure that everyone understands that NOV 2015 was the first release where we began to leverage Angular JS as our UI tool. This one innovation opened the door many to the new features that were developed over the past 12 months. If you have not yet upgraded to an Angular version of CPQ, I would encourage you to do so in 2017 and begin to take advantage of many of these new features, including predictive engine, faceted search, client side processing and estimated compensation.
More Responsive UX, Designed for Speed
Do you feel the need for speed? In your business applications, you certainly do. As a critical component, performance was something we focused on thus enabling us to scroll through large carts much faster, making the carts searchable with personalized saved searches and pricing calculations managed on the client side for pricing calculation speeds so fast they might just break the sound barrier!
To extend usability, sales reps can group products based on filter criteria and the cart supports different views for different users and user groups.
Simplified CPQ Administration
As a sales organization CPQ administration is not typically on the top of the priority list but it should be. Think about how quickly a new offer or a price change can get out to market. Simplified and easy to use admin is critical for this key component in deal velocity.
Our CPQ Admin Console enables all catalog, pricing and business rule updates to be done in a single screen flow. This flow guides the user so that even if you are not as familiar with the pricing and catalog update flows, you can simply follow the flow and make these key updates without missing a beat.
Using drag and drop, you can manage all products and related pricing activities, including catalog structure, and bundles, apply business logic and rules, advanced pricing, manage product collateral (images, videos, documents, etc.) and create new products and associate categories, price list items on a single page.
Quote Collaboration Across All Channels
Quote Lifecycle Collaboration allows multiple users to work on different parts of a quote simultaneously which Apttus then merges back into a single quote.
Using quote collaboration, a Sales Rep can assign multiple lines to a single collaborator, assign different line to different collaborators, communicate via collaboration request, accept or reject line level changes. This is all done in a trackable, traceable system and not outside using email and spreadsheets.
This powerful capability can also be extended using multi-tier collaboration to your partner networks.
Analyze Cost & Profitability
Apttus’ powerful Cost & Profitability module, you can break down the product cost, create complex cost models, display the product cost hierarchy, display a cost model is the structure of cost elements that help derive the final product cost – all within a single screen.
These cost models can help define both variable and fixed cost and achieve dynamic product costing.
You also have ability to set cost margins and get a better idea of product profitability.
Increase Deal Size with Price Programs
Price programs are powerful new tool in the pricing toolbelt that enable pricing managers and contract managers to define and manage customer-specific discounting rules. You can also create “contractual promotions” and, like promotions and rebates, price programs help to increase deal size, promoting high margin products, and promoting cross-sell and up-sell. Price programs, in conjunction with price lists, allow for both a robust catalog as well as the ability to define, enforce and market customer specific pricing.
Using the powerfully flexible Apttus Intelligent Cloud Platform, sales reps can propose a pricing change or promotion, marketing or pricing team can approve, then the price program becomes available for use. This shifts the power without shifting the control.
Apttus continues to be a leader
Apttus continues to be a leader in the QTC and CPQ spaces, validated by multiple analyst firms, including being named “A Leader” In The Forrester Wave™ for CPQ, Q1 2017.
“Apttus expands quote-to-cash with CPQ-enabled end-to-end commerce.”
“Apttus has been at the forefront of delivering quote-to-cash solutions for years, but it’s expanding this to address all buying channels, while keeping CPQ central to that theme.”
Sources: Forrester Research, The Forrester Wave™: Configure Price Quotes Solutions, Q1 2017
CPQ Delivery Innovations
Not only is Apttus delivering near continuous product innovations, but we continue to thrive and grow both customer resources and implementation delivery tools.
Crowd Sourced Quote Templates – available on Apttus Community
New Documentation Portal – with new Features by Release document
Quick Start CPQ Solutions – pre-configured for standard use cases
One Click Installation – install packages and meta data with a single click
Documentation Templates – pre-defined industry solution design docs
Data Migration Tools – pre-built X-Author for Excel data migration templates
Re-usable Component Library – plug & play code for common customizations
For more information, and to partner with us on your innovation journey, please contact Apttus.