European businesses are catching the hosted appliation buzz

apps4biz Moves to Aggressively Market Its Business Applications for SME Businesses in Europe
apps4biz Europe Localizing, Marketing Internet-centric Solutions In Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France
ANDOVER, MA. – Sept. 23, 2002 – apps4bizÆ, a global provider of Internet-centric business applications for small companies, today announced that it has formed apps4biz Europe, a joint venture set up to provide localization and aggressively market its solutions in five European countries – Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France.
apps4biz business solutions are comprehensive, integrated, easy-to-use and quick-to-deploy software applications. They include General apps4biz, Manufacturing apps4biz, and the apps4biz Vertical Portfolios (consisting of the General and/or Manufacturing suites tailored to various industries). The suites encompass functionality in the areas of sales order management, inventory management, purchasing management, supply chain management, manufacturing and e-business.
apps4biz Europe, a joint venture of apps4biz and Infopiave, will localize apps4biz to meet regional requirements, building upon global capabilities already existing in the product, including multi-currency, multi-language, multinational taxation, flexible shipping, number formatting, etc.
In addition, the Italy-based organization has established relationships with channel partners to market the products through a two-tiered networking model: distributors covering regional broad markets together with local VARs and resellers. Current business partners include Euroinformatica in Italy, BCD-SINTRAG in Switzerland, abCon in Germany and @VENISE in France. Each of these distributors uses local VARs and resellers to cover its territory.
apps4biz’s products may be deployed over an internal intranet or via an application subscription approach, offering customers reduced risks and no up-front capital investments. The application subscription approach allows customers to rent the applications and access them through a browser from their own intranet or from apps4biz hosting providers via the Internet. Built-in workflow capabilities support each individual customer’s unique way of doing business while management reporting and decision support capabilities add business intelligence to raw data.
“Europe is an enormous market that has a demonstrated need for our applications,” said Peter Lopes, vice president of sales and marketing for apps4biz. “Building upon the inherent global capabilities of our apps4biz products and strong partner relationships we own, we are in an incredible position for success there. In fact, apps4biz Europe has already made dozens of customer sales through the partners.
“Leveraging our software development experience in small and medium businesses and ERP in Europe, we have been able to localize and improve the apps4biz application for our market in a very short time,” said Lorenzo Brollo, CEO of apps4biz Europe. “This is the reason we’ve been successful in generating revenue immediately.”
“Our joint venture is an ideal means to develop and market a worldwide business application,” said Guido Colombo, vice president of European business development of apps4biz Europe. “Our business partners in Europe are now confident to see local business requirements and functionalities improved quickly in the apps4biz solution. This will dramatically improve their time to market.”
apps4biz offers customers a number of competitive advantages:
∑ Ease of Use – apps4biz offers customers simplicity through its unique four-screen user interface without menus, unlike the hundreds of screens and multilevel menus that other solutions provide. This means that users can be trained to utilize the business solution in a matter of hours versus days or weeks for competitive products. In addition, the application suite can be deployed in days as opposed to other solutions, which often take weeks or months. This is a significant advantage for customers who may be occasional users at best, a large investment in training is not required.
∑ Ease of tailoring – apps4biz incorporates technology (patent pending) that facilitates the tailoring of the applications to specific vertical industries and customer needs by its partners and end-users. Other systems require custom programming changes to affect the same results. It is through this tailoring capability that apps4biz has been able to create the new transportation and warehousing vertical solution without any programming.
∑ Industry-specific solutions – Applications have been tailored for plastics processors, printing companies and, most recently, transportation and warehousing companies, ensuring that these companies have a solution designed specifically for their needs. This eliminates the requirement for product customization, lengthy training cycles and drawn-out implementations.
∑ Application subscription option – apps4biz products can be deployed externally via ASPs or internally on a company’s own intranet. apps4biz’s application subscription approach enables customers to “rent” the software, thereby reducing their business risks as well as eliminating up-front capital requirements and the need for additional information technology infrastructure. This approach also enables small businesses to easily conduct business globally with Web-savvy customers and suppliers.