EmergeCore’s IT-in-a-Box – more than networking (that cat’s out of the bag)

Emerge Core recently added a CRM application to its network appliance. I wondered about this move…a hardware vendor moving in and competing with software vendors. Well it so happens that EmergeCore is NOT just a hardware appliance vendor.
Emerge Core’s CEO Dave Brown provides critical insight:
Why did you not just partner with a CRM vendor?
If we had partnered with a CRM vendor, we would need to be charging a higher price for our box to account for those license agreements. We wanted to keep the price low, so we’re creating our own software to make that possible. Also, we wanted to ensure that the software we used would be as easy to use and directly functional as the IT-100 is in itself. Most existing applications don’t meet that criteria.
Will customers come to EmergeCore for the CRM or for the networking?
Right now, customers come to EmergeCore for the networking. But as we develop these core small business applications, increasingly, we expect they’ll be coming to us for the software in many cases. This is very typical–the must-have applications drive the purchase of much of the new hardware customers buy.
Why add CRM or any other app like this to an appliance and not just stick to the networking side of things?
EmergeCore is a provider of integrated solutions for small business. Our mission is to push that envelope of full solutions and to fulfill the many needs for small businesses that the IT industry still hasn’t met. We feel we’re in a unique position to deliver these solutions and to make them easy to use and accessible for this market that just can’t afford to buy that functionality through the traditional channel. That’s why we’re increasingly entering the solutions market rather than just providing hardware alone.
Are you a network appliance company or a supplier of software that happens to be on a network box?
An interesting question – we categorize ourselves as a supplier of integrated solutions for the small business, and that necessarily means both software and hardware. So we wouldn’t call ourselves a software provider – but it is insightful to note that EmergeCore no longer fits strictly in the networking hardware realm.