Access Commerce Spices Up North American CRM Fray
Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: July 5 2000
Access Commerce Spices Up North American CRM Fray
According to the company's press release from June 8, Access Commerce,
a French eCRM vendor, has announced its acquisition of AIS Technologies
Inc. from Vancouver - British Columbia, Canada - a leading e-business
solution provider for mid-sized enterprises. This acquisition will accelerate
growth plans for penetrating into North America as well as the development
of comprehensive e-commerce solutions. AIS software components and experience
with "e-enabling" organizations add a solid and complementary foundation
to Access Commerce strategic plan to increase the worldwide revenues of
the Cameleon Software Suite. Access Commerce has already used AIS's components
for its product e-camlon for MFG/PRO (QAD's core ERP product).
combination of Access Commerce Cameleon suite with AIS eBusiness software
components for e-Payment, e-Fulfillment, and e-Service provides complementary
sell-side solutions that will improve our time to market and will allow
a better adjustment of our products to the US market requirements" says
Mr. Soumeillan, President and CEO of Access Commerce.
in May, Access Commerce announced the opening of its first USA office
in San Diego, California.
is an exciting announcement as Access Commerce Inc. expands its presence
in the USA,'' said Jean-Francois Novak, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder
of Access Commerce. "Our first office in the USA positions us to
deliver excellent sales and service to our existing customer base and
to help Access Commerce successfully execute on its e-business focused
growth strategy. We are delighted to announce this new office location
to the growing list of worldwide Access Commerce offices."
Commerce has also reinforced its North America management structure:
Clermont has been appointed Executive Vice President of Access Commerce
Inc. With over 25 years of experience, he has developed a network of relations
in the North American software industry and acquired specialized skills
in the setting up of distributor and integrator networks. He will now
manage the North American operations of the Access Commerce group.
Hofflander has been appointed Senior Vice President of US Operations.
He has over 18 years of experience in international marketing backed by
in-depth knowledge of the American market. He will be in charge of Access
Commerce's marketing and business development strategy in the USA, involving
the launching of marketing campaigns and the promotion of the company's
image with the analyst community, the press, partners and clients.
Explore 2000, QAD's annual user conference that took place in Nashville,
TN from May 15 to May 17, Access Commerce announced the release of eCameleon
for MFG/PRO, a web-enabled interactive selling solution that seamlessly
integrates with QAD's MFG/PRO. It will be available through QAD's direct
sales force and Cameleon Certified Resellers and can be ordered from the
QAD price list as of June 1, 2000.
interactive selling capabilities provided by eCameleon for MFG/PRO allows
QAD MFG/PRO customers the ability to guide customers and partners through
the selling process", said Brian Slocum, QAD e-Commerce Product manager,
"it offers the ability for web buyers to interactively define their requirements
and get the solution they are looking for, whether they are ordering standard
or fully configured products and services".
The company's geographic diversification into the world's largest market
increases the noise in an already crowded mid-market North American eCRM
space. Although we believe that Access-Commerce's decision to sell more
aggressively into the crowded market space was somewhat delayed, we believe
that it has a few aces up its sleeve in order to overcome barriers to
entry and its low brand recognition hurdles.
its partnership with QAD and access to QAD's large customer base may result
in a number of opportunities and good references worldwide. Moreover,
it offers Cameleon, a sleek and comprehensive sales force automation (SFA)
product suite, particularly the product configuration part, which can
be relatively efficiently applied to a number of distribution channels
(direct sales force, partner channels, retail networks, Internet). The
company targets the mid-market enterprises that have a pressing need to
leverage Internet as a new sales channel.
While its products can be implemented in a stand-alone mode, without a
need for a strong back-end system, their full benefit comes from a strong
integration with a back-office. To that end, the company provides bridges
to ERP and/or legacy systems in place, while there are ready-made connectors
to SAP, Baan, and QAD. We expect Access Commerce to pursue a number of
alliances with other mid-market ERP vendors, which have failed to provide
their own strong front-office suites so far.
value proposition may be welcomed in this market and will infuse fresh
air into an industry that has traditionally underestimated implementation
schedules and costs at the customer's expense. This will give the competition
a run for their money and force all major CRM mid-market players, GoldMine,
Pivotal, and SalesLogix to thoroughly re-think their business models and
further focus on customer satisfaction.
We encourage potential North American users to familiarize themselves
with the newcomer company's value proposition, since we believe that it
provide some extra leverage to their negotiating position with all vendors
involved in a particular selection exercise. However, users should be
wary of Access Commerce's global service and support capabilities given
that its existing North American infrastructure is only at an embryonic
should not concern current and potential QAD users owing to the strong
alliance between two companies. Nevertheless, users are advised to ask
for QAD's firm assurances on the availability and future upgrades timeframes,
and more detailed scope of combined product functionality. Also, make
sure that QAD offers a single contract and help desk for all embedded
components within its product offerings.