A UK entrepreneur is taking on the business software giants with a web-based system enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite costing just £22.50 per user per month.
Salesorder.com is the brainchild of Nick Spooner, a technology veteran who worked with Steve Jobs at NeXT Computer in the 1990s and went on to sell build and sell transactional systems for the financial services sector.
When he went looking for a suitable accounting system for that company, Spooner’s discovered that what was available was “not good enough” to run a business. To get a system capable of doing all the things he wanted - dealing with project costing and profitability, resourcing and sales pipelines - would have cost £250,000-£300,00, he discovered.
While offering features such as gross margin tracking in P&L accounts and time-sheeting/utilisation reporting, Salesorder.com was designed with ease of use uppermost in mind. According to Spooner, the application should be simple enough to install and configure without the need for expensive consultants and users should be able to learn how to use it through following online videos.
Most notable of all is £22.50 per user per month subscription fee.
The Salesorder.com strategy is based on working with resellers, who will be able to “whitelabel” the application for their own customers and clients. The application’s in-built billing and support systems allow intermediaries to handle the administration themselves (or let the developer handle it), while continuing to “nurture the relationship with customers”, Spooner said.
Salesorder.com is trying to attract accountants who want a route into the Cloud computing market with the opportunity to generate long term recurring revenues from small business clients looking for a comprehensive, integrated ERP and accounting system, he said.
The company’s online training videos support the fast take-up strategy, he explained. Around 32 hours’ worth of material has been recorded in short segments showing users how to use different aspects of the system – right back to accounting basics.
As well as charging customers so much for so little, accounting software developers have tended to shroud their applications in mystery, Spooner argued. “That’s wrong. The Facebook and Twitter generation coming through now want it in the cloud. [Accounting] is changing. These kids will go to the Cloud and accountants will lose out. Before you know it, accounting services will be delivered through the whitelable platform – it’s a very mesmerising argument I’d be happy to talk to them about.”